Wednesday, July 27, 2011

Late Summer Project #1

I have lately been falling in love with the idea of a trash can root cellar. It's a funny thing to fall in love with, huh? Since I've started to grow my own carrots, potatoes, and onions, I've been thinking about how to store them through the winter. My basement isn't cool enough in the winter to keep the veggies at the temp they need to be, and I don't have one of those awesome, old-fashioned root cellars. I've looked and done some research about building your own outdoor root cellar, which seems awesome but like a lot of work that I don't have time or money to do right now. I did find a easy, do-able, cheap, and cute (of course a major factor haha) method from Mother Earth News, here.

Basically, it details the process of making a miniature root cellar:
  1. Purchase a 5- gallon bucket
  2. Cut the bottom from the bucket
  3. Dig a hole in the ground just big enough to hold the bucket with the top of it flush with the ground
  4. Fill the bucket with carrots (or onions, potatoes, turnips, etc)
  5. Place the lid on the bucket and place a bale of straw on top for insulation
5-gallon buckets seem like a great size too, because a whole standard-sized trash can seems like a lot! Also, what if I want a carrot and two potatoes and I've put all my storage crop into one trash can? Would I just reach my hand down through the levels o' veggies? Seems like having separate 5-gallons for each type is more practical for usage throughout the winter. Stay tuned for 'implementation phase' :)

1 comment:

  1. You might add a tarp to that arrangement, because by January, that bale of straw will weigh 150 pounds and freeze solid to the ground. (Ask me how I know...*wink*).

    Other easy things to try: onions and squash like it warmer and dryer than root veggies; they'll keep pretty well at 55-60 degrees, so your basement might be fine for those. If you have a garage or unheated porch, layer potatoes with damp peat in a 5 gal bucket and leave it there. That also works for beets, rutabagas, etc.