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Anyone have a root cellar?

Discussion in 'DIY / Self Sufficiency' started by Agdketo, Oct 27, 2013.

  1. Agdketo

    Agdketo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2009
    Aledo, Illinois
    I'm thinking about building a root cellar and was wondering if anyone had one? I don't really need one where I live, but I will be able to make my garden much bigger. Also, is this in the right forum?
     
  2. Life is Good!

    Life is Good! Chillin' With My Peeps

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    No official 'root cellar' here. Would be hard to build on my lot - the only hill has three GIANT pine trees on it! I think I'd have more problems than it's worth to build there.

    Instead, I use the principals to 'root cellaring' to keep veggies more or less in the house. I used a hygrometer (measures humidity) to figure out where in my house is cool AND not too damp. I keep squashes in apple baskets in my basement pantry. I peel, slice and freeze apples for use in baking. I can and preserve as much as I can handle in the late summer/early fall - so it's there, but not necessarily in original form! Potatoes get eaten too quickly in this household - they don't last much longer than Thanksgiving thanks to starch-loving teenagers. The only crop I have real trouble keeping is carrots. I've tried the sand thing - ended up with GREAT stew carrots (soft and not crunchy). I've resigned to keeping them in the garden under a bed of straw and can get them (more or less) until Christmas - then not again until mid Feb. Ground just freezes too hard. If I don't pull by March, they'll rot in the ground - and THAT isn't worth the efforts!
     
  3. Agdketo

    Agdketo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2009
    Aledo, Illinois
    Thanks for the information! It's far too damp to try to keep anything in my basement. The house is almost a century old. This was my first year with my own garden..(60 ft by 20 ft) So it's been quite the learning experience. I planted everything from seed after all the plants I was growing indoors died. corn, tomatoes, onions, cauliflower, broccoli, carrots, cucumber, lettuce and that was about it. I had planned on canning with my fiancé, but we never got the stuff to do it. Next year I plan on planting potatoes. Lots and lots of potatoes.
     
  4. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 10, 2010
    I don't have a root cellar - yet. I plan to build one eventually.
    There is a great book on the topic, I got it from the county library. It is "Root Cellaring - Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables" by Mike and Nancy Bubel.
    It has alot of very good information on this important aspect of homesteading. We have gleaned alot of great ideas for when we build our root cellar in the near future. Not only does it talk about building a root cellar, but it also discusses what to grow for storage, how to prepare it for storage and even how to use the stored food.
     
    1 person likes this.
  5. CedarAcres

    CedarAcres Sunny Side Up

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    Mar 18, 2013
    Connecticut
    My Coop
    We had a small root cellar. It was not the traditional type that I see photos of, it was more or less a big barrel type thing that was buried deep in the ground, with a ladder down to the bottom. There wasn't a lot of room in there. It's been in place for about 50 years. After a tree fell on it and severely dented the cap, we made the decision to build a new one that is much larger. There was not much room in there so the effort spent to repair it wasn't worth it in my opinion. Although we are still in the planning stages, mainly deciding where we want it to go. My main reason for wanting one is that our basement is just way too damp to be able to successfully store things, mainly due to things that we can't totally fix. Plus, I just really want one [​IMG]
     
  6. Agdketo

    Agdketo Out Of The Brooder

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    Sep 14, 2009
    Aledo, Illinois
    I agree with you one-hundred percent. I have alot if acreage where I live and there are quite a few buildings I want to put up. The first one would be a permanent chicken coop, with a root cellar after that. A smoker is the third building on the list. I hope to get them all built next year sometime. My garden is 60Lx25w and we are making it even bigger next year, so the root cellar is going to come in handy. I was thinking 25Lx10Wx8H for the dimensions on the root cellar.
     
  7. leesbunny

    leesbunny Out Of The Brooder

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    Mar 19, 2012
    Timbuctoo
    We are going to build a root cellar in our basement in the very near future. Can't wait!!!
     
  8. wyoDreamer

    wyoDreamer Chillin' With My Peeps

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    I would love to see how you set this up. I am especially interested in your venting system.
    Please post a couple of pictures when you build this!
     
  9. Allysha1990

    Allysha1990 Chillin' With My Peeps

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    Nov 19, 2013
    St Malo, Manitoba
    I just moved to my farm about 1 month ago and I don't have a root cellar. I would love one, but it seems like a daunting task to try and build one, not to mention expensive. We have a mud room attached to the front of our house and it is cool and dry. I currently have my pupkins and spaghetti squash stacked on shelves in there, as well as my potatoes and canning goods and they all keep just find. Granted, some people might not want to be greeted by a stack of 15 spaghetti squash along a wall, but it is what works for us :)
     

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