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Root cellars are a good way to store vegetables without using energy, advocates say. (Ecology Action Centre)

The Ecology Action Centre is making grants available to those interested in starting community root cellars in Nova Scotia.

Project co-ordinator Marla MacLeod says root cellars are gaining interest as a no-energy way to store root vegetables.

"I know, for example, in Newfoundland, they have a really long history of community root cellars," MacLeod said. "They're just starting to catch on in Nova Scotia, I'd say."

MacLeod said part of the reason the centre is offering the funding opportunity is that it wants to know how popular root cellars would be.

The Ecology Action Centre will be testing out its own basement root cellar this winter that will support about 10 families.

Any community group is eligible for one of the grants, on the condition the root cellar be located in a community-owned space in Nova Scotia.

The Ecology Action Centre will be awarding up to six $400 dollar grants to help groups in Nova Scotia purchase materials and/or hire a builder to construct root cellars in community-owned spaces.

MacLeod said residents of older homes that have root cellars may want to try them out this winter.

"If they have one that's not being used and they're interested in using it, there's some really great books out there," MacLeod said. "But if they have questions they're welcome to call us, but basically test it out and see how it goes."