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The Art & Science of Root Cellaring

Updated: Mar 3, 2020

Old timers were smarter than we think. Their understanding of root cellaring as an art or science led to the construction of simple outdoor root cellaring techniques and eventually the root cellar itself. Their mastery enabled them to subsist in very harsh climates.

In 1998 when Tourism Elliston Inc. embarked on a root cellar research project, it was those “old timers” who supplied all the information for all the research. During the restoration of 42 root cellars in 2000 and 2001, those same “old timers” showed us the “tricks of the trade” in root cellar reconstruction and construction.

Personally, I obtained first-hand knowledge and experience which no doubt heightened my interest in root cellaring and root cellars. I experienced first-hand a root cellar pride that was developing in Elliston, leading to the community establishing itself as The Root Cellar Capital of the World.

This information piece on root cellaring and root cellars is long overdue. Two excellent books on the subject, The Complete Root Cellar Book by Steve Maxwell and Jennifer Mackenzie and Root Cellaring by Mike Bubel provided me with many ideas and the structural plan to present this piece as a resource document for Tourism Elliston Inc. Rex Chaulk, one of those “old timers” of Maberly, recently stated that he “could still teach Calv a few things about root cellars.” Who am I to argue? Hopefully, this piece will entice more people to undertake the art of root cellaring.

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