Testing a 55 gal barrel buried underground for temps, and possible uses.

  • Testing a 55 gal barrel buried underground for temps, and possible uses.

    Posted by MartHale7 on September 6, 2023 at 1:59 pm

    I finally stopped talking about it, and I did it… I put underground a 55 gal barrel, and I added a wifi temp monitor so I can now get good data of what the temps are in the barrel. My hope is I can store grain in vacuum sealed food saver bags in this for long term storage. My main concerns is moisture, so I will be checking on this to make sure there is no moisture, from condensation. I put the barrel in the ground, then I put a trash bag over the top for additional moisture barrier, then a top of a 55 gal barrel, then more dirt. I liked the temps information I have seen so far. Just under 80 deg with no covering.

    MartHale7 replied 6 months, 2 weeks ago 5 Members · 14 Replies
  • 14 Replies
  • DocSparks

    Member
    September 6, 2023 at 2:48 pm

    I would be interested in the results and tests on this please

    • MartHale7

      Member
      September 6, 2023 at 2:52 pm

      Yeah, I will try to keep updates going, I have temp monitors going, even with the initial data This looks very good to me.

  • MartHale7

    Member
    September 6, 2023 at 2:56 pm

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1hOKoAjLYV0

    Yeah, this video showed me this is viable. In another video they used contractor trash bags to put the store in.

    Others videos use trash cans to store sweet potatoes in with good results.

  • kinglet

    Member
    September 6, 2023 at 9:39 pm

    Very interesting, what have your outside temps been?

    • MartHale7

      Member
      September 6, 2023 at 10:39 pm

      Outside temps have peaked up to 97 degrees then down to 70 at night.

      I have a temp monitor in a room inside, and you can compare that temp to the barrel in this graph. The difference is remarkable.

  • SugarCreek

    Member
    September 16, 2023 at 2:30 pm

    I am also interested in updates. Did you cover it?? This s a project I have been curious about to

    • MartHale7

      Member
      September 16, 2023 at 3:44 pm

      Yeah, I have an old temp capture device that I am waiting on batteries for.

      But my wifi temp has worked off and on even under 3 inches of sand!

      I believe I will put in a bag or two of vacuum sealed grain and give it a test run.

      Below are temps for a week. All under 80 deg, I believe I will go a food deeper under ground after my replacement battery comes.

  • SugarCreek

    Member
    September 27, 2023 at 11:29 am

    50 degrees is said to be at 3 feet under ground. For my area anyway. How deep do you think you will have to go?

    • MartHale7

      Member
      September 27, 2023 at 10:36 pm

      I am in zone 9A upper Florida. The temps I have above is with 3 inches of soil on top, and the lid was not fully sealed. Average ground temps here are going to be a bit warmer….

      I with much effort dug the barrel back out and it is now down 1 foot below surface level, fully sealed, with my temp / humidity probe in.

      The barrel for the first two weeks was dry on the bottom, I did not see condensation so far, but as we move into colder months that may change.

      I intend to check back on this in about 2 months and get the temp data. But as of now I don’t see any reason this is not a valid food storage for long term. The advantages I see to this is it is protected against fire, hurricanes, and theft if I hide it right. I don’t have to worry about AC or heating to keep this in a good temp range from the data I have seen so far.

      The problem I see with this is getting the goods out. I am thinking that i can use grocery bags with string tied to the bags to let the goods down, then use shipping tape to tape the string to the side of the barrel so that I can retrieve the bags.


      This has been a test run for me, and with time I should have better data.


      As I type this another idea came to me that I could have a barrel say 3 feet down with water in it, then use a pump to move this water up to a barrel around my plants to protect them against frost with the warmer temp… But I won’t know if that is viable idea until I start getting better data.


      As I was digging this I was thinking there must be a better way to remove the sand from the hole, using a post hole digger works but If I want to go deeper or dig several of these then i will want to come up with something better…

  • Hanidu-Farms

    Member
    September 28, 2023 at 2:33 am

    It it’s not weighted down and the water table rises it could possible push up through the sand. A similar thing happened to a local friend of mine.

    • MartHale7

      Member
      September 28, 2023 at 3:13 am

      This is true happens with clay, even swimming pools have been know to come out of the ground with the water rising. That said, I live on sand thus the water does not it it just flows right down right away. I do not see that as being a danger from the drainage I have seen in times past. One of the reasons I put down pond liner was to capture more of that water and hold it for my plants for my wicking beds.

      • This reply was modified 6 months, 2 weeks ago by  MartHale7.
  • SugarCreek

    Member
    September 28, 2023 at 4:41 pm

    yes I can see retrieval being an issue. I would suggest some type of mesh bag vs the plastic grocery store for two reasons. 1 if they start to break down they will break 2 the plastic doesn’t let anything breath so for storing something like potatoes or carrots I could see that being a problem perhaps not so much if it were canned goods looking forward to your updates

    • MartHale7

      Member
      September 28, 2023 at 5:04 pm

      yeah, my mind has moved back and forth on various options..

      1) Use canning jars with tattler lids, they should not rust, and deal with moisture just fine.

      2) use standard lids then bag each jar then tie up.

      3) use standard mason lids and then dip the top in wax to prevent problems with moisture ( Not too fond of this method but it is an idea.

      4) use 1 gal food saver bags, then put these inside a contractor garbage bag then use a rope to the top of the tie of the bag. Then use a vacuum cleaner to pull most of the air out then tie the bag..

      • MartHale7

        Member
        September 28, 2023 at 5:05 pm

        The goods that I now store are dehydrated, then vacuum sealed either in bags or jar, I prefer jars more than other methods. And with sweet potatoes I like powdering them to save even more storage space.

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