Tuesday, September 6, 2022

Fine Art Tuesday

Root cellar edition

Different goods "want" different conditions of humidity and temperature

Nearly all goods do better with darkness or very low light

Use what you have available for materials and natural features.

Store what you will use or are passionate about

Visit it often to purge food that is spoiling

Make sure you have a door where you can enter when the snow flies

Half of this cellar is sub-grade and it was covered with a short cap of mixed building materials.



  1. I remember my granddad farm had 3 different root cellars
    all of them spaced apart from each other. I was told in case of a fire, they would not lose everything. one of them had a small creek running thru the middle of it. it always was very cool in that one. I was told that was where they kept the milk and butter before they got a fridge in the house
    the one closest to the house had a smoke house built over it
    that one was all made with stone for the most part.
    the place got busted up after grandma passed on.
    shame, really. I spent a lot of good summers there

    1. Brilliant!

      Some things don't like to be stored with each other. Potatoes do not like to be stored with apples, for instance. Squash wants warmer and dryer than most roots. Grains want it very dry and so on.

      Not just firewalled from each other but they probably had different temp/humidities and some things did better in one cellar than another.

      Your grandparents were geniuses.

  2. Great way to teach us and show fine art as well. Thanks !

  3. With the Squaw being extremely paranoid of tornadoes and myself working in the power industry most of my life and both of us into growing and preserving our own organic food we decided to put in a combo root, fall-out , storm shelter by digging it out on the back wall of the basement . It is perfect for many things but as ERJ stated we find now we need another one or two cellars for things that like it dryer / warmer etc . Oh well . As the squaw says " put it on the list " , heh .

  4. Wow, amazing... I've been wanting to build one for years. Inspiration!

  5. I'd like to have one but am doing my research carefully first due to the cost and effort required.

  6. I’ve always wondered, how did they keep mice, etc from raiding the cellars? I don’t know much about them but I wouldn’t think they would’ve been too tightly constructed. I imagine that my maternal great-grandfather, whom I unfortunately never met, probably had one on his farm in upstate NY in the early 1900s.

  7. My (still mostly, despite years of work, falling down pre-Victorian croft/farmhouse) has two (plus the obligatory basement cool-store and stone pantry).

    One is, in fact, an ice-house where they stored frozen chunks of ice hacked out of a specially constructed reservoir/pond next to the stream running through the land.

    It makes you realise, our ancestors weren't just smart, but innovative, unbelievably hard workers and ... perfectionists (you have to see the stone-work to understand). That they did, what would take modern construction methods and machinery a week to do, with hand tools and sweat, often on their own is ... awe inspiring.


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