Traditionally, a root cellar is an underground structure where fruits, vegetables, nuts and other foods can be stored safely for use throughout the winter. Some structures were built only partially underground and then manually covered over. The idea was to construct a space that remained at a constantly cool, but not freezing, temperature to help preserve the shelf life of fresh foods. Today, it is possible to construct a root cellar in your basement and get the same benefits, according to Mother Earth News.
The main benefit as stated above is that root cellars can preserve the life expectancy of many fruits and vegetables over the long, cold winter months. This allows you to grow your own produce or purchase enough locally grown produce for your family’s use in the off season.
Because the temperature and humidity remains constant year round, basement root cellars are also vital in the summer. They can keep the heat and humidity of the hot summer months from causing early spoilage of produce.
Basement root cellars are also ideal for storing wine and other homemade alcoholic beverages. The same conditions that work for produce work for these items too. These storage areas can also be used for keeping supplies of water, milk, butter and cream.
If you are a gardener, you know that sometimes crops come in better than anticipated. A basement root cellar can provide the storage needed to hold the overflow and keep it fresh.
Useful and effective, a basement root cellar is one of the best ways to preserve the foods you love. The basement itself is too warm for this purpose so a specially vented room should be constructed in an out of the way but accessible part of the basement. It will allow you to put fresh fruits and vegetables from your garden on the table all winter long.