I don’t have a root cellar in my house (yet!), so I’ve been particularly intrigued by the chapter entitled “Trenches, Keeping-Closets and Other Vegetable and Fruit Hideaways” in Root Cellaring by Mike and Nancy Bubel. (Someday I will return this book to the public library and let someone else have a turn.)
The chapter covers both outdoor and indoor methods of storing food. Outdoor methods include burying a barrel or creating a dirt mound, and insulating with straw, leaves or similar materials. Indoor methods involve sussing out unheated areas of you home: attics, porches, unheated guest bedrooms. Keep in mind that you are looking for a variety of types of spaces – cold and damp for root vegetables, cool and dry for onions and garlic, somewhat warmer and dry for squash.
So, now I’m on a mission to turn the cold and underused spaces in my house into vegetable storage empires!!
The possibilities at my house include:
– an unheated front porch
– an unheated back porch
– an unheated basement
The first step will be to put thermometers in those rooms. They get really cold in the winter, but I don’t know if the temperature drops below zero.
I’ve been storing apples, potatoes,and squash in the back porch all fall. In general, it’s going well; however, I did lose a few small pumpkins early on. Perhaps they weren’t properly cured, as the butternut squash have been doing just fine.
So, here’s my challenge to you. Do you have a storage spot in your home? Have you ever stored veggies there? Or would you be willing to try? If so, leave a comment below and tell us about it!
(And if you don’t have a storage spot indoors, but you do have a backyard, please tell Keltie. She got inspired by the outdoor methods and is desperate to dig a hole somewhere. 🙂 )
Yours in Food,