Fig. 1––This suggests an arrangement for
storage in a cool cellar.. An earth floor is best, as it gives off some
moisture. If the floor is of concrete it should be covered with 2 or 3
inches of sand and this should be sprinkled with water occasionally. In the
drawing a pane in the upper part of one window is shown to be missing. This
is to allow the escape of heated air. In severely cold weather close these
openings. The stove pipe fitted into the place for one of the lower panes
admits cold air. Instead of a stove pipe a wooden flue, made of old boards
or parts of boxes, may be used. Bins and boxes should be placed on slats to
lift them from the floor and allow circulation. For this same purpose bins
and boxes should be at least one or two inches from the wall. Air holes
bored in sides and bottom of bins and boxes help circulation. Protect glass
jars from light.
The suggested arrangement in Figure 1 shows ventilation afforded by a
stovepipe inserted through one of the lower panes of the window, to admit
cold air and indicates the removal of one of the upper panes of glass to
allow the escape of warm air. This affords constant circulation.
An earth floor is desirable, but this is not always
possible, as most city and many town and country houses have floors of
concrete. In a cellar with a concrete floor the concrete should be covered
with two or three inches of sand, which should be sprinkled with water from
time to time.
In this room may be stored Beets, Carrots, Cabbage,
Celery, Parsnips, Salsify, Turnips and Potatoes. (Special attention is given
Potatoes on page 28.) Put them in bins or in boxes, baskets, slat crates or
barrels. It is best to use movable containers and small ones. Bins should
not hold more than two or three bushels apiece, as the larger bulk brings
danger of heating and consequent decay. There should be full protection from
The vegetables should be harvested when the ground is
dry, if possible, and should lie outdoors a few hours until any surface
moisture on them has evaporated. Remove the tops, leaving an inch or so,
from beets, turnips, carrots and salsify. To leave an inch or so of top
prevents bleeding and drying out. Sort vegetables according to size and
condition. Imperfect or bruised ones should be selected for immediate use
and only sound vegetables should be stored.
In cellar storage beets, turnips and carrots may be buried in slightly damp
sand to good purpose.
Cabbages may be stored in the cellar in boxes or
barrels of earth or sand, or they may be placed in a cool cellar on the
floor with roots up.
Celery, to be stored in a cellar, should be allowed to
stay in the garden until there is danger of severe freezing. In order to
prolong the period of keeping it outdoors the plants should be protected
from frost by banking them with earth to within two or three inches of the
tops. On cold nights protect the tops with paper, burlap, mats, straw or
other covering. The importance of not harvesting at the first appearance of
frost arises from the fact that this period is likely to be followed by warm
weather, which will cause decay by creating too high a temperature in the
place of storage. With the arrival of steady cool weather, which will freeze
the plants, dig them, leaving some soil adhering to the roots. For cellar
storage place the plants upright, covering the roots with three or four
inches of sand or light soil. (Fig. 2) Earth may be banked around the stalks
but this is not necessary. Water the soil occasionally, being sure to keep
the leaves and stalks dry to prevent decay.
Fig. 2––For storage in cellar without heater
celery should be set in two or three inches of sand or light soil and the
plants then banked with soil. The soil must not be allowed to become dry.
Celery may also be stored in cellar boxes, following
these same directions.
The cellar storage room may also be used for the
storage of fresh fruits and for canned goods, preserves and dried vegetables
and fruits. Fig. 1 shows a suggested arrangement for shelves for canned and
dried articles. If the shelves are not protected from light by doors all
canned goods in glass should be wrapped in brown paper, to prevent bleaching
of the contents as a result of exposure to the light.
Wide fluctuations of temperature should be avoided. The
ideal temperature is 40 degrees F. The root cellar should be kept at not
less than 32 degrees and not over 50 degrees.