Tuesday, June 7, 2011

Cool Garden Idea; Root Cellars!

    If you have been reading this blog, you will know that I am an advocate of eating real food. Real foods are good, and real, local food is even better, with the hope that you may actually know a where it came from,who grew it, and so fourth. The best way I can think of to attain this peace of mind is to grow some of your own food, with a local farmer's market being the next best option. Small gardens can easily be kept up is the suburbs and even some urban settings depending on neighborhood lawn rules, size, etc. Today I wanted to share a cool  garden tip on storing some of your fresh foods, root cellaring. In most regions, vegetative growth isn't really feasible in the winter months so storing it is a great option. You can also use this method to store food from the market as well.

    Root cellars pretty much say it all in the name. They are an above or underground "cellar" used to store vegetables considered roots, such as carrots and parsnips, but also tubers such as potatoes sweet potatoes. However root cellars can also be used to store other garden staples such as squash (technically a fruit). When the winter hits, and these vegetables are at risk of frost, the root cellar is used to preserve them. Prior to the 2 car garage and refrigeration unit, root cellars were a commonality. Now a days most folks don't even know what one is. However, they don't have to be fancy and are very easy to install. For example, at the farm I have been working at, the proprietor has an old, broken refrigerator dug into the ground to serve as her root cellar. My mom recently picked up a couple of old coolers, so I decided to do the same thing with them a couple of days ago. Check it out.

In conclusion, root cellars are a good way to store some of your fresh veggies for the winter without taking up a bunch of space in the house or having to worry about rats, or other critters getting to try to steal your bounty. You can use just about anything that you can ensure is fairly closed off to the elements. Get creative!

Oh yeah, digging the hole for these things provides some nice exercise. Call before you dig lol.

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