A homesteader is often thinking about how to store food and this is one method that’s pretty simple. Use it to simply store food or as an emergency cache of supplies.
When Dan Leatherman wanted to build a root cellar he realized just how big a job it could be, so started experimenting with a simpler version which was the 55 Gallon Drum Cellar.
He had to consider heat flow, soil integrity, water and insulation. He knew that 34 degrees is ideal for a lot of vegetables like cabbage but potatoes and fruits like 40-45F.
Using a nifty template made of plywood (which you can easily make) he was able to create a round hole for the barrel, leaving 6 inches of space around it for foam insulation to help control heat flow (cold coming in from the top, but heat coming up from the bottom). Using 4″ of straw thatch and 18″ of course thatch, this was covered with a tarp. The lid was not insulated.
Just a note…you do have to put a drain hole in the bottom for condensate. Just pour some water in the bottom and drill a 1/2′ hole in the center of where ever the water pools.
Here’s the video explaining how its all put together…