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Encyclopedia of no-energy food preservation
on August 31, 2004
This book is a vast resource of information about root cellars, how to build them, and how to use them. The Bubels contend that even city apartments dwellers can arrange some sort of cold food storage area with a little imagination and a few suggestions from those who have done it before. The book has 6 parts: choosing good storage vegetable varieties, harvesting for keeping quality, storing crops in the root cellar, root cellar ideas for those who don't currently have a root cellar, root cellaring experiences, and recipes. At the end of the book is a bibliography for further reading, a list of plant sources, and an index. The book is amply illustrated with diagrams and black-and-white photographs.
I didn't expect to find much in this book that I haven't read elsewhere. Since my house didn't come with a root cellar, I wasn't very optimistic about finding anything in the book that I could use. Fortunately, I was way off-base in these assumptions. I was amazed at the variety and detail of information that the Bubels provide. The sections on choosing seed varieties and determining when to harvest are extremely useful, even if you're only going to put your harvest in the refrigerator. They also explain the different types of storage conditions required for different crops- -some like it cool and moist, and others warmer and dry. But what gave me real hope was all the ideas about un-root cellars that people have constructed and made good use of for storing vegetables. Their examples include everything from insolated window baskets for apartment dwellers to buried package trucks. One idea that might work well for my situation at least for the time being is a buried refrigerator. Down the line, if I have extra time on my hands, I could trade up for a real dug root cellar, following the plans in the book. If you're a gardener, you'll find something of use for sure in this book.