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Anybody know how to make a root cellar?

I figure I might as well buy six month's worth of potatoes and stash 'em away.

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chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

lift your potatoes as late as you like but before very hard frost sets in

leave em on the ground for a day or two to 'harden' the skins

bring em inside and keep em in complete darkness

my books say that you can use anything to store them, a metal tub or large utility can, just leave some ventilation. leaving them on the dry floor in a heap is also acceptable, so long as they stay always in darkness.

we used to have what we call here a "michigan cellar," which had a dirt floor and 'unfinished' walls. the ground was hard and dry and we never flooded or had insect issues. i'm fairly sure its outline was significantly smaller than the footprint of the house that sat on it.

Submitted by lambert on

But with an ickier floor (dust, and no doubt plenty of hydrocarbons from over the years.

But cool, complete darkness? Check.

How about things like winter squash?

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chicago dyke's picture
Submitted by chicago dyke on

sweep it up, lay down some newspaper or thin cloth, it should be fine. erect some shelves. make it a proper storage space. forget ikea, do it like they did at the manor house way back when.

squash and pumpkin are a little more tricky. i'm not seeing the signs they'll last a long time, and the refs i just looked at say
-cut a fairly long swath of vine when you harvest them
-summer and sweet squash should be harvested small and young
-elevate those you store, in a net (that's a lot of work if you don't have lots of storage space to have hanging veggies in large amounts)
-keep them warm, 50-60F.

so the cellar may not be right for that.