Root cellars

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Medusa
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Location: UK

Root cellars

Post by Medusa » Mon Oct 01, 2018 9:32 pm

Something which appears to be more popular within the US, but does anyone here have one? It is unlikely that our future property will have a cellar so we would need to build/dig something. There are lots of plans online including one made from tyres and sand and a company within the UK that makes plastic ones for a mere £14k!! :0 Currently researching the basics but would be interested in people's experience. I am aware that there are other ways to preserve such as canning etc but would want this as an alternative storage solution. Years ago, when I was a child, we, my parents and grandparents used to pick apples from orchards and store these wrapped in newspaper in a cool box room and they kept for ages, so a similar idea. Just looking for as many different ways as possible to store the harvest.
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Clarebelle
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Re: Root cellars

Post by Clarebelle » Tue Oct 02, 2018 5:54 am

I have thought about it before now. I've seen ones that are as basic as an old chest freezer buried in the ground or big walk in undergroud storage sheds! What has made me consider one is the fact that it is very humid here which means anything stored in sheds or whereever gets damp and moldy. I have no idea whether being underground would solve this problem but it does seem to be a tried and tested method of food storage in the US.

Arzosah
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Re: Root cellars

Post by Arzosah » Tue Oct 02, 2018 8:25 am

I don't have one, but I used one when I stayed with relatives in Switzerland. Their cellar was laid out with the classic arrangement - slatted shelves, 4 or 5 high I can't remember, and the apples were each stored resting on two slats, to get as much air as possible around them. In the heatwave, it was very cool.

It must certainly be possible to *add* a cellar to a house that doesn't have one, there's plenty of firms that do that now, but of course the ground floor, at the very least, will be uninhabitable (though I do know one family of adults who stayed in the house and had walkways of planks across the hole :shock:

It certainly gets the most bang for the buck in terms of footprint - though bear in mind where the water table is, tanking or something called osmotic waterproofing. I can't find a link, but an acquaintance in London had it done, and she loved it. No idea of the cost though, sorry. As Clarebelle says, there's very cheap ways of doing it - get a few chest freezers off freegle and gumtree, and you're away :)
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IainT
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Re: Root cellars

Post by IainT » Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:13 am

I think I read you can do something similar with a plastic dust bin set in the ground with the top sitting a couple of inches proud of the surface to protect against flooding. I saw it in Abundance by Alys Fowler but I don't have my copy to hand.

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ukpreppergrrl
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Re: Root cellars

Post by ukpreppergrrl » Tue Oct 02, 2018 1:56 pm

To help gauge costs of a proper cellar being added to a house after it has already been built here is the info about a colleague who had his cellar dug out a couple of years ago. He has an end of terrace house circa 1870s. Like me he already had a good 4 foot gap between his floorboards and the earth for ventilation. The digging out comprised digging under the foundations a little bit, jacking up the house, filling in, digging under, jacking up, filling in, repeat. Here in London we have clay soil. He may have had to have the room tanked as well, I can't remember. Total cost was in the region of £60,000. So not cheap!
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jansman
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Re: Root cellars

Post by jansman » Tue Oct 02, 2018 3:06 pm

IainT wrote:
Tue Oct 02, 2018 9:13 am
I think I read you can do something similar with a plastic dust bin set in the ground with the top sitting a couple of inches proud of the surface to protect against flooding. I saw it in Abundance by Alys Fowler but I don't have my copy to hand.
I did that with a galvanised bin,but eventually it rotted.In hindsight I should have coated it in bitumen.However,I dug it out,widened the hole and lined it with bricks.Oak boards on top,and great for storing apples,and suchlike.Not used it for sometime,but its always there.Almost forgot about it tbh,as it has concrete slabs stood on it.
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