Harvest preserved: The I.G. learns about root cellars

I have not been very good at storing garden food. I did a better job with freezing things this year, sure. But storing food in such a way that it hangs out and survives for a whole winter? Not so much.

That’s not the case, though, for California native David Cavagnaro, a Decorah-area photographer who, with his wife, spend much of the winter eating out of the root cellar they built 17 years ago on their property. “We have almost as much fresh food here year-round as we did in California,” he told me.

Winter ‘08 CoverCavagnaro’s root cellar is one of the ones I profiled in my latest article for Edible Iowa River Valley. The winter 2008 issue, which features my piece, as well as features on locally-made maple syrup (including an amazing-looking recipe for Squash Bisque with Maple and Templeton Rye), a tour across the Iowa Wine Trail, and a profile of Jude Becker, who raises organic pigs outside Dyersville.

The magazine just hit the streets here in Iowa City—even the never-ending snow hasn’t kept it away. You can find a free copy in the usual locations, or pony up and order a subscription to have it delivered to your home. And if you aren’t local and don’t want to subscribe, just be patient—the article will be up on the Edible site once all the current issues are distributed.

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7 Responses to “Harvest preserved: The I.G. learns about root cellars”


  1. 1 steven February 12, 2008 at 8:11 am

    I’ve always wanted a root cellar. Something tells me your landlord won’t go for one.

  2. 2 Jenny February 12, 2008 at 1:18 pm

    Very cool. Do you come up with the article ideas, or are they assigned?

  3. 3 inadvertentgardener February 12, 2008 at 1:22 pm

    Steven, no, I definitely think the landlord would not smile upon the root cellar option…

    Jenny, often they’re assigned, but sometimes it’s a little of both. It’s fun to write for them!

  4. 4 chigiy February 12, 2008 at 7:22 pm

    It would be great to have a cellar.
    As it is our wine cellar is in our upstairs bedroom.
    Would that be a wine garret?
    Anyhoo, no cellar for us.
    My grandmother used to have a great cellar.
    It was huge and filled with all sorts of food she had
    canned.
    Good times.

  5. 5 inadvertentgardener February 12, 2008 at 7:45 pm

    Chigiy, a wine garret? Love it!

  6. 6 Curtis February 14, 2008 at 8:21 pm

    Would be good to have one for just the storing of veggies and a storm shelter.

  7. 7 inadvertentgardener February 19, 2008 at 7:52 am

    Curtis, ah, yes…for a storm shelter. And if the storm lasted for too long, you could always eat some of the stored-up veggies…right?


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