Root Cellar Diary, Part 2: So It Begins

Large quantities, good quality food, good prices

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By David Hammond

Our family has grown by a few people over the last month (we’re currently hosting two young and hungry relations), so now more than ever, we need to lay in a store of grub for the winter months.

With our root cellar (a former dark room) cleaned out, I put in the first bag of produce…purchased from Costco.

This ten-pound bag of medium-sized organic carrots cost like $5, so it was a good deal, and it’s too large to fit into our regular refrigerator (it takes up a whole crisper drawer). The root cellar seems the perfect place for it.

But this was not according to the original plan.

We had thought we’d just store farmers’ market produce, but I can’t really think of any reason why we shouldn’t store good quality produce from anywhere that we get at a good price and that we can’t keep elsewhere. The Costco carrots look good, and they are organic, so they seem to qualify.

My overall philosophy is that the root cellar – a kind of big refrigerator without the low temperatures – should be used to store relatively large quantities of  good quality food that we’ve bought at good prices.

All three of these factors seem critical: large quantities, good quality food, good prices. Without any one of these factors, the root cellar starts not making sense.

So I’m cool with putting in my root cellar good quality Costco stuff (which by definition will be a large quantity at a good price).

Next week, we start laying in a stock of vegetables from the Oak Park Farmers’ Market; I’ve had my eye on some of the better looking stuff.

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