Has anyone used an old fridge as a root cellar?
Posted 01 September 2009 - 10:08 AM
Posted 01 September 2009 - 01:57 PM
The fridge will rust in proportion to the water retention of your soil. The wetter your soil stays, the quicker the fridge will rust out.
Also, fridges with a separate freezer work well because you can store apples on one side. Apples ripen everything else exposed to them in a root cellar setting, particularly in limited space. If you have two compartments you can use one for apples and the gas from the apples won't affect your other stored crops.
Also, if you want to HIDE your "root cellar" you can bury them in a dirt-floor basement or hide them under "compost piles" made from pallets with nothing but straw or leaves in them. Dig your "root cellar" at night and 99%+ of people won't know any better.
Attach a square piece of landscape cloth (which is black) to the BOTTOM of the pallets on the front and back edges. Attach the back and sides (3 pallets) in a U-shape by attaching to two T-posts planted at the back of the compost piles, with bottom of the poles extending down into the dirt on the far away side of the "root cellar". Leave the front pallet free by tying in place on both sides with a baling twine. Put the straw or leaves, anything light-weight, into the "compost pile".
When you want into your "root cellar" you simply remove the baling twine (or whatever), lift the front of the "compost pile" (which elevates the front pallet, the landscape cloth and everything inside the compost pile (so don't put too much in the compost pile)) and fold it back over the middle. This keeps the cloth taut so no (or little) "compost" falls down under the landscape cloth and forms a sort of lid. With the hinge of the fridge planted on the away from you side, towards the back of the "root cellar", it is easy to lift the outer "lid". Then you can lift the inner lid and get to your food. A short piece of 2x4 can be used as a prop for the outer "lid".
Working towards a world with a root cellar for every home and a harvest to put in it
Posted 01 September 2009 - 10:49 PM
Posted 02 September 2009 - 04:30 AM
I know I'm not much help, so you should check into that. Anybody know?
Posted 02 September 2009 - 07:28 AM
Posted 02 September 2009 - 07:14 PM
Air vents are used in larger root cellars as a control mechanism for temperature and also humidity. A freezer/fridge "cellar" probably won't be helped much by one because it is too near the surface of the ground.
I left a couple of details out of my hiding the cellar idea. First of all, the design is basically two upside down Us or something very like a square m. The compost pile is two pallets wide across the back with a T-post driven in at the corners and in between the two. Two pallets are set at 90 degrees to form the sides and one "swings" from the T-post set between the two pallets in back to form the middle of the M.
Also, you have to line up the break between the fridge door and the freezer door on top with the middle pallet. Then you can move the middle pallet slightly to one side or the other in order to access both sides of the "cellar". I hope this makes sense now.
Posted 03 September 2009 - 05:43 PM
Turn a fish hook upside down. This is the shape for your vent pipe. Rain seldom blows up into a pipe opening that faces the ground. You'll need it to stick out of the ground more than a few feet to keep cats from spraying it or dogs from watering it and getting any objectionable smelly stuff dripping down onto your food. Don't forget to cover the opening with aluminum, brass, or stainless screening to keep bugs and mice out That's if you want a vent, of course.
"We cannot defend freedom abroad by deserting it at home." Edward R. Murrow (1908-1965)
Posted 06 September 2009 - 04:22 PM
One of the main reasons for venting is that gases can build up in closed off cellars and people have died going down into one that was not vented.
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