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Our 2019 Earthbag Root Cellar Workshop

In July of 2019, I led an earthbag root cellar workshop for some dear friends. Earthbags are truly one of the great (if not the greatest) methods for building underground and bermed (partially buried) structures. 

Root cellars are a terrific zero-energy way to preserve food. Before refrigeration, a root cellar was the go-to way to preserve your root veggies through the winter. Anything that lessens our dependence on grid electricity is helpful to the planet and, therefore, us.

Earthbag workshops always start with, you guessed it–bagging! Using dirt from on site is the best as it reduces fossil fuel usage and embodied energy.

Diggin it!

After each course of bags is put down, you lay barbed wire to make sure they are well bound together with the one above. We weighed down the barbed wire with firebricks. You can use anything that’s long and heavy enough. Cordwood is also a perfect choice.

Laying barbed wire.

Doors and other frames put into the walls have to be braced properly, lest the heavy weight of the bags distort them and make them unclosable. 

Once a certain height is reached, rebar is driven through the walls to give extra structural support. 

It was hot and we sweated our booty’s off but it was fun, too! 

Our next root cellar workshop is going to be held on July 12th – 14th, 2024 near Marshall, NC. This one will be in the shade! It’s currently on deep discount on our workshops page. A workshop like this is a great introduction to the earthbag technique. We’d love if you could join us! Hope to see you there! Morgan