Wednesday, May 30, 2012

Taters in the Root Cellar

Ran to the grocer and found that a 10 pound bag of potatoes was on sale for $2. They didn't look too bad so I bought up 5 extra bags and brought them home to store in the root cellar.

I put down a box (an old beehive) and put the taters down in layers and covered them with dry sand. I picked through the ones that had any sort of damage or rot already on them. One beehive held 20 pounds of potatoes, so I added another layer to get my 40.

This is one of the old ways of storing potatoes. It would probably work better with potatoes from the garden instead of these already-past-their-prime grocery store potatoes, but we work with what we have. If nothing else it will keep them from rotting over the next 3 weeks as we eat them all up.


Mamma Bear said...

Earnest...Have you checked the temp in your cellar since building it? I am curious as we live in Florida and want to build one.

Ernest said...

I have! Constantly. :)

As you may know, I'm addicted to math and metrics and data collection, so I've been keeping track since it was built.

It seems to stay a pretty constant 78-80 degrees in there. This morning it was 72 outside and the root cellar was about 76. Now it's 97 outside and the root cellar is 78.

I don't yet have the door on or have the roof completely covered and finished and that may cool it off even more when there's a little trap to prevent air exchange.

It's not as cool as I would have liked it, but it should suffice.

Mamma Bear said...

Thanks for that info. Even without the door or completed roof, you are getting temps of an average house with potatoes stored in a "Tater Bin" A 10 pound bag last me several weeks if I check every once in a while and remove the bad ones. Same as for onions.

We have been thinking that when we build our new pole barn that we might put a root cellar under it. We'll have to concrete block ours as we have nothing but sand here.

Ernest said...

Also keep in mind that in my area the normal daily humidity is less than 35%. Today is an unusually humid day at 48%. That helps quite a bit preventing mold and such.

Some experimentation will have to be done to see how long potatoes and such actually keep down there in the fall. I have almost no root crops planted this year (space and water) and won't until the fall, so I doubt I'll be testing that out this year. Maybe next, God willing.