Homesteading and Livestock

Self-reliance and sustainability in the 21st century.

Add to My MSN

Converting an Old Refrigerator into a Root Cellar

12/5/2012 2:07:15 PM

Tags: root cellar, experiment, junked refrigerator uses, diy refrigerator root cellar, video, thermo cube, errosion, carrots, Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton

recylcing a junked refrigerator into a functional root cellar

When our hand me down refrigerator died, I was a bit lazy about carting it off to the dump and just dragged it over by the barn. Fast forward a couple of years and we were growing enough carrots and potatoes to need a root cellar, but lacked the funds to build a proper cinder block version which can cost hundreds of dollars not to mention several days of back breaking labor. That's when I came up with plan B.

The first attempt failed due to a heavy rain washing it out. It was easier to store the carrots in our new refrigerator's crisper drawer and put the project on hold for a while. We grew our biggest carrot crop ever this year and needed a space larger than the crisper drawer so we decided to resurrect the refrigerator root cellar experiment.

We first thought maybe it needed a small roof to divert any heavy rain from eroding the hill but settled on using mobile home dirt anchors to secure it from the back and one of the sides. Placing a digital thermometer inside helped us to monitor the state of our carrots and on a few nights where outside temperatures dipped in the low teens the refrigerator root cellar registered 34 degrees, a bit too close to freezing for our comfort so we added a ThermoCube which turns on a light bulb at 34 and shuts it off at 45.

Anna Hess and Mark Hamilton experiment with things like this all the time and share most of the results at WaldenEffect.org. They support this lavish lifestyle by building and selling a new kind of chicken waterer that brings industrial poultry technology to the back yard chicken keeper.  



Related Content

Dedicated Roofers Cross Dangerous Creek

Talking about the recent past week where we got several items crossed off the Spring to-do list and ...

Fresh Storage of Produce

For the past few years, we've experimented with different ways of storing food fresh and now we're e...

Do You Have Any Recommendations on Ventilation for a Root Cellar?

Without ventilation, the produce in your root cellar could spoil. Here are some tips for ventilating...

Harvesting from an experimental hive

Harvesting honey from an experimental frameless beehive.

Content Tools




Post a comment below.

 










Subscribe Today - Pay Now & Save 66% Off the Cover Price

First Name: *
Last Name: *
Address: *
City: *
State/Province: *
Zip/Postal Code:*
Country:
Email:*
(* indicates a required item)
Canadian subs: 1 year, (includes postage & GST). Foreign subs: 1 year, . U.S. funds.
Canadian Subscribers - Click Here
Non US and Canadian Subscribers - Click Here

Lighten the Strain on the Earth and Your Budget

MOTHER EARTH NEWS is the guide to living — as one reader stated — “with little money and abundant happiness.” Every issue is an invaluable guide to leading a more sustainable life, covering ideas from fighting rising energy costs and protecting the environment to avoiding unnecessary spending on processed food. You’ll find tips for slashing heating bills; growing fresh, natural produce at home; and more. MOTHER EARTH NEWS helps you cut costs without sacrificing modern luxuries.

At MOTHER EARTH NEWS, we are dedicated to conserving our planet’s natural resources while helping you conserve your financial resources. That’s why we want you to save money and trees by subscribing through our earth-friendly automatic renewal savings plan. By paying with a credit card, you save an additional $5 and get 6 issues of MOTHER EARTH NEWS for only $12.00 (USA only).

You may also use the Bill Me option and pay $17.00 for 6 issues.