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Fridge root cellar video

Temperature is the real test of a successful root cellar, with optimal temperatures from 32 F to 40 F, but with temperatures from 40 F to 50 F considered quite good.  I've seen quite a few fancy root cellars constructed with vast quantities of labor and cash which fail the simple temperature test.  Can our $10 root cellar do better?

We won't know for sure how our root cellar holds up until it has to deal with really hot days and really cold nights, but so far it's running great.  Over the last few days since Mark completed the fridge root cellar, it has held a semi-steady temperature between 40 F and 52 F.  I'll keep you updated on the temperature variations as the year progresses.

If you missed parts of the construction details, you might want to read back over our old entries (linked below), or watch the video here which sums it all up in a two and a half minute nutshell.  I hope that some of you are inspired to eschew the fancy root cellar craze and make your own root cellar for cheap.

This post is part of our Fridge Root Cellar series.  Read all of the entries:

Root cellar ebook

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comment 1

What is significant is: a) the difference between inside and ambient air temperatures b) how consistent the inside temperature is.

Comment by Errol Mon Nov 23 09:12:02 2009
comment 2
Good point! I figure we won't really know how it works until the end of the winter, once we've had to deal with some really cold nights.
Comment by anna Mon Nov 23 09:46:17 2009
Curious to how this worked out for you?
Comment by JT Tue Aug 17 12:33:24 2010
I wish I had a better report, but in a heavy rain last winter, the bare dirt behind the fridge pushed it over on its face. We haven't had time to go dig it out and put a roof over it to channel the rain away and prevent another landslide. Until then, temperatures inside the fridge were good, but the landslide makes it a failure so far!
Comment by anna Wed Aug 18 07:46:05 2010
I thought making the frige into a root cellar was a good idea. Did you fix it after the rain made it fall forward? Used braces maybe?
Comment by Pat Tue May 7 15:06:12 2013
Pat --- We did indeed get it back up and running, and the root cellar kept masses of carrots fresh for us all winter. I've got an ebook nearly finished about our experience, but since the garden year is heating up, it might not come out until this fall. Stay tuned to the blog for more information!
Comment by anna Wed May 8 08:21:17 2013
I'm curious where you are located. I am looking for a good root cellar option up here in Vermont where our winter nights can get well below zero degrees.
Comment by Nic P Sat Sep 14 22:06:06 2013
Nic --- We live in zone 6, in the mountains of southwest Virginia. I'll be curious to hear how your fridge root cellar works if you try one in Vermont!
Comment by anna Sun Sep 15 11:32:59 2013

Hi, love the fridge idea. Have thought about a cellar for many years but have never got around to doing it. Now as we need to conserve our produce I am looking for ways to store it as we are not connected to a power grid. (I live in Australia in the mountains, occasional snow here but more like weeks and weeks of frost over autumn winter spring). I w8uld like to know more about the fridge idea and the only suitable place is in a hill side that faces west. Any suggestions and did younget your book done. Any help will be gratefully received. Thanks Eluzabeth

Comment by Elizabeth Benton Sat Oct 18 22:23:38 2014
Elizabeth --- Since you're in the southern hemisphere, a west-facing hillside should get morning sun only (I think?), so it's a pretty good location for a root cellar of any type. You can read much more in my ebook, which is indeed completed. :-)
Comment by anna Sun Oct 19 10:33:29 2014
Could I use an old freezer can I dig a hole put it on it's side open the door to get our food out.
Comment by Pamela Tilley Wed Oct 21 22:11:22 2015
Pamela --- We haven't built a freezer version ourselves. But folks who have built them tend to do so coffin-style, (meaning they sit in the ground just like they did on your floor). I'll be curious to hear how your project turns out!
Comment by anna Thu Oct 22 11:24:09 2015