An alternative to building a root cellar is storing vegetables underground using a plastic storage box underneath a hole, mounded with leaves or sawdust.
If you need a makeshift root cellar dig a hole as an easy method for storing vegetables underground.
First I would like to say I have enjoyed getting a lot of ideas from MOTHER EARTH NEWS for years. Here's a good one I came up with. I have no place to build a root cellar where I live, but to keep my potatoes, carrots, cabbage and turnips in the winter I dig a hole at the end of my garden and put inside a plastic storage box with holes drilled in it. Then I mound leaves or sawdust over it — both work the same when it comes to storing vegetables underground. When the snow and cold comes I just dig into it and get out what I want. I got out my last turnips just the other day, and this is the middle of March!