DIY Root Barrel Cellar

This year we grew potatoes in our garden for the first time. We were really surprised at how big the potato plants grew. What we didn’t realize until too late, was that we were supposed to pile more soil on top of the young plants. You get more potatoes that way.

Despite our not adding extra soil, we still got a pretty good harvest. About 38 pounds.

We don’t eat potatoes every day, although we will be eating more now. So the question now is how to preserve those potatoes to make them last as long as possible.

Eric found (sorry I’m not sure where) someone who made a root barrel (instead of a root cellar). What a cool idea! So, we are going to try it out too. The theory is simple, the labor is hard work.

First you buy a barrel. We bought a metal barrel, but plastic would work well too. 

Dig a hole big enough for the barrel to fit into. This is the hard part. I’m so glad I didn’t have to do it. This project would have never gotten done if it was up to me. We have rock and clay and Eric dug through it in 100 degree heat. Love you honey!!

Drop your potatoes in; dirt and all. Washing your potatoes before storing them will make them go bad faster. Wait to wash them until you want to cook them. Oh, and do you see the condensation in the barrel on that top photo? That’s actually a good thing. While you don’t want it wet, higher humidity keeps veggies in a root cellar from drying and shriveling.

Put lid back on the barrel. Cover the lid with wheat straw and a tarp to help keep it cool.

Now, you can store all those delicious root veggies you grew in your garden.

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