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

Calling all root storage techniques!

Sealing the fridge root cellar

Potato storage moundMark suggested I write a short ebook summing up our refrigerator root cellar experiment, and I thought it sounded like a fun idea.  After all, our youtube video on the subject has had over 72,000 views, and we've learned a lot since making it.  Granted, a few commenters were less keen on the idea ("omg thats getto i just lost IQ points"), but I don't mind being a permaculture redneck if it helps someone else.

Ebooks always get more grandiose the longer I spend on them.  Before I'd even worked my way through the basic construction data of our fridge root cellar, I'd decided to add in information on more traditional root cellars along with low-tech root-storage techniques (like the potato clamps we tried several years ago).  But I've only seen so many myself....

Which is where you come in!  If you've got a story to share, feel free to comment and/or drop me an email.  Photos are much appreciated, and I may quote you in the book if you don't mind.  About root cellars, I'm interested in:

  • The basic design you used
  • How much time and money you spent building it
  • What the temperatures are like inside (average temperature, plus extreme highs and lows)
  • Humidity information if you have it
  • Anything you would change if you were to do it again
  • Where you live (or which hardiness zone you're in)

I'm also interested in low-tech and/or older methods of preservation.  My movie star neighbor told me he grew up with what was called a "dairy", which was essentially a root cellar not entirely buried in the ground, often with a smokehouse on top.  A nearby living-history museum has a springhouse, which is like a root cellar but uses the cold running water of a spring to keep contents cool.  And I've read about people storing apples between bales of hay in the barn, potatoes in pits in the ground, and many other techniques to preserve the harvest.  What do people use in your neck of the woods?

To sweeten the pot, I'll send a free copy of the finished ebook to anyone whose contributions show up therein, and will mail you a signed copy of my paperback or a t-shirt (your choice) if I turn your story into a full profile.  Thanks in advance for sharing!

Our chicken waterer has pleased thousands of chickens, ducks, pigeons, and turkeys.  Won't you share clean water with your birds?
Root cellar ebook

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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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I can't wait to see the results.
Comment by Sara Tue Dec 25 11:59:34 2012

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