What is a Root Cellar
A root cellar is an underground room or storage area used for keeping foods at a constant, cool, and low humidity environment for extended periods of time.
This is much like what takes place in an underground cave. Whether the temperature at ground level is swelteringly hot or well below freezing this doesnâ€™t alter the underground temperature. The ground-level temp has no bearing on the chilly, jacket weather you would experience in the cave all year around. Or think of a root cellar as natureâ€™s refrigerator-something people have tapped into for thousands of years.
That constant, cool environment is exactly what you want when storing food for extended periods of time. Have you ever had extra potatoes or onions that went bad in your kitchen while sitting on the floor in a bag? Though some foods are resilient enough to last a few weeks at the warmth level of your house, they will eventually spoil.
So what are the benefits? If youâ€™re like most people, you donâ€™t have the room in your refrigerator to store everything that youâ€™d like to. A root cellar helps solve that problem. Fruits, vegetables, jams, salted meats, and even alcohol can be stored in this setting. Here are a few benefits to get you thinking:
- A Huge Refrigerator: The space you have available can be much larger than your refrigerator. Youâ€™ll have plenty to work with for many months.
- Longevity: Fruits and vegetables will last much longer than if they were simply set on floor of your home.
- Save Money: A root cellar cuts down on your food costs. You can store fruits and vegetables in large bulk. Whether you found a great deal at a local store, were given large quantities of food, or have a large garden, you can store them instead of them going bad. Months after your garden is done for the season, youâ€™ll still have plenty of fresh food at your disposal.
- Better Health: Root cellars encourage healthy eating. They store incredibly healthy foods. No foods with a hundred ingredients and a shelf life of ten years are found here. Youâ€™ll only find foods that will increase your vitality, contributing to a long and healthy life.
- A Chance for Generosity: You can share some of the extra food you have with someone who is in need of some. The great thing is that this can take place whether or not your garden is in season.
Certain fruits and vegetables are better choices for root cellar storage. Strawberries, for instance, would be a poor choice. Good choices would include produce such as beets, carrots, potatoes, turnips, onions, and other root vegetables. Apples are a great fruit to store and typically are kept in a separate cellar.
Here are 15 Root Cellar Plans to help you get started.
1. Root Cellar Plans from Mother Earth News
Looking for a project that is almost 60% done? Mother Earth News has a great article on utilizing a NEW concrete septic tank. The septic tank is buried on a hillside complete with door, venting system and more. In this article they recommend purchasing a new tank with slight defects to keep costs down. Root Cellar Plans
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