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

A failure and a success in the fridge root cellar

Nibbled carrot

I was a lazy, lazy homesteader this fall. Well, actually, I was too sick to do many of my usual tasks, so I let most of them slide. But the results are the same. I didn't mulch bare spots in the garden. I didn't put away all of the sprinklers. And I never got around to hooking up the backup heat in the fridge root cellar.

The good news is, the winter was mild and our carrots didn't rot despite (I suspect) freezing solid a few times. The bad news is...voles got in and nibbled on the last half bushel, turning them into goat fodder rather than human rations.

If you're following along at home, I'm now pretty certain that those of you in zone 7 (one zone warmer than us) can count on a fridge root cellar doing its job without supplemental heat. Just make sure to check your screens and latches to keep the rodents at bay!

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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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One year I planted a crop of Peaches & Cream corn. When harvest time came, I found the (expletive deleted) raccoons had taken ONE bite out of EVERY ear! I harvested what I could and where the (expletive deleted) raccoons had taken a bite, I chopped off that portion and cut the kernels from the reset, put them in a canning jar and enjoyed them.

Could you not sort out some of the good carrots from the not-so-good ones? Also, why do you need "backup heat"? I thought the whole point of a root cellar was to keep the space cold and with all the dirt around it, and the insulation from the fridge, that would keep the internal temperature around 32 degrees. Is that not correct? ::looks puzzled::

Comment by Nayan Mon Mar 20 09:39:53 2017
I bet the goats see this as all good news. Not fit for human consumption.... The more they get to eat!
Comment by kayla Mon Mar 20 17:02:13 2017

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