Root Cellar Ideas

One of my desired projects on the farm will be the building of a root cellar so we can naturally store food.  I have been reading the book Root Cellaring by the Bubles, and I have been thinking of possible locations for the root cellar, and I see four basic possible locations, listed from simplest to most complex:

1.  We could partition off a corner of the basement and insulate it from the heat of the house.  This is the easiest, cheapest, and also least reliable.

2.  The initial vision I had of the root cellar was to put it to the south of the house, with the entrance facing North, so that when Gina walks out the kitchen door and crosses the driveway, she reaches the root cellar.  This would probably be a fairly straightforward application and would be cost-effective.

3.  We could dig out the ground to the North of the house and have the root cellar rest against the North side of the house.  One of the issues with our house is that in the past the North wall has bowed in a bit from the pressure of the land around it.  I am thinking that if I dig out the land, it will relieve that pressure so the wall can straighten back up.  Also, the presence of the root cellar there would/could continue to protect the North wall from that pressure in the future.  I like this idea because historically root cellars were on the North side of the house in order to protect against too much solar heat gain.  Also, with the root cellar being connected to the basement, it will be easily accessible no matter how bad the weather is, and it could easily be used as a storm cellar without having to run across the yard.

4.  The final idea is one that may be a bit hare-brained.  We could dig out around the pump house, thus allowing the root cellar to perform triple duty as a storm cellar and a pump house also.  With the pump house being in the root cellar, this would provide additional insulation to the piping — right now I have to turn on an incandescent bulb in the pump house when the temperatures are expected to drop below 0°.  Also, the water running through the root cellar is supposed to provide additional temperature controls — I wonder if it will contribute to maintaining humidity?


Filed under Farm, Farm Projects

2 responses to “Root Cellar Ideas

  1. My sons and I built a root cellar, three rooms,
    an atrium, with steel door and locks,
    the two rooms inside.

    Used dry stacking. Dug a hole 10 feet by
    25 feet, and 10 feet deep. Then put in one foot
    thick cement and steel foundations, for where
    the walls would be. Then put down the cement block, put in steel in every hole and filled every
    hole with cement. Made a strong roof,
    put cement beams on top of the roof, and
    buried it under three feet of dirt. Have a
    stairway with rock walls going down into the atrium.

    It stays from 50 degrees on the coldest days
    to 70 degrees on the hottest days. Never
    varies from this 20 degree spectrum.

    Dry stacking is the way to go, it is strong,
    it is easy and fast.

    • T Lynn

      TANaegele, That sounds like what I would like to do, do you have pictures you would be willing to share?

      I’m hoping I can come up with something so I can get my husband interested in building. LOL

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