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I have a friend who is teaching me gardening. One of the things I have learned is storing potatoes, carrots onions ect in an old broken freezer or refrigerator. We got one free and put it in the barn. It will hold 3-4 hundred pounds of vegetables and keep them from freezing. You get a electric thermostat and set it to come on at 34 degrees and go off at 38. This operates the light for heat and keeps the vegetables from freezing when it is very cold. Most of the time it does not come on. My mentor has done this for 20 years and only had the light come on last year when we had several weeks of temps in the teens. He stores his stuff all winter in this manner and has not lost anything.

Effectively this is a portable root cellar.
 

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Thanks for sharing, I've been looking for a CLEAN broken fridge or freezer for a year.
It seems the folks around here, let it die, then let the food rot inside.

I never thought about hooking up a thermostat to run the light. I have a couple on my barn wall looking for use.
 

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Interesting idea fedor... I'll have to do some thinking on that one. Ideally... you could build any insulated box, add a higher watt bulb and a thermostat and do the same thing. And... the insulated box could be built into or as part of a wall in an outbuilding so it's not obvious. It might be a good way to both store and hide food at the same time. And... you could do this at a BOL with a battery and solar panel system... so you always had some food waiting for you. Hmmm... quite interesting.
 

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I'm also wondering if you could do the same thing with the BOL itself... a closed room can be quite effectively heated with 100 watt bulbs (farmers do it with chickens all the time). And if you had a solar panel or two (carefully hidden from view) that recharged your battery pack each day... you could theoretically keep a BOL above freezing all winter long using this idea. Despite what my wife claims, your house (or BOL) does NOT have to be at 70+ degrees all winter to survive. Even 40 would feel quite cozy compared to the outside temps. And... with a sweater, a hat and some gloves... you could do quite fine. Based on your recharge capability... you could even raise that to 55-60 degrees. Hmmmm... more to think on. You can build your own 60 watt solar panel for about $90. Combine a couple of those with a marine battery or two... hmmm... time to start doing some math on this one.
 

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I've been thinking about a storage cabinet, lined with foilback foam insulation. The insulation itself is flammable so it would need to be covered with something that isn't.

Maybe even a cheap gun storage cabinet.
 
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