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The Benefits of Root Cellars and Cold Rooms

Root cellars have been around for a long time. 40,000 years according to where Native Australians discovered that burying yams preserved them. Europeans took back the concept in the 1600’s and developed the root cellar. adds that in North America, root cellaring turned out to be a very helpful (life saving) way of making it through the long harsh winter.

But this is old, obsolete technology that’s no longer needed, right?

Well, not really. Root cellars, and the classic ‘cold room’ roughed-in under the concrete porch, are still quite common in Canada. Over the last 4 or 5 generations (i.e. the age of refrigeration, ‘cheap’ energy, and industrial agriculture) the vast majority of us have lost touch with the practice of storing produce.

The amazing benefits of Root Cellars and Cold Rooms root cellaring has cool inherent benefits regardless of where your food is grown:


• A root cellar mimics and harnesses nature

• Works even when the grid is down

• No moving parts to break

Save Money, Energy efficient!

• No electricity required for cooling

• Negligible operating costs

• Enables buying produce in bulk at a much lower price

• Could eliminate a freezer or 2nd fridge

• Reduces risk of food supply chain disruptions

• Risks are growing: severe weather, pandemic, geopolitical, financial and others

• Grocery stores only have a few days of food on hand

Save the Environment, Fight Climate Change

• Regenerative farming has been identified as a primary way to capture /sequester CO2

• Rebuilds healthy topsoil (being lost at an alarming rate)

• Local produce has little to no packaging waste

• Drastically reduced food miles Supports local producers

• Encourages new people to get into food production – an urgent crisis rarely discussed

• Keeps $$ in our local economy

• Local, organic has much higher nutritional value due to healthy growing practices and far fewer food miles

Selected References:

The Complete Root Cellar Book, Steve Maxwell, Jennifer MacKenzie

Kiss the Ground – excellent documentary! •

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