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Thread: Root cellars

  1. #1
    Member
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    Aug 2008
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    North Of Anchorage Alaska
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    Default Root cellars

    Does anybody use a traditional "root cellar"?

    I was thinking of building one out of native stone and concrete. Bury the top 36" below the surface, and run both a fresh air, and exhaust air pipes (steel w/ caps).

    One other thought was to put a bunch of steel drums filled with water, so they freeze and help keep "shtuff" cold in the summer months.

    Any thoughts about this?

  2. #2

    Default

    We use one to keep all of our produce in I would not be without one There isn't anything better than stuff from your own garden in the middle of January. If you can't make it mouse proof put stuff in mouse proof containers. Make sure you are well below the frost line of the coldest winter temps.
    Chuck

  3. #3
    Moderator Alaskacanoe's Avatar
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    Default Root cellars

    So this guy leaves this big old " Cave Man " brand camper in my campground, and was supposed to come back every year and stay in it during fishing season..
    Its a 1970 model and its about a 10.5 footer or longer. He did not have any jacks for it, so he rented some to take it off the truck and set it on some stacked up pallets..
    well he never came back.. We called back to New Hampshire and found out he had died that winter of a heart attack..
    I asked the widow what to do with the camper?
    She said to keep it as it was worth nothing.... and she was right..
    So it sat around for one season taking up valuable space and kind of an eyesore.. my wife demanded it be gone,,, so ..
    I dug a big deep hole with my backhoe. dragged the camper into the hole, positioned it on top of some pallets in the bottom for drainage, built a log crib around the outside of it so the sides would not push in from the earth, put a layer of Blue board insulation around the camper for extra measure of insulation, and then layed logs accross the top of the hole and then a bunch of layers of plastic tarps, and old plywood etc. and then put 3 feet of earth on top of that. I dug a hole down to the door and made a ladder from a big log, built an entry way with a plywood frame, and made one of those old time cellar doors on hinges that lay at a 10 degree angle against the hill you made for the top... I even ran an electrical cord down and used the existing lighting in the camper....
    I put a plastic 55 gallon barrel with lid in the shower stall for potatoes, and I used the old fridge in the camper for carrots. We stored all of our potted flower plants and bulbs we dug up for the next season on the bed area.
    The cost of the whole thing was just a bunch of labor and using some stuff I had laying around, and I did buy the blue board insulation,, but other than that.. it was pretty much free.....
    If you come up on an old beat up camper in someones yard that has not been used for many years.. you may find them happy to give it to you for such a project..
    just remember that the camper on its own with not handle being buried without making some kind of crib around and over it... they are not designed for any earth pushing against them..

    .....
    Max
    When you come to a fork in the trail, take it!

    Rentals for Canoes, Kayaks, Rafts, boats serving the Kenai canoe trail system and the Kenai river for over 15 years. www.alaskacanoetrips.com

  4. #4
    Member Vince's Avatar
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    Jul 2008
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    Fairbanks most the time, Ancorage some of the time,& on the road Kicking Anti's all the time
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    Default

    I am building one in Clear currently...

    i am using old roofing metal on log post for the shell of the cellar... i laid 1/4 mesh on the floor to keep rodents out and then a layer of pallets for air cir. i plan on an 8" stove pipe through the roof for ventilation i think it is important to have a good gravel substrate so any water runoff drains well.. in Clear we are FLAT and the water table comes up fast in the spring.... so i am still considering a pump.....using the log post and roof joist.. i intend on making it strong and cool enough to hang meat in during the warm parts of AUG/SEPT complete with AC. .if need be. thats the plan any way
    "If you are on a continuous search to be offended, you will always find what you are looking for; even when it isn't there."

    meet on face book here

  5. #5
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    Default Sounds Good To Me

    -And i thought that I had some ideas. You guys sure did come up with some cool 'root cellars"...

    I've given the "buried camper" thing some thought myself, but always wondered how it would hold up with the water level, and ground pressure, even the snow load.

    For awhile I kicked around the idea of using chiken wire as the base form, and then patching in some concrete from the bottom to the top.

    With the abundance of rock/stones, it might be a good idea to coblle some rocks and concrete for the basic shape that I need.

    This will all come to a head next spring after breakup. I really want a root cellar.

    Thanks guys...

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