Urban Root Cellars: The Next Trend in Food Preservation?

Urban Root Cellars: The Next Trend in Food Preservation?

Trying to eat locally grown produce is easy in the summer, when farmers' markets are bursting with fruits and vegetables, but what happens once winter descends and your market closes for the season?

Last week The Globe and Mail wrote about the urban revival of an old-fashioned means of food preservation: the root cellar.

Usually built into underground spaces, root cellars provide the humidity and above-freezing temperatures needed to keep fruits and vegetables fresh throughout the winter. They can be simple, like a cool corner of a basement, or complex, like an architect-designed cellar with shelves built to house specific foods that do best at a certain temperature or humidity.

But there's no need to get expensive or fancy. And you can even share your cellar:

In Newfoundland, root cellars built from soil, stones and wood have been part of the culture for centuries because they were the only way to keep enough vegetables, salted meat and cod to get people through long, wet winters. In some villages there were even communal root cellars.

Living in Southern California, with its unpredictable temperatures and general lack of basements, I probably won't be building a root cellar anytime soon, but I still like the idea of tucking a few winter squashes into a cool cupboard for meals several weeks down the road. For those of you in colder climates, have you ever thought about having a root cellar?

Read the full article: The Food Storage Secret Our Grandparents Knew

Related: Root Vegetable Storage: Vegetable Store Box

(Image: Flickr member elisfanclub licensed under Creative Commons)

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