The Walden Effect: Farming, simple living, permaculture, and invention.

Refrigerator root cellar update 2010

refrigerator root cellar update 2010

The refrigerator root cellar is being over taken by weeds due to its low position on the "list of things to fix before winter".

Digging it out and installing a roof over the top will most likely be a winter project.

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About us: Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton spent over a decade living self-sufficiently in the mountains of Virginia before moving north to start over from scratch in the foothills of Ohio. They've experimented with permaculture, no-till gardening, trailersteading, home-based microbusinesses and much more, writing about their adventures in both blogs and books.

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You might want to consider an OLD tried and true method for a root cellar. With rammed earth or earth bags you could make a barrel roofed cellar that would last a very long time. There are many materials you could used to make it, just make sure you put drainage tiles around the perimeter to keep water away from the walls. The materials range from used bricks, home made bricks, rammed earth or civa bricks, earth bags and probably many more. The basics of this method are on the net, but you need to have reasonably clean clay dirt, sand, and either portland cement or lime, and a tamper to pound the earth tight inside a form. Some of the oldest buildings in Europe are rammed earth with some homes existing over 500 years. A little food for thought here.

Comment by vester Tue Jun 29 20:52:19 2010
I've considered something like that ever since cat, dog, and chicken feed started to come in these woven plastic bags, replacing paper. It seems like a shame to throw the plastic burlap bags away, but I can't wrap my mind around all the work involved in rammed earth. Only if someone comes and does all the weeding for a year! :-)
Comment by anna Wed Jun 30 08:32:04 2010
Too bad you don't live close to me, I would love to have you and mark as a neighbor. I have a small Ford backhoe that you could use along with lots of other equipment. We could barter for eggs, honey, poultry, and whatever else worth trading for. Unfortunately I live in an area where people don't want to try to live a more self sustainable lifestyle like you and Mark.
Comment by zimmy Wed Jun 30 12:36:39 2010
That's the trouble with my virtual friends --- they all live too far away to barter with!
Comment by anna Wed Jun 30 20:01:57 2010
How is the root cellar now? We are interested in trying this ourselves but our land is pretty flat.
Comment by Sarah H Thu Jul 7 20:34:34 2011
Still the same way it was a year ago, unfortunately. We just had too much on our plate to dig it out, reseat it, and put a roof over it (which is what I think it's going to take to keep the earth from slumping.) One of these days....
Comment by anna Fri Jul 8 07:27:27 2011

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