The simplest design for a cold cellar works for those in townhomes, and even some rental houses. Purchase an American made metal trash can. (The American ones have a tighter fitting lid and this is important) Dig out enough soil to bury it. Then, put the can in the ground in a well drained site, with about two inches of the top protruding from the ground. Place a small amount of gravel in the bottom.
|(Picture from: http://www.earthineer.com/content.php?blogid=2610 )|
You can store a lot of potatoes in here, so long as you alternate bags of potatoes with straw. Onions and apples could also be stored here, but different items are compatible with one another. Potatoes are not as compatible with onions. You can ideally, in a four season climate, stock potatoes in November, and be finishing them up in April. Root vegetables store particularly well this way.
Store with the lid on and with a piece of wood over the top secured with a rock or something else that's heavy enough to prevent animals from accessing your cold storage. You should check this at least every couple of weeks, use what you can, and compost anything shriveling or obviously rotting.
|Note that the concrete block on all four sides here give you the space to allow a piece of plywood on top without the handle being too high. (Photo: http://www.earthineer.com/content.php?blogid=2610 )|
These are some of the things that can be stored there:
- Winter squashes
- Potatoes and Sweet Potatoes
- Apples (store separately, as they release ethylene gas that will spoil other vegetables)
- Cabbage (all kinds, my favorite)
- Jerusalem artichokes
- Brussel Sprouts
- Dried beans
- Winter radishes
If you own a more rural home and you plan to remain there for an extended period of time then you can invest more time and money in a larger set up.