Store Vegetables Inexpensively In An Underground Heap

You don’t necessarily need a refrigerator to store vegetables, because it works just as well in a sheltered place outdoors. Our ancestors already stored winter supplies in an earthen heap specially built for this purpose.

How earth rent works

In this small storage room, there is a damp, cool climate with a relatively even temperature all year round. Even on hot summer days, this does not rise above eight degrees and, if the window is set low enough, does not drop below three degrees even during longer periods of frost.

Which types of vegetables can be stored in the heap?

Many winter vegetables that you would put in the fridge can be stored in the rental. These are for example:

  • Root vegetables: carrots, celery, beetroot, parsley root, parsnip
  • potatoes
  • Head cabbage: white cabbage, red cabbage, savoy cabbage
  • apples

On the other hand, fruit vegetables such as tomatoes, cucumbers, pumpkins, zucchini, peppers, and eggplants are unsuitable.

The right place for the ground rent

Ground rent must meet a number of requirements:

  • It must be absolutely mouse-proof.
  • Rainwater must not accumulate.
  • A certain amount of air circulation should be guaranteed.
  • It should be in partial shade or shade.

Build the earth rent

After you have found a suitable place, it is time to create the earth cellar:

  • Dig a pit 40 to 80 centimeters deep.
  • If you only use one box as a base, the dimensions of the clamp are based on its shape.
  • A width of ninety centimeters and a length of two to three meters has proven itself for a whole family.
  • Line the pit with fine-mesh wire. This prevents mice from entering the soil heap.
  • Stabilize the sides with wooden boards, which also serve as insulation.
  • Now bring in a ten-centimeter thick layer of sand as drainage.
  • Place wooden boxes in the sand bed.
  • Roughly clean the vegetables to be stored, but do not wash them.
  • Stack only flawless pieces in the rent.
  • The gaps are filled with sand.
  • Cover everything with a layer of straw at least 15 centimeters thick.
  • Cover a wooden grid with waterproof foil and place it over it.

Use an old washing machine drum as a basement

The drum of your discarded washing machine is ideal as a basement. It is rust-free, air can get in through the holes and unwanted visitors are reliably kept away from the stable material.

  • Also, drill some holes in the bottom of the drum.
  • Dig a pit four inches deeper than the washing drum.
  • Add ten centimeters of sand and put the laundry drum inside.
  • Stuff all around with a straw.
  • Fill with vegetables as described.
  • Cover with wooden boards weighted down with stones.

This small earth heap is good for singles or for storing apples. Since the fruits emit ethylene, they must not be kept in a large pile together with the winter vegetables.

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Written by Emma Miller

I am a registered dietitian nutritionist and own a private nutrition practice, where I provide one-on-one nutritional counseling to patients. I specialize in chronic disease prevention/ management, vegan/ vegetarian nutrition, pre-natal/ postpartum nutrition, wellness coaching, medical nutrition therapy, and weight management.

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