An underground root cellar is a valuable addition to any homestead, providing a cool and dark environment for storing vegetables, fruits, and other perishable items. Constructing an underground root cellar is a straightforward process that requires careful planning and execution. Here are some underground root cellar plans to get you started.
Step 1: Location and Design Choose a location for your root cellar that is well-drained and not prone to flooding. The ideal location is a north-facing slope with good soil drainage. Design the root cellar to fit the needs of your homestead, taking into account the size of your garden and the amount of produce you want to store.
Step 2: Excavation and Construction Excavate the area where the root cellar will be located, digging a hole that is deep enough to provide sufficient headroom. The hole should be at least 8 feet deep, and the floor should be level. Pour a concrete slab or use a layer of gravel to create a stable floor. Construct the walls using cinder blocks or poured concrete.
Step 3: Insulation and Ventilation To maintain a cool and consistent temperature in your root cellar, insulation and ventilation are crucial. Insulate the walls and ceiling using rigid foam insulation, and add a layer of gravel or crushed stone to the floor for additional insulation. Install a ventilation system to allow fresh air to circulate in the root cellar, and add vents or windows to regulate the temperature and humidity.
Step 4: Shelves and Storage Adding shelves and storage is an important step in organizing your root cellar. Construct shelves using sturdy materials such as pressure-treated lumber or cinder blocks. Use wire mesh or netting to hang produce, and create bins or baskets for storing root vegetables such as potatoes and onions.
Step 5: Lighting and Security While natural lighting is not necessary in an underground root cellar, you may want to install a small LED light or flashlight for easy navigation. Consider adding a locking door or gate to secure your root cellar and prevent unauthorized access.
Building an underground root cellar requires careful planning and execution, but the benefits of having a cool and dark storage space for your produce are worth the effort. By following these underground root cellar plans, you can create a valuable asset for your homestead that will provide fresh produce year-round.