I just built a root cellar. It makes me happy. I am wondering whether I could do something like inoculate the space with a beneficial fungus that might discourage any mold growth. I understand that it's important to keep the humidity down and that should help with mold. I also live in a drier climate, so it's not a huge concern. But it would be nice, if possible.
Molds are fungi, so I don't know what type of interfungal war you want to set up. If you grow a particular type of mushroom in your root cellar, those spores will come to predominate and will outcompete other molds that might be present.
I've set up almost that situation in my refrigerator. I really like bleu cheese, and am constantly bringing in new sources of those Penicillium spores. If I neglect a container of yogurt or an opened package of cheese for a week, I see little green colonies of Penicillium starting to take up residence. Some times it is welcome, sometimes it is not. But my refrigerator does have the power of turning cheap bargain basement cheese into a reasonable imitation of gorgonzola or roquefort. I suppose if I get tired of this new super power, I could empty the refrigerator, take it outside and give it some bleach and sunshine, but for now I kind of like it.
Depends what you keep in the cellar I think. Introducing beneficial bacteria and white molds (like with Bactoferm) are great for cheese and sausage and brined stuff, not sure what they would do to potatoes, carrots, or apple. I'm not sure that would work well with those. Your topic made me think of growing edible mushrooms in the cellar, spore plugs on logs maybe, could make a great environment for it actually. Those might out compete the baddies too.
Stephen Lloyd wrote:I have heard that charcoal is useful for keeping humidity levels low. Any other things work like that?
Mostly I keep meads, ales, wines and other fine drink in the cellar. And veggies.
Yeah, but not nearly as permie. I think it is calcium chloride-the same stuff as damp rid and the good icemelt. It will collect water until it overflows the bucket. Save the brine-you can use it to keep dust down on gravel or dirt drives in the summer or spray as icemelt in the winter. Same as the spray pretreat DOT uses, and you can with a cheap pump sprayer too. Much safer to treat steps before they get slick.
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