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

Fridge root cellar status report

Root cellar thermometer

I'm not sure we can believe the report of 99% humidity in our refrigerator root cellar, but the temperatures recorded over the last week (high of 54 and low of 43) are probably accurate.  Since we've had outside temperatures between 20 and 70 during that time period, the low-cost root cellar seems to be doing its job admirably!

We had a nice heavy rain, too, which is at least a partial test for the tie downs.  In Bury root cellarretrospect, I think two other design changes make it much less likely for our fridge to collapse again.  First, we slanted the fridge back into the hill for version 2.0, and (perhaps more importantly) we left off the retaining wall wings.

I suspect the wings were the real cause of the initial root cellar slump.  All of the loose dirt on either side of the fridge pushed against the retaining wall, which pushed against the fridge, so how could it help falling over?  This time around, we're just mounding dirt as far as it will go with no walls.  Tuesday, Everett helped cap off the fridge with yet more dirt to keep temperatures steadier inside, and I threw down some rye seeds to hold the soil in place.  If all goes well, we'll keep eating carrots, cabbage, and potatoes out of our $10 root cellar all winter.

The Weekend Homesteader suggests free and cheap ways to store fall garden bounty in nooks and crannies of your house.
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 am anticipating your reports on the $10 root cellar since I have an old 1952 freezer that no longer works in the shed. I was thinking of turning it into a smoker. But have been putting it off since I don't know how to smoke. Ha! Ha!
Comment by Mona Thu Nov 15 17:50:42 2012

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