Store potatoes in a root cellar for emergencies or long term use.
How do you store all that amazing produce you grow?
Pumpkins, potato, yam, sweet potatoes. Winter crops like turnips and swedes store really well in the right space as well. We have so many choices these days when it comes to building a root cellar, from burying a plastic rubbish bin and covering the top with thick straw (most simple) to digging a serious cellar, lining it and insulating it. It depends, I guess, on what you are trying to achieve. If you have a large enough space you can go the whole way and create a space that can store everything. As long as you go under ground you immediately benefit from thermal mass, thus removing the need for temperature control. If you keep this in mind it doesn’t matter what climate you are dealing with. The soil will maintain a cool temperature all year round!
I have to admit it is also a great way to hide food as a trap door can be easily camouflaged. Even if you go for the buried rubbish bin idea, a bale of straw can just look like mulch waiting to be used!
Planning is the key to a good root cellar. You need to know the rain fall of the area and make sure your area is water proof, it can be heart breaking if you lose a whole years crop due to mold. There are some specific requirements if you plan on storing lots of different produce together. If you are wanting to store fruit with onions etc. there are certain precautions you have to take. You can’t just place everything together and hope for your food to all remain fresh. Some items cannot be stored together because they release a gas called ethylene. Ethylene gas is a ripening agent,which hastens the decomposition of other produce.
You can find out more at these resources and happy root cellar building!
Here’s some different ways to build storage in the form of a root cellar, from complex to super simple!