Thursday, June 4, 2009

Root Cellaring

I've been thinking about how we make what we grow last a bit longer. Last year, we had two random acorn squash plants sprout from seeds that weren't cooked enough in the compost pile. We were able to store away about four or five squash and ate them periodically through the late fall and early winter. In addition, we also canned some homemade pickles that Sara cooked up (a few of those jars are still left).

Since then I have been thinking about root cellars and other ways of storing our veggies. I picked up "Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits and Vegetables" by Mike and Nancy Bubel at Essex Library and have been giving it a read through. There is material on everything from planning your garden for the right types of crops to root cellar designs to recipes for all those veggies you've stored away. The nice thing is that they offer designs for gardeners of all types who might live in places where the traditional basement abode is not practical.

I don't know how much we'll be able to store away, but I'd like to try my hand at it. This year, I think I'll focus on some winter squash, potatoes, and carrots. Of course, that assumes that the yield will be successful enough... that could be a pipe dream. Nothing ventured, nothing gained, eh?

I'm curious -- do you have a root cellar or know of someone who has? How have you made out?

For me, it's all part of this quiet, yet seemingly unyielding desire to be more self-sufficient even in the midst of suburbia; eat with the seasons more; slow down. Talk about a pipe dream...

No comments: