How long can you keep garden produce in a root cellar? Would you believe 18 months? Let me explain.
Shortly before writing my book on root cellars, I did an experiment with beets from my garden. I took the best of the long-keeping beet variety I grew that year – Cylindrica was the name – and I tried to keep them as long as possible in my root cellar. Cylindrica is a very sweet heirloom beet that first appeared in 1892. I dug these beets from the garden, then stored them in my root cellar the best way I knew how – in a sand can – specifically to see how long they would keep if I really pushed things.
A year and a half later (yes, 18 months!), I took the last of these beets out of storage. They were still surprisingly crisp and completely preserved, though they had lost some flavour. This was unusual root cellar success, but it shows what a root cellar can do under ideal conditions when pushed to the limit. Growing food for a root cellar and creating your own home root cellar is what I’ll be teaching online in a live “camp” on December 5th and 6th. I’ll be teaching this camp with my colleague and urban gardener extraordinaire, horticulturalist and college instructor, Steve Biggs.
If you grow food or just want some place to keep produce that you buy in bulk and in season, a household root cellar can offer real benefits to you and your family. You don’t even need a big, lavish cellar, either. All this and more is what I’ll be teaching about with my friend, Steve.
Learn About Growing & Cellaring
This live, interactive video event will happen by video in real time over two evenings, from 7pm to 9:30 pm eastern standard time. Anyone in the world with a phone or computer can join us and learn.
Topics covered in the camp include:
- Picking top crop varieties for root cellar storage
- Understanding crop storage needs
- Complete your harvest for longest storage results
- Tweak that under-the-front-steps “cold room” so it actually works for food storage
- Make a new root cellar in your basement or outdoors
- Store crops in the garden without a root cellar
- Student Q&As answered in real time as part of the camp.
Both sessions will be live and interactive, with Steve and I teaching together. Steve will talk about growing food for cellar storage, and I’ll be teaching mostly about root cellar construction and use. Lots of specific details, live questions-and-answers from students, plus downloadable root cellar plans for creating four different root cellar designs – everything from modifying your cold room, right up to building a stand-alone root cellar just like they had in the olden days.
If you’ve always wanted to make root cellars part of your life, we made this online camp is for you.
Click below to learn more about attending – Plan a Root Cellar & Root Cellar Garden. Besides learning about this fascinating and useful topic, it would be great to meet some of you in person. It will be fun to connect live and say hello after all these years.