This is a first for me, despite it likely becoming an annual ritual for decades to come: airing out the root cellar. I’d noticed starting sometime in May that my 1 year old cellar was starting to smell like that of some old grandparent. Musty, kinda stinky, but familiar enough to not be altogether unpleasant.
Then I remembered reading somewhere in a root cellaring book to air out the bins, sacks, pails, etc between storage seasons. That would be now. So outside they went today, to get bleached by the sun, dried of any excess humidity, and to allow me to take inventory of the room itself. Turns out a bucket of moldy root veg took up residence in one corner. A pail of salt water for humidifying could get emptied, rinsed, and re-purposed. Buckets and bins of sand and soil needed moving. Surprising how many little tasks lie down there. Thankfully, it’s a pleasant place to be when it’s hot outside.
So my first root cellaring season is over. A triumphant success. I’m already far more focused on producing more veg to put up than modifying my cellar in any way. It simply worked. Got down good and cold around freezing for months, and kept us in garden root veg until April. Dragging the bins out to air out felt like closure to that adventure, but moreso got me excited about the coming harvest season in a few short months. My potato plants are growing like mad. My cellar will remain door-ajar for the time being, fresh, and waiting.