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Root Cellar Science


_john
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What makes a root cellar a root cellar? What is the proper temperature and humidity needed to preserve root vegetables? Will a root cellar still work in a very humid climate? How do you select a proper site and construct a root cellar?

 

I am fascinated by root cellars and want to eventually build one on my property. I want to know as much as possible before undertaking such a big project so I have lots of questions. For those of you who have root cellars how do you use them? What things have you found to work and what presents problems? If anyone has built a root cellar I would me interested in any information and experiences you have.

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Canada's Ecology Action Centre says 95% is ideal, and has numerous practical suggestions. 

https://ecologyaction.ca/issue-area/root-cellar-basics

 

My father has been researching them for a few years but hasn't put his in yet. He'd sent me the link to this article in the Mother Earth News, in case I was ever interested...

http://www.motherearthnews.com/real-food/root-cellaring/fundamentals-of-root-cellaring-zm0z91zsie

“Who loves a garden, loves a greenhouse too.” - William Cowper, The Task, Book Three

 

"Not knowing the scope of your own ignorance is part of the human condition...The first rule of the Dunning-Kruger club is you don’t know you’re a member of the Dunning-Kruger club.” - psychologist David Dunning

 

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Solar cell charging an expired car battery for LED lights and ventilation fan is very practical and inexpensive.

 

Depending on where you are, a root cellar can be designed to be a tornado shelter also.

 

dcarch

 

 

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Depending on your weather and other conditions, you can also consider keeping certain crops in the ground for the winter, covered with a deep mulch. More about this method here:

http://www.rodalesorganiclife.com/garden/keep-them-cozy-right-ground

 

I was reading about this method in Edna Lewis's memoir-cookbook, The Taste of Country Cooking, just this week. Ms Lewis grew up in rural Virginia in the 1910s, 1920s. Her family used this method to store winter vegs.

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