2 April 2011, by gj
I’ve always thought it would be ‘cool’ to have a root cellar- or some similar kind of cold holding.
Imagine being able to eat fresh homegrown veggies farther into the winter, instead of frozen, canned and dehydrated.
I’ve seen wonderful areas built in basements; my FB friend The Farmer’s Garden told me recently she uses an area in a room over an unheated garage.
I have heard stories of people using old out buildings, even read about one that semi-buried an old truck and used that.
I don’t have a basement or a garage, nor any old vehicles or unused buildings.
So I had pretty much given up.
Until one morning as I was getting ready for work, standing in our laundry/utility room getting some socks out of the dryer.
My feet were freezing from the cold floor, and an idea hit me.
You see, our laundry room is situated over a crawl space; and although there was insulation underneath at one point, the local field mice have long since removed it and used it for their own homes.
The floor gets very cold.
The project began with a few obstacles to figure out-
We do plan on reinsulating under the floor, so I needed an alternative way to cool the closet.
Likewise we heat the room somewhat, so I needed to keep the cold in and not let the closet get warm.
And, we need to keep the aforementioned mice out.
So what we did is build a basic closet, but with a vent going to the outside that can be opened and closed manually and is covered in a fine mesh metal screening. The inside is well insulated.
The project seemed to stall at one point, at a place where Mandolin needed to take the next step.
Then I got another good idea- I went out and bought a case of beer and put it in the closet.
When he saw (tasted) how nice and cold it was, he was encouraged to finish the job.
If you’re wondering why I call this a ‘green’ closet, when obviously it is white, I’m referring to the energy this will save.
This will use no power and yet keep our food cold. Plus, we won’t be opening the fridge every time we want an onion or some garlic.
I’ve been monitoring the temperatures and playing with the vent and it looks like this will work well.
I can just picture it this coming fall, filled with baskets and tubs of veggies, garlic and herbs hanging down…
and in there somewhere I know…
…will be a case of cold beer.
Because of the ‘green’ nature of this project, I have listed it in the Gardener’s Sustainable Living Project 2011.
Check it out to find some great ways gardeners are going green, and leave a comment for a chance to win some fabulous gifts.