Tuesday, June 17, 2008

Root Cellars

To the left is a plastic garbage can used for root storage.  Not shown are holes drilled in for air circulation and rocks placed at the bottom.  Root vegetables are wrapped in polyprop. (plastic) in layers.  You have to make sure that the top layer of dirt allows for drainage away from the garbage can and adding a layer of straw helps keep the lid cool without freezing.  Root vegetables and fruit should not be stored together as the gas fruit emits will ripen vegetables.

To the right is a typical Polish root cellar in Rzsezow, Poland.  I located one in Rzsezow because a large majority of Poles in Detroit were from this area and this would be similar to what root cellars may have looked like years ago in Poletown.  There's something to be said about how the old basements in homes used to be.  A dirt floor could be dug up and cold storage would be placed underground.  Most homes back then had a cellar just for food storage.  My grandmother had one in her basement (Spotlessly clean.  No such thing as dust in my grandmother's home!).  It's unfortunate that homes are no longer built to actually store food that is grown.  We live in such an instant and overworked country that we believe we have no time for such things.  They're the usual bigfoot homes with drywall, rather than plaster -basically better looking mobile homes but just as crappy and without the land lease.   It's my kids' generation who crave all that indoor space but with a bargain basement price tag (Quality craftsmanship for a 5,000 sq. ft. home WILL NOT cost 350k.  Try 2.5 million-plus instead).  All that room and no cellar.  What is it that we're calling that generation these days?  Oh yes, "The Millennial Generation"......their sense of entitlement is so inspiring (not).   

I've just realized, having finally looked under the crawl for half of my home that it is just about perfect for cold storage.  There are no rodents, pea gravel lines the soil (There's no concrete under our house as flooring) and it's an even, cool temperature.  Next year, when I try my hand at potatoes (I've always failed at it), this will be the place to store tubers.

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