A root cellar was used to store vegetables as well as other food supplies long before electricity came along. Today, because so many people are looking for a way to save money and eat healthier, organic foods by growing their own vegetables, many people are creating their own root cellars.
This requires a parcel of ground where you can dig down and line with rocks. Many people create roots cellars in their back yards under a shed. You would have a latch door in the floor of the shed that opens and allows you to step down a small ladder into the root cellar.
The root cellar has to be covered to avoid any type of accidents or any animal getting into the cellar. You should line the walls and floor of the root cellar with stones to prevent bugs from getting into the cellar. Products that are stored in the root cellar should be stored in brown sacks to further protect them from rain or insects. The root cellar should be covered at all times when not in use.
Before you start digging on your property, call out your local utility companies so that they can mark out where your utilities are located. You never want to dig on your property unless you know where the utilities are located so that you do not uproot a wire or cable.
A root cellar will enable you to store turnips, carrots, potatoes, onions and squash for longer periods of time. If you live in a house where you have a cellar, you can usually use this as your root cellar. You can even create your own root cellar indoors by using a wood container that you make yourself to store the vegetables.
This container can be kept in a cool, dark place (preferably the basement) to store your vegetables. There are “build your own root cellar” kits online that you can use for this purpose. You will probably find this easier than digging your own root cellar on your property.
If you do not have room for a root cellar, you can cook potatoes and freeze them instead of storing them in a root cellar. Turnips and carrots can be frozen uncooked and will be fine. Be sure to peel them before freezing.
A root cellar is the ideal place to store all of your preserved foods as it is cool and dark. Whether you decide to quarter off part of the basement to build a root cellar for your vegetables or build your on, you will find that all of your root vegetables have much more staying power when you store them in a cool, dark place.