The Root Cellar Diaries to Date

January 11, 2012 at 10:30 am

Who keeps a root cellar in the suburbs?

Future Root Cellar

Future Root Cellar

Food-writer around town, David “Hat” Hammond.

The Cellar Getting Filled

The Cellar Getting Filled

Inspired from some things he saw last year as well as things he read about on the Local Beet, Hammond decided to expand his ability to eat local in the winter by keeping his own root cellar.  He had the ideal space in his basement, an old dark-room.  The room met the three primary needs of a root cellar: cold, dark, and wet.  Hammond decided to keep a diary of his nascent cellar and share it with Local Beet readers.  Of course, as we read along, we found out that a working cellar often has a fourth need, a good mouser.  If you have not followed his adventures in cellaring, the brace of cold ahead is a good time to catch-up, and for those reading the installments as they came in, here’s a time to see the story in its entirety (to date).  We expect another episode soon.

The Root Cellar Diaries by David Hammond

Returning to his roots, Hammond builds his cellar.

So it begins, putting the first bits away.

Getting down to basics, finding supplies in likely places?

Filling up.

Opening of the eyes, the first month of root cellar use.

We have seen the enemy, an unanticipated problem down there.

Survival of the fittest, help from a family friend.

How I would die on the prairie, in which we first notice rotting food.

David Hammond talks about food every Wednesday in the Wednesday Journal and Chicago Sun-Times and regularly on and WBEZ, 91.5FM.  You can also find him often on LTHForum, a food site he helped found and where he still works diligently as a Lead Moderator.