Root Cellars - where is doesnt freeze

Discussion in 'Designing, building, making and powering your life' started by Shawburn, Oct 21, 2012.

  1. Shawburn

    Shawburn Junior Member

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    Anyone know if building a Root Cellar in warmer climes will be ok?
    Got the Root Cellaring book, but its all about Temperate climates.

    Our winter temps generally are at 5C in early mornings and occasionally
    drops to zero or 2-3 below but only briefly.
    "Catching" those cold temps in the Root Cellar and keeping it there for
    extended periods below ground may enable me to keep Potato and
    many others preserved much longer.

    It could also act as a cool pantry and provide me a cool place to do
    ferments such a sauerkraut when it becomes warmer.

    Keeping humidity up inside it may be a challenge as we generally
    have very low humidity.

    I dont have knowledge of people doing it here in the past.
     
  2. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    I'm very interested in this subject, as I live in a climate which gets quite warm but doesn't get very cold for very long. I know people had cellars in this region in the past, some of the oldest houses have them (from around the 1840s) and they probably stored food there, but I don't know the details. These cellars were below stone houses, so they were very well insulated by structures which themselves tended to stay cooler than the outside.

    I have a scheme for a super-insulated well house where I can route cold well water through a container to act as a fridge, with a large water storage tank within the structure to maintain cool temperatures. But I won't be building this any time soon.
     
  3. Grasshopper

    Grasshopper Senior Member

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    I used to own a house built in the late 30s pre regular refrigeration.
    It had a ventilated pantry
    It ran from floor to ceiling with a tight fitting door
    There was a vent in the floor and a vent and a chimney in the ceiling.
    All the shelves where made of slats.
    The rear 2 walls where internal solid brick rendered (which remained cool)
    It drew cool air from under the house as rising hotter air vented through the chimney.
    It was noticeably cooler inside the pantry
    A version of this would probably work as a root cellar.
     
  4. deee

    deee Junior Member

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    I live in an old house (pre 1840) with a cellar under part of it. We get down to -5 a few nights over winter, but its usually well over 35 most days in summer (Western Sydney). In fact, 35 is usually considered a reprieve! Our cellar temp is pretty constant - about 13 degrees in winter, and 17-20 in summer, unless we get a string of 40+ days. The airflow from the cellar keeps our lounge room and bedroom tolerable. Its a little marvel and I don't really understand why everyone doesn't have one. After all, its really only a big hole under the house!

    The ventilated pantry is also known as a cool cupboard. Brilliant idea. David Holmgren has one at Melliodora. Here's some plans and nice pics of another (this place also has a cellar - its a really good retrofit):
    https://abdallahhouse.blogspot.com.au/search/label/cool%20cupboard
    D
     
  5. Ludi

    Ludi Junior Member

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    Thank you for posting the link to those plans! :)
     

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