Pantry 004.jpg
Photo from Green Home Building

During the winter iciness, lots of people warm up by reading seed catalogs and planning their gardens. If you are among those sitting by the woodstove contemplating books full of DNA, you might want to think of where you will store all your grown goodies.

In a recent post about using the Prius as a backup power supply, a number of people remarked in the comments on the irony of using electricity to run a fridge in the winter. It seems that we should be able to keep our stuff chilly when it’s frigid outside. Some people have figured out this idea. A long time ago they figured out this idea. Root cellars can be found in many antique houses, and there are others located in the nether regions of plenty of off grid dwellings. If you use the natural temperature stability of the earth, then maybe you don’t need such a huge refrigerator. Eating locally grown food will decrease your reliance on food that has been trucked in from across the country or shipped from overseas.

In looking through some of the search results, it is easy to see that there are some very helpful writings in the root cellar community. You might check some of them out and consider if you could double up on your tubers and cabbage by adding a bit of storage space in a root cellar. If you are planning a new shed, maybe you could add a bit of capacity for storing produce below the frost line. Or maybe you want to go over the top and really build something spectacular to store your onions in.

Are you still enjoying last season’s produce? Do you have a root cellar? Have you built one for a friend, relative, community or weekend getaway? Is there anybody making a business from helping to build root cellars and other sustainable structures? Are people using root cellars in the cities or is it still primarily a rural pursuit? What are the best sources for seeds and plants? How seriously do you plan and tend your garden? Does your locally grown food last longer/taste better than the food from the store? Add your ideas to the comments, and send your photos and video over to the MAKE Flickr pool.