Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

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Preserving Food Through Winter With a Homemade Root Pit

2/21/2012 12:01:21 PM

Tags: preserving food, root pit, underground food storage, cow manure uses, storing fruits and vegetables

TCarrots in a Buckethis story is from Judy Mimranek, submitted as part of our Wisdom From Our Elders collection of self-sufficient tales from yesteryear.  

I would like to pass this tip on before I forget it and it might be lost forever. I asked my dad how they kept their vegetables through the winter. He told me that they would dig a big hole called a "root pit" and stretch limbs across the top, then they would tie cabbages and carrots and the like to the poles and cover the whole thing with straw. The veggies hung upside down in the pit, and then on top they would place layers of straw and cow manure. When it snowed or would freeze and they had to get veggies from the pit, they would just lift the straw and dig in until they came to the produce they wanted. Then they would cut them off the pole and take them to the house, but only after they had covered the pit back up, of course! Daddy said the manure kept the whole thing from freezing all winter. How clever of those old timers! This could be a suggestion for those living in the north and needing an inexpensive way to preserve fruits and veggies during the winter.

Read More: Read a full article about homestead food preservation in Outdoor Root Cellars.

Photo Credit: Fotolia/ Eric Pothier 

Please send email submissions to with the subject line "Elder Wisdom" or send mail to: attn: Heidi Hunt, Re: Elder Wisdom, Mother Earth News, 1503 SW 42nd St., Topeka, KS 66609  

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