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DIY: Learn How To Build a Root Cellar From Recycled Materials

DIY: Learn How To Build a Root Cellar From Recycled Materials
Once upon a time, just about every household had a root cellar either beneath the house or built into the land nearby, where summer produce would be stored for use throughout the winter. Now that root veggies and hard-fleshed fruits are showing up at farmer's markets (and home gardens!), it's a great time to start storing these goods to enjoy during the cold months that are just around the corner. Building your own backyard root cellar from upcycled materials is easy to do, so you can channel your inner Ingalls and keep these great foods fresh and lively for months. Creating a cellar for food storage is an ideal method for many reasons: an underground chamber doesn’t see much temperature fluctuation, and during the colder months the conditions within will be nice and cool. In the days before every home had a fridge (and in places where electricity is scarce), root cellaring has been a way of keeping food from spoiling by simple refrigeration and humidity control. Pails Fridge/Freezer

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Root Cellar Plans The cool, moist and dark conditions of a root cellar make it the perfect place to keep many fruits and vegetables crisp and delicious for weeks — even months — of storage. And while there are myriad ways to store vegetables, our innovative root cellar plans show you how to build a root cellar by modifying a new, precast concrete septic tank. By following the plans, you'll cut an entrance, install a door, add a pair of vent pipes and cover the tank with soil to bring an old-fashioned, walk-in cellar into your modern life. Choose a Concrete Septic Tank You'll want to buy an unused septic tank for this root cellar design, but look for a deal to avoid paying full price. A percentage of all precast concrete septic tanks end up with small manufacturing defects that prohibit them from being used for sewage treatment.

How to Build A Root Cellar It’s easy to store your home-grown vegetables long term with a Root Cellar. A root cellar is an old-fashioned practice that will help keep your produce fresh and nutritious all winter long. There are many ways to set up a root cellar. But there are three things you must keep in mind: humidity, temperature and ventilation. Keeping these three things in mind you can construct almost anything that will keep your food stored for a longer period of time. Storing your summer and autumn harvest in a root cellar is smart. Mastering Food Preservation: Winter Storage Techniques An important part of eating locally year-round in Maine is learning to store food for the winter. To further knowledge about this, the Master Food Preserver Program includes a section on Winter Storage Techniques. Kathy Hopkins, the Somerset County Extension Educator, was the evening’s guest and spoke about creating a root cellar of our own. Root cellars are a way to store produce over winter, or until you have more time to can or freeze it.

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