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Root cellar/high water table

Discussion in 'Preparedness & Survival' started by Modeler, Mar 25, 2011.

  1. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    Hi all,

    In the interest of increased self-reliance I'm planting a garden this year. Putting in bluberries tomorrow, fruit trees and vegetables next weekend, etc...

    I'm planting lots of potatoes, onions, carrots, etc that will need a root cellar for storage. The problem is that my land is flat with a creek running through it which gives a wintertime water table of +1' to -1'. There's a spot out back with a water table of 2-3', but that's it. No basement in the house either. So, how do I go about building a root cellar? Do I bury it halfway in the ground in the back with the relatively low water table? Do I put stuff in sand-filled buclets in the garage? What should I build?

    Greg
     
  2. darkminstrel

    darkminstrel PDX Well-Known Member

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    Dehydrate and vac-seal?

    My tribe ran into the same issue when looking for a house with land to buy. Nothing would provide constant dry storage below ground so our solution was just to choose pickling and dehydration as our stocking method.

    Edit; One method we researched was to purchase a modular shipping container and sink it 90% below ground. Have to get the full steel type and not the re-enforced fiber ones though.
     
  3. HenryJ

    HenryJ Eastern Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    Build the structure at ground level and cover it. Bury it above ground level. Not as efficient, but it will still offer good insulation. Placement in a sheltered location and orienting the opening to the north may help too.
    If you can use piping to take advantage of the streams water, that can be used to form a cooling grid. The piping will act as a heat sink drawing the heat to the water and carrying it away. Make sure that it can be shut off for the winter if it freezes in your climate.
     
  4. HenryJ

    HenryJ Eastern Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    LOl,

    BoatStealth.jpg

    Burying a boat is thinking outside the box! With properly poured anchors below and cabling, it could be done. Lots of work, but pretty cool shelter. :)
     
  5. Modeler

    Modeler Molalla, Oregon Soccer Fan

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    I actually have a boat very much like that in my field right now. Above ground though... So where did you find that picture? What's the context/what's it used for? I'm curious now...

    Greg
     
  6. HenryJ

    HenryJ Eastern Oregon Bronze Supporter Bronze Supporter

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    I have no idea. I followed the Google search link above my post and it came up. I thought it was unique. Let us know if you find out more :)
     
  7. gunnails

    gunnails Hillsboro Active Member

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    ======================================================

    Found the link.
    BOAT IN A HOLE – Saga of a Root Cellar | The Survival Spot Blog
     
  8. Father of four

    Father of four Portland, Oregon Well-Known Member

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    I like it!
     
  9. mxitman

    mxitman N. Seattle Member

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    This is easily accomplished if you can find a high spot in the area, I helped my father in law build one a few years ago in Minnesota. It had a really high water level too, about 2' down. We found a high spot near the Cabin and started digging.

    We dug an area about 6' x 10' and around 4 ft deep, the water would seep in slow enough that it wasn't a major concern while digging. We used a french drain system around the perimeter to collect and drain the water from outside the area. We had picked a high spot to do this, but we still had to run the drain pipe around 20' though to get enough slope to drain the water away. We then added crushed rock/gravel over the drain system to act as the floor for the structure.

    We used cinder block for the walls/stairs and built it up from there. Added 4x4 wood beams across the top, then a few layers of visqueen plastic sheeting over the top and around the sides... then we filled back in around the sides with dirt. Added around 2' fill dirt around the top of the structure. This made the space inside roughly 4' x 8' and around 6-1/2' tall, we added shelves to the insides and use an old screen door for the door. I think it cost around $200 to build he said.

    He's used it for a couple years now and it's holding up good, he also ended up running the drain pipe over to a garden area and it's always flowing a little water nearly year round. The mound sticks up around 4' above the surrounding area and is covered in grass and flowers...so it looks good.
     
  10. mjbskwim

    mjbskwim Salmon,Idaho Well-Known Member

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    If you were to place a conex above ground and bury it with soil,this could be a garden spot.
    Use the soil covering the conex as you garden soil.
    Put some fill dirt around the bottom half,then plastic,then your good top soil.

    This would keep it at around 50*+-(if you at least insulated the ceiling) and paint the top
    white.
    I like the ground water cooling idea too

    Remember,things we don't think will float,will float (see seattle's floating bridge,hood canal floating bridge) So if you bury it ,it could float,which wouldn't be very stable afterwards.

    Good luck and send pictures when you get your project done.