Go Green with the Library: Cold Storage

produceMake the best out of the winter months by creating a cold storage room in your own home.

Cold storage allows you to preserve your fruits and vegetables without using as much energy as a refrigerator or freezer. One of the most popular forms of cold storage, the root cellar, is an unfinished basement in a home.

Here is some basic information, courtesy of Daisy Luther at the Organic Pepper, to get you started.  In order to properly use a root cellar, you must consider temperature, humidity, and ventilation.


The temperature of the root cellar depends on the types of fruits and vegetables you decide to keep. Produce that can handle cold will stay stored at a colder temperature than produce that needs a warmer temperature. You can find a complete list of produce storage information online at the Organic Pepper.


Humidity is the amount of moisture in the air in your root cellar. Like temperature, the humidity should change depending on the produce you are planning to store.


The more produce you store in the root cellar, the more ventilation you need. You should plan proper ventilation while constructing your root cellar.

A cold room is different from a root cellar in that it is a finished but unheated room of the house. You can find more information on how to make a cold room by visiting the Home Preserving Bible, another online resource for constructing cold storage rooms.

The Lackawanna County’s Library¬†collection includes books on how to preserve and cook produce with your favorite winter dishes. All of these books can be borrowed from your local library at the circulation desk.

You can access these online resources through the computers located upstairs in the Reference department at the Scranton Public Library. All you need is a library card. You can find more ways to go green by searching the “Go Green” tag in the search box at the top of the page.

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