Add a Cold Storage Room
If you grow your own garden or enjoy purchasing fresh fruits and vegetables from your local farmer's market, you may be interested in building a cold storage room somewhere in your home. These rooms are designed to stay cool so that you can store your fruits and vegetables in them before you use them. This will help them last longer and you will not have to throw as many products away as you normally would if your fruits and vegetables were stored in a warmer room. Another benefit to the cold storage room is that it will make more space in your kitchen and perhaps even free up some space in your refrigerator. Building a cold storage room can be very simple as long as you have the right materials and tools.
Finding a Good Location
The first thing you will need to consider is where you intend to build your storage room. Though basements are usually the best areas because they are already insulated, you can also use a large closet or any other partitioned are in your home. The better this area is insulated, the better. Also, see if you can find a place that gets little or no heating from your home's furnace.
Deciding the Size of Your Room
If you are using a closet or another partitioned area, then you do not need to worry about the size. If you are building a new room for your cold storage room, make sure it is large enough to store the food you wish to store. If you wish to store canned foods in your cold storage room as well as fresh, you will need a larger area.
Creating Storage Compartments and Shelves
There are a couple options available in creating storage for your fruits and vegetables. One is to build or move in shelving systems into the food cellar area. You can also fill small barrels or buckets with moist sand and place root vegetables into the sand.
Building drawers can also store vegetables that are round and may roll off shelves, such as zucchinis, carrots, squashes and peppers. This will also help those vegetables from drying out or rotting as fast, as it will add a little extra insulation.
Place the bins and shelves in a way that is convenient to you. The best way to do this is to place the sand-filled bins on the floor under the shelves. This will create more space.
Storing the Food
As canned foods tend to last longer, place them higher on the shelves so that you will use the fresher foods first. Keep a notebook near the entrance to your cold room in which you can write down each food stores and record the date your fruits and vegetables went into storage. This will help you decide which food you should eat first so that they do not rot.
Other Things to Remember
It is important to keep the cool room cold and dark, but make sure that it is well ventilated.
You can also place a thermometer on the wall to make sure your vegetables are kept between 32 to 40 degrees. If you need help regulating temperature, you can use a portable air conditioner.