Root cellar inside a barn, how to?

Discussion in 'General Homesteading & Building' started by Stacysfarm, Feb 24, 2011.

  1. Stacysfarm

    Stacysfarm New farmer

    I am new to the forum, but have been looking for a while. I see a lot about root cellars, but I can not figure out what will work for me. I'm thinking an old freezer would be best, but am afraid the water would seap in.

    Our land is totally flat. Our winters can get -20 with heavy snow and high winds.

    I was thinking of digging out a 10x8 hole in the barn and using RR ties, or other thick wood posts as a wall and a ladder down. I would cover it with plywood and 2x4 frame. Like a box underground with a wood top. My concern is the barn is dry but the area around it gets fairly wet and I wonder if the water will seap into the hole from the surrounding area. Would a pond liner work for this (or a swimmimg pool liner if its cheeper). Or will the water come in at all. I have a neighbor who had a well dug, and they hit the aquifer at around 200feet. I don't know if this provides you any useful information, I'm just trying to be thorough.

    Or is my 1st thought the best way to go and that is using an old freezer stuck in the ground. And then use a pond liner or other plastic to prevent flooding.

    Thank you for any input
    Last edited by a moderator: Feb 24, 2011
  2. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    I found a great RootCellar plan on a provincial government website (British Columbia). It is attached for downloading below or you can click on this link in order to see it at the original site.

    I believe that this Root Cellar is a real nice and simple design to work with.

    Attached Files:

  3. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

  4. FreeNihilist

    FreeNihilist Well-Known Member

    An excellent book on the subject of root cellars is "Root Cellaring: Natural Cold Storage of Fruits & Vegetables" by Mike and Nancy Bubel. It covers everything on root cellaring from what types and varieties of fruits and veggies store best, storage temperatures, cellar types and designs, proper harvesting and storage techniques to preserve quality, and similar topics.

    It's a very thorough book and the best I've read on root cellaring to date. A copy will always have a place on my bookshelf with my other essential survival books and manuals.
  5. Sonnyjim

    Sonnyjim Prepping

    This is all great information guys. Thanks for the links. Question though. My in-laws have a cellar in their basement. They store all their canned goods, dry goods, and vegetables in there. It is all concrete and is a nice cold temperature. Is this essentially a modern version of a root cellar?
  6. sailaway

    sailaway Well-Known Member

    Parents had something similar to this in my childhood home, turned out it was the coal bin for the furnace. Mom did store her canned goods in it though.
  7. NaeKid

    NaeKid YourAdministrator, eh?

    There is a slight difference between a cellar (cool-room) that is designed for holding canned food (wine, beer, etc) and one that is designed for holding "fresh" vegitables like potato, onion, garlic, etc. That main difference seems to be that dirt is the "preservation" portion of a root-cellar and temperature-control is for the liquid preserves.
  8. Mobster

    Mobster Member

    Of course, as with other similar posts, having a dual function (or even triple) has to be useful.

    1) Root cellar
    2) cool cellar
    3) preface to a bunker.