And Pretty Budget One, Too
I was surprised to learn that our neighbors here had a small root cellar. I thought it was a thing only Americans use. Our neighbors store mostly potatoes. It has concrete walls and bottom and seems to do good work.
We didn't want to pour in any more concrete in the garden. And I don't want any bagger coming inside either. And we don't grow potatoes yet. I just needed a place to store some of our turnips, some Jerusalem artichoke and some carrots. So, here's what we came up with:
There isn't that much to explain, is it? What you see is a regular plastic bucket buried in the ground. It's buried just to the level of the ground so the lid stays on top.
Our case is a bit more special. This isn't well visible on the picture: the root cellar is dug on approximately 45 degrees angle because I placed it at sloped area. However this should work pretty well on flat ground too.
On top of it you should place a straw bale or some similar insulation. Due to lack of straw here in the wood I thought to use hay. Surprise, due to the rough drought I wasn't able to collect enough hay either! Fortunately we have a few walnut trees next to the property so I got walnut leaves. So you say anything like this would work as insulation. I put the walnut leaves in a plastic bag and tied all up, and that's my lid now.
The entire cost of this "root cellar" is just $3 - the cost of the plastic bucket.
Other Root Cellar Ideas
Here are some more advanced and some even simpler root cellar ideas:
- Fully functional cold storage pit/mound with nice drawings
- Build a basement root cellar for those who have enough space, tools and skills!
- Detailed info on humidity, air circulation etc
- Q & A on root cellars with Kelly Hart
- Build Your Underground Root Cellar
That's all folks! I'll report at the end of the Winter how well my vegetables survived there. But for now they seem to preserve much better compared to staying in the fridge.