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#1 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted August 21, 2017 - 08:12 PM

Thinking about putting  a veggie storage area in basement.  Looking for your ideas and thoughts.  Basement is heated up to 65 F max.  Usually down around 62 - 63.  One wall has 4' above ground.  Ground slopes up to 2 block above ground for 2/3 of the rest.  Have 1" foam board 4' down around the exposed area.  My idea is to put a hanging storage area along the 4' exposed wall for about 8' length.  Remove the foam board from the inside, insulate the storage area top, bottom & both sides and the front doors.  

 

Question is will I get enough cold through the block from the outside to keep the veggies from getting to warm?  Blocks are hollow, standard concrete blocks.  Will probably put supports to the floor, 3 shelves of hardware cloth to keep the items on.

 

What do I need to do different?


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#2 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted August 21, 2017 - 08:55 PM

Interesting idea but I would worry that the basement is too warm. Around here, the old root cellars were below 50*F so that they were almost as good as refridgerators. One thing that might work would be to build a cabinet that is up against the cold wall. If the inside walls are 1" styrofoam the cabinet would be alot colder than the basement. You could not do that  where there is plumbing as it might freeze. As I think about it, there may have been something in an old Rodale publication about this. 40 years ago I collected most of their books but they disappeared when we moved 18 years ago. Please let us know what you learn. Good Luck, Rick


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#3 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted August 21, 2017 - 09:12 PM

Putting the storage cabinet up against the outside un-insulated wall is what I had in mind.  Didn't make that very clear did I.  Will get a drawing up tomorrow.


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#4 JBRamsey ONLINE  

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Posted August 21, 2017 - 09:46 PM

62 is too warm. My granddaddy always packed fruits and vegetables in layers of straw in a root cellar that was much cooler. Cabbages, onions, even apples kept really well.
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#5 ShotgunWedding ONLINE  

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Posted August 22, 2017 - 10:39 AM

Beside a cold un-insulated wall works well, with doors and walls like you mentioned.  Just keep an eye on humidity and you will be golden.  Better than without!!


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#6 boyscout862 ONLINE  

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Posted August 22, 2017 - 11:34 AM

Putting the storage cabinet up against the outside un-insulated wall is what I had in mind.  Didn't make that very clear did I.  Will get a drawing up tomorrow.

I interpreted what you wrote as putting shelves up against the cold wall. I was suggesting closing it in and insulating against the warm basement so that the shelves would be colder.

 

I have been toying with the idea of digging a root cellar/storm shelter for years. My soil is so rocky that the rocks dug up could be used to build the walls. The roof would be the challenge. I don't trust most of the concrete suppliers in my area anymore. Good Luck, Rick


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#7 oldedeeres OFFLINE  

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Posted August 22, 2017 - 11:34 AM

It is a good idea to insulate the "warm" inner walls. Onions do better where it is dry and dark and can be warmer than root veggies and cabbage.... they need a bit of humidity, cool and dark as you already know. I keep potatoes in a bin along the coldest wall below the shelving and hang onions in mesh bags on the inner walls. The bin is under the board on the right side of the pic.

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Edited by oldedeeres, August 22, 2017 - 11:36 AM.

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#8 chieffan ONLINE  

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Posted August 22, 2017 - 01:03 PM

Controlling the humidity would be a problem.  The corn stove in the basement would keep the humidity down, not sure it would get to dry though.  We run a humidifier upstairs all winter with the dry heat from the corn stove and a wood fireplace.  If humidity started to build up inside the cabinet, opening it for retrieval of veggies would let it out, but would also change the temp.  Planned on using indoor - outdoor thermometer to monitor the temp.  Don't have any problem with the can goods.  Going to have a good crop of squash, onion's are pulled and have been out drying for a month now and looks like a big apple crop also.  Apples won't be real big but lots of them.  Will get some measurements, pics etc. later.


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#9 ShotgunWedding ONLINE  

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Posted August 22, 2017 - 01:18 PM

OMG Oldedeeres, your canning cellar is beautiful!!  Look at all that awesome food all jarred up, ready to give its goodness in the lean months.  Spectacular!!  There are only the two of us, we have maybe a third so far...but the year is just coming along!  Should start picking up with canned dill beans and tomato sauce.

 

I wish more people would take the time to do this instead of eating 0.99 tacos at Taco Hell.

 

Back to the situation at hand, I think anything you can do to cool things a bit by building a closed in space with an cold wall is worth the time, it may not be perfect but better than none.


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#10 ShotgunWedding ONLINE  

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Posted August 22, 2017 - 01:29 PM

If anyone has about $15-18K burning a hole in their pocket, Google "Dutch Root Cellar".  WOW!


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