According to Wikipedia root cellars are for keeping supplies at a low temperature and steady humidity. They keep food from freezing during the winter and keep food cool during the summer months to prevent spoilage. The most common veggies to be stored in a root cellar are potatoes, turnips, carrots, beets, onions, preserves/jams, salt meats, winter squash, and cabbage.
Most root cellars were built using stone, wood, mortar (cement), and sod. Newer ones are made with concrete and sod on top. Common constructions methods: 1. Digging into the ground and building a shed or house over the cellar (access via a trap door). 2. Digging into the side of a hill (easier to excavate and helps avoid water damage). 3. Building a structure at ground level and piling rocks, earth, and sod around and over it. Our style is very 18th century with a bit of modern flare; a simple basement or crawl space won't do, we're going to opt for an old fashioned root cellar.
Here are some cool pictures I found on the Internet of old root cellars. My mind is going crazy thinking about all of the wonderful bottles of salsa made from veggies we grow in our garden, homemade butter, golden honey, and delicious jellies we'll store in our root cellar.
How do you store your preserves?Happy Storage Planning!