Building a Root Cellar

Building a root cellar took longer than the author thought, but once completed it was an effective structure for year-round food storage.



029 building a root cellar 1 cover illustration
Building a root cellar on this plan only cost its creators $164.
PHOTO: JOE STEUBEN
029 building a root cellar - construction 2
Although not visible here, adhesion of the concrete to both the timbers and the vestibule wall was insured by a number of large spikes driven into all mating surfaces.
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029 building a root cellar - construction 1
The root cellar begun with an 8-by-12-foot hole in the ground and was constructed with old railroad ties laid on top of each other.
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The contour of the grade dictated that the storage room's outer door be slanted at 45 degrees, with steps leading down into the vestibule and the inner door.
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029 building a root cellar - joanie in door
Joanie posing in the entryway of the nearly completed cellar. Final touches, such as triming the eaves and overhang, can be added later.
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029 building a root cellar - 4 shelves
Before the roof could go on, shelves had to be build and gravel brought in for flooring. 
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029 building a root cellar - snow
A root cellar can store food in a mild climate even during extreme outdoor temperatures.
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