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Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits Vegetables

4.10  ·  Rating details ·  1,648 ratings  ·  59 reviews
Stretch the resources of your small backyard garden further than ever before, without devoting hundreds of hours to canning! This informative and inspiring guide shows you not only how to construct your own root cellar, but how to best use the earth’s naturally cool, stable temperature as an energy-saving way to store nearly 100 varieties of perishable fruits and vegetable ...more
Paperback, 320 pages
Published January 9th 1991 by Storey Publishing, LLC (first published 1979)
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Average rating 4.10  · 
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 ·  1,648 ratings  ·  59 reviews

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Nov 28, 2010 rated it it was amazing
If you have ever wondered how Ma in "Little House in the Big Woods" kept all her produce and harvest bounty so that Laura had good things to eat in January and never developed scurvy, this book answers all your questions. I can't believe there are so many methods to storing produce, besides canning and freezing, and I can't believe that I didn't know them before my 37th year. I did, after all, live in Iowa for the first decade of my life. Genetically I'm programmed to understand agriculture and ...more
Aug 10, 2012 rated it really liked it
A good book for building a root cellar. Includes information on what temperate and condition to keep numerous vegetables as well as many options for creating space both inside the house and out to keep those vegetable through the winter. There are excellent suggestions on where and how to build a storage facility to leave our home grown or locally grown produce in good shape for eating right through until spring.
Aug 19, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: gardening
Great resource for the home library. Various fruits, vegetables and more are discussed. Various styles for creating are shared.
Miriam Axel-lute
Aug 21, 2008 rated it really liked it
Shelves: food, how-to

Has almost as much about how to plan, grow, and harvest food for root cellaring as it does about making a root cellar (makes sense, of course). Pretty awesome. I like that it has very detailed fancy options, but also descriptions of people doing things much more simply. And that there are plenty of options that work if you're not out in the country. Looking forward to trying some of this ourselves next season!
Oct 08, 2008 rated it it was amazing
Very comprehensive book on root cellaring--truly the bible it was claimed to be. It made me mourn the dirt-floored section in our basement that we covered over with cement. Why? Oh why? How will we ever achieve 90-95% humidity now. Wail.
Mar 15, 2011 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Great information: the why and the how with plenty of details to actually get started.
Jul 07, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: garden-preserve
Such a good reference book and very informative. As someone who's very interested in being more self sufficient and independent from the current mass produced food system we have, it's very comforting to know there are these well preserved methods, which have been thoroughly tried and tested and proven to work. I am enjoying learning about all the old traditions our grand parents and great grandparents used in a life before convenience foods and large supermarkets existed. Becoming more self rel ...more
Alex Shrugged
I live in Texas so this book has limited (meaning zero) relevance to my situation. Any root cellar I might build here would not reach the temperatures required for a root cellar to work. The authors live in Pennsylvania, so most of their suggestions would only work for people in the Northeast, Northern Midwest and Northwest. Nevertheless, I found the book interesting because they provide information about how long foods might last in refrigeration, the issues with humidity and what makes certain ...more
Wolf Fortenberry
Aug 11, 2020 rated it it was amazing
As someone who has never even been in a root cellar, but has wanted one of her own for years, this book has been perfect. Not only have I learned what crops are good for cellaring, but what varieties, when to plant and harvest, how to store them, specific temps and humidity levels, how to build a variety of root cellars, and the most important components of root cellars to achieve the best results. This is an excellent book for someone looking to gain insight into the world of root cellaring.
Aleksandar Janković
I picked this book up hoping to find detailed plans and technical requirements for constructing a long lasting root cellar. I got that and so much more! The user experiences of different homesteaders were particularly useful, as was the growing guide and storage tips for various root cellar friendly crops. No wonder that many decades later, this is still the go to guide for root cellaring.
Jan 01, 2021 rated it it was amazing
If you want to build a root cellar/cold storage this is 100% the book you want.
Detailed information, drawings, details allows for different types of lands, different climates and location so that you can build the best root cellar for your land and your needs.
I am so very happy that they understand that one size doesn't fit all.
Jun 07, 2020 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
5 Stars

A wonderful book that includes a bit of everything needed to start your self sufficiency. The information is clear with excellent diagrams. I especially appreciated the recipes included in the back of the book to use the produce you have saved.
Dec 19, 2020 rated it really liked it
An interesting read with lots of detailed information that I will revisit on my second pass through the book. They cover a lot of different food storage techniques as well as tips for growing vegetables for storage.
Steven Ulatt
Nov 05, 2016 rated it really liked it
Very clear and concisely written.. A very practical book on how to keep your hard work from "spoiling". ...more
Eva Muhlhause
Jul 11, 2017 rated it it was amazing
A must have book if preserving food is a passion.
Oct 09, 2017 rated it really liked it
Pretty authoritative book on building and using a root cellar. There's enough detail in here that you will probably want to consult it as a reference (which means I should probably buy a copy).

May 17, 2018 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: practical
The book seems to be a rather complete beginner's guide to storing fruits and vegetables. If you have the time to waste. ...more
Michelle Becerril
Jun 14, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: homestead
I love this book. Lots of good information. I lost my copy of this book in a wildfire in Northern California. I am going to re-purchase it again.
Aug 11, 2019 rated it liked it
A handy guide about a timeless practice. Easy to read, helpful diagrams. It even includes some recipies. Has me musing aboit how we can set up a root cellar at home!
Mar 16, 2017 rated it really liked it
Shelves: ag-food
Any book that shows something as innovative as driving a truck into a hole in a hillside for use as a root cellar is a-ok with me.
May 09, 2014 rated it it was amazing
This book completely revolutionized the way I see my own home!

The Bubels opened my eyes to the possibilities we ALL have at our fingertips for storing our food. From fruits and veggies to nuts, cheese, meats and mushrooms.

This book walks you through everything you should know about root cellaring. The site selection and design of root cellars or other cold storage options (clamps, cold closets, etc.), the proper way to store various food items, even some methods of how to grow food that will sto
Jul 24, 2016 rated it it was amazing
This is a must read. I love the opening quote. Our children should enter adulthood with basic knowledge of how to store food over winter without the cooperation of a nuclear power plant a hundred miles away. every animal in the forest is taught this skill; we owe our children no less.

This is basic knowledge that all our children should not only learn but experience. Nit is what it means to be free. When we loosed these basic skills of thanking care of our selves we become dependent on someone el
Jan 29, 2009 rated it really liked it
"This is a truly comprehensive reference on root cellaring: selection of storage vegetables, planting strategies, storage techniques, construction information on various styles of root cellars, descriptions of actual root cellars, and recipes to use with storage vegetables. The book is well-organized and thorough, with good illustrations and photos, as well as nice reference tables. I felt the descriptions of actual root cellars dragged and wasn't excited by many of the recipes they suggested (i ...more
Dec 30, 2013 rated it liked it
I'm really impressed with how thorough, yet concise this book it. The chapters are short and divided in a way that you can skip to exactly the topic you need without missing out. I was afraid there wasn't going to be much usable information for an apartment renting city dweller like myself, but I was wrong. The author's take into account multiple living situations for most of the information they give and even include a section for planning your garden (community, porch, or backyard) with an eye ...more
Jul 15, 2010 rated it liked it
Three stars as i think the book too quickly makes the assumption that there is a time where the ground is frozen in all areas. Living near the SF bay it just doesn't get that cold here. Even still there were lessons to be learned about how/where to store goodies. There are inventive ideas like under existing porches and in closets along side the giant built structures or full basement conversions. The explanations were extremely detailed with great diagrams and easy to understand. ...more
Apr 05, 2014 rated it really liked it
The real name of this book should be “37 Ways to Store Produce Without Electricity.” Most of the storage methods here are not in what one would traditionally think of as a root cellar, and yet they all work, and multiple options are bound to be viable for you.

This book is on my shelf and I’m glad it is. I turn to it several times a year every year for storage ideas and look ups on ideal crop temperatures and humidity.
Jay Wright
Apr 06, 2016 rated it really liked it
One of my other hobbies is gardening. My wife and I have been becoming more self sufficient each year. We can some. We freeze much. We enjoy fresh fruits and vegetables. My great grandmother had a root cellar and I wondered if it might be right for me. This book gives you an in-depth look at what to grow, how to store it, and how to cook it. The book is delightful and I recommend it to anyone interested in food preservation.
Aug 11, 2008 rated it liked it
Shelves: food
Actually only read parts of this, mostly because I'm pretty sure that there is no way I'm going to construct a root cellar in our backyard. But I think I'm reasonably reassured that it might be possible to store winter onions in our sunroom, so it's not be a complete waste. Might be worth having around for future reference, for a different location or a harder time, perhaps. ...more
Oct 22, 2008 rated it liked it
Wouldn't it be great to have your own fresh veges all winter long that you grew yourself! I thinks so but I was a little disappointed that it is so complicated. Different vegetables need to be stored at different temperatures etc. There are lots of ways to do it though. At least you can easily store winter squash in your basement at a warmer temperature and they will last nicely. ...more
Jul 15, 2009 rated it liked it
Shelves: non-fiction
I loved this book, and thought it was very comprehensive and easy-to-read. Of course, this comes from the perspective of someone who knew absolutely nothing about root cellaring before I read the book. There are black and white photos and diagrams that show you how to build a root cellar, but you may have to do some supplemental research.
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