How to make a Mini-cellar-refrigerator (earth refrigerator) in the country. Secrets of home craftsmen

Mini-cellar-refrigeratorNot every dacha has electricity and, therefore, there will be no place to store perishable products there due to the lack of a refrigerator. But you don’t really want to eat only canned food and concentrates. You can of course go every day to the nearest village store and buy the necessary food there, but it is not very convenient, especially if it is far away from your dacha. The way out is still quite simple. Let’s turn to our ancestors, who did not have refrigerators, but had perishable products. In addition to deep cellars-glaciers, they made a mini-cellar-refrigerator (the predecessor of the modern refrigerator), in which they put perishable products: milk, sour cream, cottage cheese, etc.

The principle of operation of such a “refrigerator” is simple. It is well known that the earth freezes hard in winter and thaws only (at a depth of) about the middle of may. And then for another two months it remains cold for quite a long time. This applies to the Central part of Russia. To the South, this period decreases to the North on the contrary increases.

Building a mini-cellar-refrigerator

So, to build a mini-cellar in the country, you will need an ordinary plastic barrel, which you need to dig into the ground to the very neck. Wooden and metal barrels are better not to use, as they are short-lived and sooner or later will start to pass water.

Dig a hole under the barrel with a small margin (20-30 cm). This interval should be filled with sand in order to prevent the barrel from being squeezed out of the ground in the spring. If you are using a large barrel, then for the convenience of extracting various products, sew colorful bags with long ribbons under them. For example, in red you will put sausages and meat, in white cottage cheese, mayonnaise, sour cream… etc.

The lid of our “earth refrigerator” must be closed with some kind of insulation. As such, wood sawdust sealed in a plastic bag is perfect. This is a very good thermal insulator. Naturally, it is also desirable to cover it with something on top, so as not to accidentally damage the polyethylene, for example, with a metal or again with a plastic box. You can put together a wooden one and cover it with some waterproof material. The main thing is to make sure that the precipitation flowing down it goes into the sandy drainage around the barrel.


To prevent the mini-cellar-refrigerator from warming up too quickly, you need to build it in a place where the sun does not fall throughout the day. If there is no such place, then make it yourself so that the mini-cellar always remains in the shade.

This natural refrigerator will save your products until mid-summer. From April to July, the temperature in it will gradually increase from-2-3 to 10 degrees Celsius (as the ground warms up).

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