Above Ground Root Cellars: Essential Info to Get Started

Long before there were refrigerators, people used a variety of techniques to preserve food. These include methods like pressure canning, curing, pickling, and dehydrating.

But perhaps the most overlooked and underestimated method is the root cellar.

What is a Root Cellar?

A root cellar is essentially an underground “cave” which is cold, dark, and humid.

Vegetables can last for months when stored in a root cellar. Usually crops were put in the root cellar after the harvest so they could be eaten throughout the winter.

Why Would You Want One?

Root cellars are incredibly simple structures and fairly easy to make. Despite their simplicity, they are very effective at preserving foods without any power at all.

Some of the reasons why root cellars have gained popularity include:

- Storage for homegrown food - Reduce electricity costs - Keep stockpile of food at home - Going off-grid - More pantry space

Storing Food in a Root Cellar

Root cellars generally need to be kept just above freezing (32-39°F/0-4°C). The humidity levels also need to be kept well above 80%.

What Can Be Stored?

Not surprisingly, root vegetables do best in root cellars. Some of these include: Beets Parsnips Carrots Celeriac Horseradish Winter radishes Salsify root

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