Friday, July 8, 2011

History Of Food Storage: The Root Cellar

Welcome! I love history! Through history, we are better able to understand ourselves, where we have been, and where we are going.

Each week, I am going to share a bit with you about the history of food storage!

Lucky for us, food storage is the easiest and healthiest it has ever been! Start your home store today and you will always have fresh yummy food on hand for you and your family!

The Root Cellar

Root  Cellars are an ancient form of long-term food storage of foods and veggies and fermented beverages.

Early records show Root Cellars in use 40,000 years ago.

Native Australians were among the first to take advantage of the insulated properties of burying food.

Walk in food storage cellars were invented in the 17th century in England. This was the first appearance of the root cellar as we know it.

According to Hobby Farm, "the most notable practitioners of root-cellar arts were the early colonists that arrived in North America from the United Kingdom. The eastern halves of America and Canada contain thousands of old root cellars, and the small Newfoundland town of Elliston actually claims the title of “Root Cellar Capital of the World,” and boasts of over 135 root cellars, some dating back 200 years."

How Does it Work:

Root Cellars were essentially the first refrigerators. The under ground storage provided a dark cool environment to store produce and slow or prevent spoilage. A good root cellar can often be 40F cooler than the outside temperature.

You can store just about anything in your root cellar! Some preparations and precautions are needed for some items and to prevent some produce from causing a bitter taste to others. One cellar may be used for items needing a high humidity, and a lower humidity cellar for other goods requiring a lower humidity such as canned foods, and grains.

According \ Wikipedia, "Vegetables stored in the root cellar primarily consist of potatoes, turnips, and carrots. Other food supplies placed in the root cellar over the winter months include beets, onions, preserves/jams, salt meat, salt turbot, salt herring, Winter squash, and cabbage.Separate cellars are occasionally used for storing fruits, such as apples. Water, bread, butter, milk, and cream are sometimes stored in the root cellar also. In addition, items such as salad greens, fresh meat, and jam pies are kept in the root cellar early in the day to keep cool until they are needed for supper."

Want to learn more or build your own root cellar?

Check out this great article or this one at Hobby Farm Magazine.

Start your own Chapter in Food Storage History today!

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1 comment:

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