Gotta keep em cool!
Growing up back home, nearly everyone had a vegetable garden. It wasn’t always large enough to get enough, and some people had no luck growing certain things (I remember we could not get carrots to grow (not that that bothered me a whole lot!)), but nearly everyone tried to grow some potatoes at least to supplement the store bought.
But of course growing them meant having somewhere to keep them, and vegetables need to be kept cool. We had a pound made in the back of the basement, nice and cool and dark, and while the potatoes would get some sprouts, they generally kept all winter and were still good in spring. Some people also kept things in cool sheds, or as they were more commonly known stores.
But others had the more traditional method of storing them, and a common site to see growing back home was a door in the side of a hill, whether natural or artificial. People would dig out the hills, and wall them up inside, or make a walled shell and cover it with dirt that then became a hill, but whichever method you used, what you got was a root cellar. I guess the name came from the fact that they were used to store root vegetables, but who really knows!
All I know was as a kid, they seemed kinda spooky, dark, earthy, almost like something you’d read in a book about Merlin and Arthur, and I was fascinated by them! The picture on the left is the remains of the old cellar Uncle Hay had out on the garden. Time and Hurricane Igor has taken its toll it seems.
They aren’t as prevalent as they once were, but still lots have them, and I even remember an article I read recently about Elliston being the root cellar capital!
- How to make the most of your root cellar this winter (greenhomegnome.com)
- Starting A Vegetable Garden (simple-green-living.com)
Raised in outport Newfoundland in a town of 65 people, I pursued a post secondary diploma in Information Technology right out of High School.
I’ve always been a geek at heart, but yet I love the rural life I grew up with. Fishing, hunting, camping and the great outdoors are still loves of mine, even if I don’t pursue them as often as I once did. Sports were always a big part of our lives, and I played many (badly) and loved them all.
Gotta keep em cool!
- Ah A Good Old Double DoubleWhat? Coffee? No, I’m not talking about coffee. I guess memory fails us all over time, because my memory of this seems muddled with the facts. That said, its still interesting that in 1988, Newfoundland had double daylight savings time. Personally I’d as soon abolish daylight savings time, or standard …
- JannyingFrom downhomelife.com Jannying (or mummering) is a tradition from Newfoundland that had nearly died out until popularized in a song by Simani. I had never actually seen a janny until I became one myself. Traditions varied from location to location, but back home at least people would dress in in old …
- School MemoriesBy Barbara Smith Barbara wrote the following for a heritage site I was trying to get going. Unfortunately wasn’t getting interest, so I shuttered it. The post is still useful and insightful though! Back in the “really” old days, when dad (Hay Smith) was school age, the school in Aspen Brook had …