Wednesday, December 14, 2016

Dear Santa, A Fifth of Jameson, New Underwear, and A Root Cellar Please






The decrepit house on our property, circa 1865, has it's positive points: it hasn't collapsed yet, it provides great shelter for our guard dogs, and it has an old root cellar.

Once we repair walls, stairs, put on a new door, close off the connected crawl space that extends under the house, empty it, clean it, build shelves in it...once we do those things; we'll have a usable root cellar. In theory.



We did not have such serious root cellar desire last year, as the summer of 2015 was very wet, we'd only been living here a few months and we still had income to buy vegetables. This year, however, we plunged into our garden jobs and thankfully, the land produced good amounts in return.

The problem has been storage.

In our feed shed we have an old refrigerator, unplugged, that served as dry storage for popcorn, and large potatoes, plus we were able to store pumpkins, sweet potatoes, onions and fingerling potatoes in open sided crates stacked on shelves and the floor. We also canned large amounts of other things like tomatoes, beans and more sweet potatoes which have been crammed in our small kitchen. But with the rapid decline in temperatures these last few days (wind chills of -7 tonight)  we knew these veggies left in the feed shed would freeze, so into the Looney Bin they came.

We now have sweet potatoes in coolers under our kitchen table, pumpkins tucked under the stair eaves, potatoes in the shelf unit behind the rocket mass stove and onions braided and hanging off the floor beams.

Feng Shui it ain't but at least we won't starve. Next year, we'll fix and fill the root cellar. It's a plan.

15 comments:

  1. I hope there's enough space for Dorothy and Toto down there!

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  2. There's always the Little House for this year, isn't there???

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  3. I wish I had an exterior access to my 5' high 'crawl space' under the 2 bedrooms. It would make a perfect root/storage cellar. But getting to it from the basement is problematic. *sigh* Glad you've got room in the LB for your home-grown goodies. Only 4F here and very windy. *shiver* Keep that rocket fired up today.... below zero for tonight.

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  4. We store our butternuts under the bed since we have no heat in our upstairs. I, too, would like a root cellar. SIGH!

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    1. The phrase "butternuts under the bed" made me giggle this morning.

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  5. Good heavens, that's cold! It's a bit cool for us--only sixty-seven degrees.

    Love,
    Janie

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    1. Sixty-seven. Don't take any chances Janie, wear a sweater. :)

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  6. We have no decent storage either. It didn't get about 10 yesterday but somehow the potatoes and onions in the garage seem ok. I also tried burying a bucket of potatoes out in the garden and covering them with straw. It makes me nervous to think about them.
    Very respectable wish list btw!

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    1. Let me know how the spuds in the garden come out. Have thought about trying that method myself

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  7. Root cellar envy- who knew I could get that? We have a damp, humid basement instead. Sigh

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    1. I sigh, you sigh, we all sigh for a root cellar.

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  8. As you said, Donna, you won't starve with all the produce close at hand, but I can imagine it can be a bit cramped with everything crammed into the loony bin as you call it. Hope you get your Christmas wish list filled.

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    1. It seems quite selfish though to complain about not having enough space because we have too many potatoes in the house. My Irish great grandfather who emigrated to the US just after the famine, would (rightfully) slap me silly.

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  9. Storage - that's it in a nutshell. We debate a root cellar too, but I think we're mostly too warm to put one to good use.

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  10. if you go to 'the deliberate agrarian' web log, which is now inactive [his new web log is 'upland'], there are directions for 'clamps' which is a method of storing root crops right in the garden, if you live in a place with a cold winter.
    the pictures show carrots that are as perfect after clamp storage as the day they were put in.

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