“Long before the first refrigerator was sold, everyone had a root cellar.” Quoting some dude I saw on You tube I would just as soon not to give a link to. 😉
One of the simple pleasures in life for me is going down in our basement and grabbing some potatoes and onions from the root cellar. Five years ago, I read an article about turning a corner of your basement into a cold storage area, so I decided to build one.
It really works. 🙂
From November through March we have a walk in cooler that costs nothing to run, harnesses the outside air temperature as well as the earths natural temperature to keep things cool. I never grew up around something like this so what a rush it is to discover something new (really it’s just a somewhat forgotten idea our great grandparents probably used, pr-electricity)
(The temperature in the winter months ranges from 32 to 45 degrees in the cooler.)
I was fighting a flu bug yesterday and saw a recipe for home-made potato soup on face book.
This is the picture that snagged me:
This was the first food that sounded good to me so I decided to make a batch. When I went down to the root cellar to grab the potatoes and onions I thought, you know, I really should write a short post on this topic.
Everybody needs a root cellar! 😉
One of the things that fascinates me is how many different ways there are to do the same thing. It can be overwhelming when you enter a new area of life. All the well-meaning advice from all the “experts” on how to do this or that. It can be something as simple as how to make a batch of potato soup, how to build a harvest table, or how to construct a root cellar in your basement. In construction, I’ve discovered, there are usually at least 3 ways to do the same task. I am convinced many of us raised in the American educational system from the 1960’s and 70’s had the creative impulse drummed out of us. We are afraid to make a mistake. Ever heard the story about the little boy in art class who was told to draw a flower?
“We are going to make flowers.”
“Good!” thought the little boy,
He liked to make beautiful ones
With his pink and orange and blue crayons.
But the teacher said “Wait!”
“And I will show you how.”
And it was red, with a green stem.
“There,” said the teacher,
“Now you may begin.”
The little boy looked at his teacher’s flower
Then he looked at his own flower.
He liked his flower better than the teacher’s
But he did not say this.
He just turned his paper over,
And made a flower like the teacher’s.
It was red, with a green stem….
( You can read the rest of this story here.)
I bring this up just to encourage you. If you happen across this post and have questions about making your own root cellar, don’t hesitate to leave a comment. I would love to help you out if I can. In my real life (when I’m not writing blog posts) I am a carpenter who loves what he does and have been doing it for 35 years. Does it make me an expert? Nada. But I do know a thing or two about what doesn’t work. 🙂
One last thought..you don’t need to be living in the country to build a root cellar in your basement. If you have a basement with an exterior window, you are on the home stretch!
If you have an extra few minutes, the following TED talk is well worth your while. He talks about the natural creative impulse in children, plus he is funny!
This clip will give you an idea of how our cellar functions:
Here are a couple of links you might find helpful:
I would love to hear your thoughts on root cellars, the creative impulse, or anything this post may have stirred up. DM