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Thread: What say you.... An Alaskan Root Cellar.

  1. #1
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Matanuska-Susitna, AK / Tampa Bay, FL Areas
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    40

    Default What say you.... An Alaskan Root Cellar.

    While we are waiting for snow to melt and mud to dry up a bit before building on our property. I was thinking about Food Storage for Vegetables and so forth. We had a Root Cellar years ago when we lived off the grid in Northern Wisconsin. Is such an option feasible in the Palmer, Sutton, Chickaloon Areas of Alaska? Has anyone had success with one and what advice do you have?

    With the property we have the water table is 140 feet down and the top soil is mostly gravel and clay. I would think that the only insect problems we may have would be with ants and termites but then again... what do I know about living in Alaska?


    Here is an excellent site about Root Cellars:
    http://www.tribwatch.com/rootcell.htm

    Here are a couple more:
    http://www.loghome.com/articles/2175
    http://www.hobbyfarms.com/food-and-k...ars-14908.aspx

    Here is one if you already have a Basement or Cellar:
    http://www.organicgardening.com/feat...19-173,00.html

    Hope this helps someone.

    WoW!.... I just found this:
    http://www.scribd.com/doc/8749171/alaska-root-cellar

  2. #2
    Member
    Join Date
    Dec 2009
    Location
    fishhook, ak
    Posts
    1,124

    Default

    your main concern with a root cellar in our climate is keeping the exterior water out and keeping a good seal on your trap door so that moisture from your house can't enter and condense.

    excavate well and establish good drainage and you will be fine.

  3. #3
    Member
    Join Date
    Jan 2010
    Location
    Matanuska-Susitna, AK / Tampa Bay, FL Areas
    Posts
    40

    Default

    I see your point about moisture. It has been my experience in a wood heated cabin, shed, or house that the air is extremely dry and would have little affect on a root cellar as it would pertain to moisture. However, I have been thinking about such an issue with drainage as well as a Rodents, Termites, and Ants. Thank you. In Northern Wisconsin the frost level would reach down to 8/10 feet and as I understand it, it reaches down to 12 feet in the Valley Area and in Fairbanks Areas... just forget it as it is Perma-Frost... again as I understand it.

    I agree with you. I am not an engineer nor an Alaskan Lifer, however, I have thought about digging down to 13/14 feet and filling with gravel (packing it down) to the root cellar floor level and filling out the side walls with gravel all the way to the top out 2 or 3 feet from the sides.

    As for Termites, Ants, and Rodents... I have thought about painting the outside walls and the bottom of the floor with sealant then wrapping the underside (before building) and walls (after being built) with Stainless steel mesh and 1/2 inch Wire Cloth on top of that and then painting again with sealant.

    The Gravel barriers would also be effective against subterranean termites and the trench would slow them down and may even stop them from coming through the soil.

    Hope this helps.

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