Blog: Root Cellars Return

June 11, 2009

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Have you been intrigued by the increased chatter about root cellars? They seem to be experiencing a revival. I looked back at The Old Farmer's Almanac archives and was not surprised to see some useful information.

Here are the highlights of what I learned. There are several great benefits to having a root cellar.

  1. Root cellars are an incredibly energy-efficient way to store root vegetables, including beets, carrots, parsnips, potatoes, and turnips.
  2. You can keep root vegetables stored all winter long—until your garden or farmer's market offers new greens in the spring.
  3. Many root cellars, especially from the past, are dug into the ground or under the house, using the earth to naturally cool, insulate, and humidify.

Today, an insulated corner of the basement can create the proper conditions as well as give you easy access during the winter. A temperature of 32–40°F and a humidity level of 85–95 percent are required to stop the food's decomposition and evaporation.

To learn more, I've posted more Almanac tips on how to keep your root cellar cool as well as advice on how to store fruits and vegetables.

Do you have a root cellar or plan to add one? Are more people using root cellars where you live? Please add your comments below!

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