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Root Cellar Update: December Garden Veg

12.02.10

Well. Success. I’m very grateful that the principles of cellaring are not rocket science or prohibitively expensive. This is my first winter with a functioning root cellar for veg – built in a corner of my conventional concrete basement – and every last item in there is providing valuable education for how to manage my cellar moving forward.

So here I am, in December, with snow on the ground, and a good spell of -30C already behind us, and we’re still eating away at our garden produce. So what did we put up? How are the stores doing? I’m hoping to update monthly to advocate for this form of preservation, and hopefully reset some expectations surrounding eating local produce year round, grown on a small city lot. Ambitious? Perhaps.

Biggest surprises? I still have kale in my fridge from the late November harvest. I had read that putting leeks, dirt and all, in a bucket in the cellar is effective for keeping them. Success on that front. I only put up a bucket for testing out the theory – next year more will go this route. My box of  onions of various varieties and garlic are in awesome shape. I have a 5 gal pail of beets in sand, 3 bins of carrots in sand, 2 bins of Belgian endive roots in sand [to force for winter greens whites], about a third of a bin of potatoes [clearly need to grow more next year], 5 cases + of apple wine, horseradish, pickles and fruit syrups/jellies.

Optimal? No. A successful first year? Yes. We’ll see where we are in January.

Carrots in bins of sand - 3 bins remaining.

Pickled Carrots - many quarts left.

Potatoes - mostly french fingerling and norland left

Apple wine from our Red Sparkle tree - 5+ cases

Horseradish, both in sand, and in bags. The bagged ones are doing better.

Highbush Cranberry Syrup...failed jelly, but still useful.

Forono Beets - this one's limpish, but others below felt firm

Witloof Chicory roots in bins of sand, to be forced

4 Responses

  1. Standing ovation! I want to forage some horseradish next year. Or maybe I should grow some… but, I do know it can be found all over, My colleagues are always telling me that, yet we are never able to get together to find some. I need to plant some on the golf course to harvest!
    :)
    Valerie
    Next time you want to make jelly, call me, and I will come over.

  2. I have a cold room in my house and will be experimenting next season with all these ideas. I have heard about the sand thing. I can hardly wait until it is fully functional.

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