We are building two root cellars this fall – one for squash and potatoes, one for apples (and other crops that give off ethylene gas, which would spoil potatoes). At 7,600 ft elevation in the Rocky Mountains (Zone 3), we have a very short growing season. Our hope is to store enough winter root vegetables to feed many families if/when TSHTF.
Root-cellaring is a great alternative to investing time & money into canning and freezing supplies. As others have mentioned, just be sure the fruits and vegetables are blemish-free. (Eat, can, or freeze any fruits/veg that are blemished.) And inspect them regularly throughout the winter.