A root cellar?
Isn’t that where grandmothers used to store canned goods and potatoes all winter? Yes. But, root cellars are making a fashionable return to homes around the country.
Hobby farmers, urban farmers, gardeners and back-to-the-land survivalists are using root cellars to store vegetables throughout the winter months.
In a New York Times article written in 2008, the author cites research by the National Garden Association:
“According to Bruce Butterfield, the research director for the National Gardening Association, a trade group, home food preservation typically increases in a rotten economy. In 2002, the close of the last mild recession, 29 million households bought supplies for freezing, drying, processing and canning. Last year that number stood at only 22 million — a figure Mr. Butterfield said he expects to rise rapidly.”
Building a root cellar
If you’re interested in building one yourself, there’s quite a bit of reading to do. Adding a root cellar to the basement of an existing home can be one method, or you can build a root cellar in your backyard from recycled materials.
Inhabitat, a reuse, recycle and do-it-yourself blog, has some interesting ideas about recycling common household items into backyard root cellars.
Making a root cellar out of an old garbage can seems fairly easy. Simply dig a hole deep enough to hold the can, put your vegetables in, apply the lid and cover the whole thing with a bale of straw. Bingo, you have yourself a root cellar that can hold vegetables all winter.
Other items you can use include old refrigerators and beverage coolers.
For more detailed instructions, visit Inhabitat.