GROW: The Book
It seems like there should be some creative uses for a big insulated container. Root cellar, maybe? Has anyone made a root cellar out of an old freezer? What else could I do with it?
@Melissa Swartz Greyfurball uses one for a well insulated worm bin.
If you have livestock, you could use it to store feed. Just make sure it has a good seal and does not leak or if left outside your feed could get wet.
Could strip the plastic out and turn it into a smoker. We see that a lot here in Alaska.
As mentioned by @Melissa Swartz the use as worm bin is a good choice but @greyfurball is the expert on this.
You mentioned yourself the use as a root cellar which is a great option.
You can also use it as a brooder or fish tank.
I see my name is mentioned in here because of my worm bin in the old freezer. It has been very helpful to my gardening efforts since I first started it last year.
I did add a follow-up thread early last month. It was called "Red Worms In The Garden". Place that in the Search box and it will bring the post plus comments up for you to read over. As you read over this I also have the link to the original post in the Red Worm article if you would like to go back and see that.
Hope it helps if you decide to try it!
I apologize in advance and hope that no-one is really offended and at least one person gets my sometimes misunderstood sense of humor. My wife and I were watching an old episode of the TV show BONES last night and in that episode the refrigerator was used for.....Oh, you can probably figure it out if you know the show and with the COVID situation, I am not going to even go there.
@tomandcara anyone who is familiar with that show understands exactly what you mean therefore you are not out of line with this comment. Those two made an art out of figuring out unusual/odd ways to get their results so the fact you saw this in a rerun is completely understandable and you are correct, laughable.
@tomandcara OK I completely forgot about this episode 😂😂
David the Good has used an old freezer as a compost bin in colder climates. As you might imagine, it helps the compost keep "cooking" in the winter months, at least better than it would otherwise.
I haven't done this yet, but the idea intrigues me, and I've held onto it for "one day." :)
I’m intrigued by the root cellar idea. The motor on ours gave out this last summer and we have been trying to figure out a use (we hate putting things in the landfill).
Many years ago when I was quite a bit younger my cousins husband used an old refrigerator as a root cellar. I believe he buries it door side up n used jay in there also. Eventually if we ever get settled with enough land I’d like to have a worm bin. I “think” I saw one Tom Bartels has; it even had a spout on the side for the juice.
Here's a how to on building a root cellar from an old freezer: https://theprovidentprepper.org/chillin-in-our-diy-buried-freezer-root-cellar/
@greyfurball I like the worm bin idea and will check out the other thread.
@Merin Porter A compost bin is a great idea too. I think I may have seen a video on this and it seemed to work really well.
@vickeym I have never heard of the smoker idea--that's intriguing!
Melissa Swartz If you do a google search for "Making a smoker from an old freezer" You will get lots of pages. There are several Youtube videos as well. Pretty common up here. So many folks here fish and smoke their salmon. It is not hard to find several smokers in almost every neighborhood.
@vickeym I just looked that up--this is pretty brilliant! (Or maybe I'm just hungry right now). Talk about being able to smoke a lot of stuff at once--this would do it. I remember my Dad had a big metal box (fridge sized) that he used for smoking stuff. I have no idea where he got it, but it was one of a kind. Same general idea, though. He made THE BEST ribs in that thing.
We’ve used them for feed storage, and long term storage of dry goods after sealing them in Mylar bags.
I've used one for feed storage for animal feed. With a padlock the bears can't open it. And it's to heavy for them to drag it away, did have it flipped over.
We are using one right now to store can goods, jars etc. It's empty and I needed someplace to put that stuff.
@bcabrobin I had thought about using it for storage since it has racks and a closed door.
Public Service Announcement - If you keep it intact be sure that there is a good lock on the door so that no inquisitive child gets in it and closes the door.
I hadn't thought of a compost bin. I have an older side by side that died a couple of weeks ago. The fridge side is only wide enough for 2 milk jugs side by side so don't know if I could get enough mass to compost in it.
I saw a video of a guy who turned his into a composter. I was JEALOUS because it was awesome!
Used our old freezer that the rats chewed all wiring out of for a root cellar. My taters are just barely starting to sprout now so works well for us. Carrots are a little fuzzy with roots but otherwise still taste like they are fresh from the garden. Beets didn't last long and cabbage went into the sauerkraut around Xmas. One thing is to remove the refrigerant from the freezer before you bury it as the pipes can corrode and/or break releasing it into the environment.
@Sheila Great tip about removing the refrigerant. Thanks for the info on how well the different vegetables last in a root cellar.
Possibly, with caveats about child.safety, it can be modified (as for composting) for mushroom cultivation ?
I used mine for feed storage, it was great I could keep it in the same area as the chickens and never worried about rodents.
@OhiohillsLouise Feed storage is a good idea! Thanks!
We used one for a smoker, it worked really well. We did hogs in it. We also have used one for kitchen storage, usually canning or brewing supplies.
Shame it's not still working as It's possible to turn a chest freezer into a large and efficient fridge. Something I'd like to do when I've emptied our old freezer!
There are loads of resources out there but here are a few.
Or, to actually answer the question, you could turn it into a cold frame?
or a Hot bed for raising early seedlings? use fresh horse manure under 6" of topsoil and either grow plants in the soil or place pots on top. Might be best to monitor the temperature as the container is insulated and might fry the plants? I made a hot bed this january (in a raised bed in the greenhouse, not an old freezer) And it held at 22ºC till well into March.
@Lesley Thanks for the great ideas! Very creative!
I just got a free freezer last week and it is going to be converted into a worm bin factory. I can't wait to start next week.
@drpclarke How is your work bin freezer working out?