Root Cellar-Anybody Have One, Want One or Ever Build One?

baymule

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@digitS' I remember you posting your carrot pit! I don't know if that would work here, I think a clamp would be just another name for PLANTING. I suppose those methods work well for cold climates. A friend of mine told me about using a potato clamp when she was a kid, her mom dusted potatoes with lime, then put them in the clamp. She had to go dig them out when her mom was cooking. The clamp got covered with snow and the potatoes kept all winter.
 

bobbi-j

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Steve, do you get much snow in the winter? I could see where that would be a problem for us to bury our root crops for storage.

I'm hoping to turn part of a closet that's on an outside wall on two sides into a cold storage closet. I don't think it would take much. Divide the closet, and maybe put vents in one wall? Are vents necessary? I don't know. I know it already gets quite cool in there and we've kept potatoes in there in the past.
 

digitS'

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@bobbi-j , there is seldom more than 12" on the ground at a time.

Of course, I have seen snow cover at my home of greater than 3'.

The handiest set-up was one of those huge, 2-handled plastic buckets. They must be about 10 gallon or more. Stuffed that with pine needles and inverted, more pine needles below it, and about 8" of soil over the carrots.

The bucket kept the snow off the needles. Clean it off, flip it over and easily dig down to the carrots, parsnips and celeriac I've usually got in there.

Broken bucket, however. Need a new one.

Steve
 

Smart Red

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I have a cold room sectioned off in the basement. Not a real root cellar, but it keeps my veggies and over-wintering plant roots in good shape until spring. The corner has two outside concrete walls with the outside water pipe letting a bit more cold air in there than in the rest of the basement. Insulated walls keep the room dark as well as cool.
 

bobbi-j

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Our basement is finished and has floor heat throughout, so it wouldn't be a very good cold storage place. That's why we're considering the upstairs closet. Our old house (we lost it in a fire 11 years ago - it was built by my DH's great-grandfather in 1872) had a root cellar, but I never went down there. The ceilings were low, there were spiders in the ceiling and I have very thick hair and a fear of spiders. If we still had it... I still don't think I'd use it. :hide I always told DH that I didn't know if I'd even go down there in a tornado - I wasn't sure which would be worse!
 

Smart Red

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Our basement is finished and has floor heat throughout, so it wouldn't be a very good cold storage place. That's why we're considering the upstairs closet. Our old house (we lost it in a fire 11 years ago - it was built by my DH's great-grandfather in 1872) had a root cellar, but I never went down there. The ceilings were low, there were spiders in the ceiling and I have very thick hair and a fear of spiders. If we still had it... I still don't think I'd use it. I always told DH that I didn't know if I'd even go down there in a tornado - I wasn't sure which would be worse!
:gig:hugs:yuckyuck:hugs:gig Are you kidding? In a tornado? I'd probably stick a scarf on my head and attack the area with an old broom after bombing the spiders and other insects so I'd feel comfortable even sending the grands down there. Of course, I'm no shrinking violet even if I've been trying lately to convince DH that I am the "delicate flower" that he married.

It could be possible to section off a part of the basement, insulate the walls well and put a good layer of insulation between the heat and a false floor in that room as long as the outside walls were cold enough.
 

bobbi-j

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Nope, not kidding. Give me any other creepy crawlies you can think of - I can handle them. Snakes, lizards, bugs, even bats (although I don't like those indoors). Spiders, not so much. The little ones aren't so bad, it's the big, fat barn spiders the size of baseballs (OK, maybe not quite that big...) and the black ones with the pointy little elbows that get to me. When we were kids, my cousin would pick them up and threaten to put them on me. When we grew up and got married, I moved to the country and she and her DH came to visit. I took her out to the barn one evening to show her my animals, and there were two big barn spiders - one in each corner of the door. She was hesitant to go in the barn. I asked, "What's the deal? You were NEVER afraid of spiders when we were kids!" She said, "Well, it's the only thing you were afraid of, so I figured it was worth it not to be!"
 

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