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35 replies
  1. Avatar
    Lori Wheeler says:

    to help with air flow, you might want to dig that hole a bit deeper, put some cinder blocks down on bottom, drill holes in the bottom of the barrels and lay fine screening on top of that and put the barrels on the cinder blocks. That will take care of any "liquid" build up and might prevent it!

  2. Avatar
    buffalopatriot says:

    Hi Dean, my wife and I are moving to a [very small] farmhouse in Virginia which has no root cellar. Overall, would you consider your experiment a success and would you recommend I try your technique as a 'starter' root cellar. Thanks.

  3. Avatar
    furlougha says:

    @rebel69society Ha Ha ,,Yeah, my barn is probably full of mice.I do have cats hanging around but maybe more mice than they can eat…Take care and good luck to you too.

  4. Avatar
    Derek Miller says:

    This is a cool idea.

    I might try this and incorporate a cold frame over the barrel to keep a constant temperature over the winter and make it easy to access the barrel if it snows.

    It also might be good to put gravel on the bottom of the hole to pull more water away from the barrel when it rains… Humidity control is usually one of the features of a root cellar with stable cool air flow… Just got my wheels turning…

    Thanks for posting. Good video.

  5. Avatar
    No use for lazy people None. says:

    Now this is how to make a "How To" video. I am sick of these first timers making mistakes, doing stupid joke or just being boring while TRYING to show others how to do things. Most of the time I cut away in mid vid. This guy has done his homework,,,bravo!!!

  6. Avatar
    No use for lazy people None. says:

    You sir should write a book on how to make a "How Too" video…I would but it. I have built over 200 steel building but never made a video during that time,,,too busy doing the job to stop and take picture,,,LOL. Thanks for the lead, have a great day and keep those vids coming….

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    Matt Britt says:

    in a heavy rain the bucket will pop out of the ground like a torpedo, when i was young i would hide beer in 5 gal buckets, worked for a while but after a heavy rain, i came to my stash i saw all the buckets laying on top of the ground and water filled the dirt holes where the bucket was previously buried

  8. Avatar
    Dean Leatherman says:

    Yes, of course you are correct – which is why you obviously have to tarp the area around barrels in addition to directing the water away. Forming the ground up around the barrels helps as well.

  9. Avatar
    Dean Leatherman says:

    The only problem I can foresee is that the balance of the weight of the soil around the barrel might distort or crush the thin wall of the can. The barrels have a wall thickness of a minimum of 3/16 inches. And even then I noticed that if the soil when packed around the barrel is not completely even, it will slightly warp the wall. The amount of force required for this is considerable. So a trash can may or may not be able to withstand it. This is something that will happen over time.

  10. Avatar
    Dean Leatherman says:

    Hi, just on their own they work without very much adjustment to the temperature when storing vegetables. As indicated in the video, maintaining ground integrity is essential. This is what insures self-regulation. When storing fruits you have to insulate the lid and ground cover to keep the temperature higher. Most fruits don't like to be near 32F in the winter, more like in the 40 to near 50F range. Cabbage for example creates heat in storage so you can lightly insulate the lid.

  11. Avatar
    i8BBQ4Lunch says:

    Thank you for the video.  I am considering putting one in.  Did your potatoes store well in the barrel?  Would a hinged insulated hatch improved your temp problem?

    Thanks again.

  12. Avatar
    B Charron says:

    I guess it would be too cold to make a wine cellar using this technique of yours huh? I live in a cold zone (like minnesota) so I am not even sure if the temperature inside the barrel would be above freezing with extra insulation. What do you think? I am curious what part of the country you did this in? Thanks!

  13. Avatar
    sciencemansandera says:

    Supposedly somebody on YouTube has video that their county extension told them how to do this. I'm looking to find that video. The problem you have is polyethylene is no good for storing vegetables what I would probably do is I line inside with wood but put a vent tube then bury The vent so that it's down in the ground to achieve cooling. What you're trying to do is make sure that you cannot have any ethylene gas in there or everything rots.  
    Clean plastic without venting is a great way to ruin all your vegetables with ethylene gas. Cooling the vent tube is to sure that you didn't get warm air down in there. The best thing that farmers use and I do live on a big farm is they used to build an old potato bin with big log legs in a giant wooden box in a section of a basement Or root cellar attached to a basement . If you have problems with dampness You can also cover potatoes with sawdust or something like that even dry dirt. you be surprised if you pick a nice spot in your yard and it's dry you can actually store them pretty good in the ground. Not always but I have had good potatoes make it through the winter just fine. I live in NW PA it has hit 36° below zero at my house. I'm building a new basement that I'm hoping to build a root cellar out behind the house underground but for now I need to go to these because it's so hot that my shed that's normally cool is rotting my potatoes


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