Short-term Root Cellar

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Danux
Canada
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Short-term Root Cellar

Post by Danux »

Am contemplating a small short-term root cellar - basically a buried, lockable box. Maybe something like a garbage can with a lockable top, if such a thing exists. Am wondering, though, would I be better off using an insulated box, like a cooler instead? My though is to dig a hole, place the storage box in the hole, then cover the hole with a sheet of plastic and wood/foam insulation, keep it from flooding. I'm not overly concerned about someone finding it, I'm looking more to control the temperature swings on some things I'd like to keep on site during the warm seasons.

Which do you think is better, insulated walls or just thin plastic?

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farmgal
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Re: Short-term Root Cellar

Post by farmgal »

Not sure to be honest Danux, I can only give my own thoughts based on what I have done.

I have buried a garbage can and done clamping potato with straw and that worked quite well for the fall but not deep enough to stop freezing, I have had better luck with above ground clamping to hold fall and winter veggies. I have dug a number of holes that have had water issues so I would say isulated but if you are in a drier climate then a nice thicker vapor barrier plastic might get the job done for you really well.. keep in mind that every time you bring your box or cooler up and down from the hole, that you would risk maybe hitting the plastic? I think you would find for a longer term project that insulated wall will be better but honestly for a short term this year type thing, I would go with the plastic and see how it works..

Either way the hole is dug and you can change your mind on the layering pretty fast.. but I would dig the hole to work with both ways the first time so you do not have to go back and work it bigger.
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Danux
Canada
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Joined: Wed Sep 02, 2015 3:55 am

Re: Short-term Root Cellar

Post by Danux »

Hmmm, I hadn't thought about just using a sheet of poly vapour barrier. I think I actually have some 1m^3 "contaminant" bags stashed away somewhere... not lockable though. I think ground water is not an issue for me, unless rain seeps in, but I'd berm it a bit to mitigate against that. Initially, my thought was to store cans of food (which currently experience 20 degree temperature changes during the course of a day), and maybe some ammunition, but upon thinking about the ammo storage laws in Canada, I'm not sure that I would be compliant, even with a locked container. So maybe I'll just stick to canned food and booze for now.

Thinking about temporary root cellars has me thinking about permanent ones. I've gone looking for large plastic culverts in the past, never really found any "root cellar" sized stuff on the net. I guess my thought was to dig into a hillside and use it to establish the interior. What else (inexpensive, preferably) makes a safe "cave", such that I don't have to worry about the roof & walls collapsing in on me, won't rot away in a year or two?


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farmgal
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Re: Short-term Root Cellar

Post by farmgal »

Old freezers with the moters pulled are outstanding root cellars.. throw a clamp on top of them and go!

I know someone else that had use of a tractor, he put in the back end of a truck lol, cracked me up.. but I could never do that one myself with the gear I have lol

Anyway, honestly, the one that is tried and true and you can dig up and read all kinds of helpful tips really is old freezers, the chest kinds, not the upright.
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Danux
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Re: Short-term Root Cellar

Post by Danux »

Talked with a culvert supplier/manufacturer, can get 3000mm galvanized 12-gauge steel culverts at about $1300/m, 3600mm for about $1600/m.Kinda pricey, but would last a couple of lifetimes.

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Danux
Canada
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Re: Short-term Root Cellar

Post by Danux »

Found a retired gentleman flipping steel drums for a bit of extra income. He had several types, including the kind with the lid and full ring clamp. Scooped one up, will likely give it a whirl. I like that it is fully self-contained, and I can seal the lid mechanically, easily, should work well. I guess I'll paint it, maybe wrap it in plastic, likely put it into a hillside. Probably next Spring, though.
Image

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farmgal
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Re: Short-term Root Cellar

Post by farmgal »

Nice, I would be happy to have found that as well..
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