We built a walk-in cooler last weekend!
One of last year’s major challenges was post-harvest produce storage. Trying to fit the most perishable of items into a less-than-full-size refrigerator the day before market was stressful & simply insane, so coming up with a better option was high on my list for this year. It’s been a pretty gloomy February, so no better time to get busy building before spring madness begins.
The Farm has several outbuildings, one of which we simply call The Pole Building. Mostly it shelters an array of “treasures”, an old car, and the tractor. The garden wash & prep station sits along the south end of the building. The interior space was poorly utilized for storage of random treasures that didn’t need to be there. So we cleared out an 8 x 8 foot area and The Cooler Room project was started and mostly finished over the span of a three-day weekend.
Farm Boss helped me design & build it, and it absolutely wouldn’t have happened without him.
Material-wise it took about thirty 2x4s for framing, six 2x6s for roof support, nine panels of OSB chipboard for the walls & roof, and about 4.5 pounds of nails. We assembled each wall section on the ground, then stood each one up to complete the four sides. With the exception of a Skilsaw, we built the whole thing by hand. Farm Boss did most of the heavy-duty hammering for the frames and due to my narrow profile I got to crawl up between the cooler roof and building roof to fasten the roof panels and line the top with plastic sheeting. A neighbor was kind enough to wire the room with an overhead light and two outlets.
We have an unused swamp cooler that’ll be installed in the rear wall to keep everything nice & cool this summer. I’ll be insulating the entire room and hanging an interior wall with reflective material, then building shelving all around. Updates forthcoming.