Letter Re: Storage Without a Basement

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Hugh,

I cannot remember the source, but I read of a simple solution for storage of fresh fruits and vegetables. Purchase a galvanized trash can, and bury it to where there is about six inches above the ground. Pick a shady area with good drainage. In the winter, cover the lid with a little hay for insulation. We live in North Texas and have been using this for the past couple years with good results. – R.S.

o o o

Hi Hugh,

Regarding cool storage, this will cost a bit of money, but it might work.

You could buy 4×8 sheets of 2″ Styrofoam and make a large box with it, say 8x8x8 or even 8x8x4 and then, either:

  1. Cut a rectangular hole to fit the front edge of a small refrigerator with the door removed and make sure the hole seals good around the entire edge, or
  2. Remove the refrigeration components from a small fridge and install them (the cold side) in the Styrofoam room.

That could most likely cool down the room very substantially without using a whole lot of power.

Another possible option is to bury a plastic water tank in the ground, put 2″ Styrofoam over the top (even a couple of layers of it), before covering the top with soil. you’d have to calculate the buoyancy of the tank and put enough cement in it (or scrap steel, cast iron, etc) to make sure it didn’t float, if the ground is saturated. Of course, the top entry would have to seal tightly to keep moisture from getting in.

Thanks for all you do. – P.B.

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