How to Make a Root Cellar

by: EJ on 11/20/2017

We are already lining up the books in the Sustainable Building Essential Series for next spring.  I am particularly excited about Essential Earthbag Construction: The Complete Step-by-Step Guide by Kelly Hart.

In preparation for our sales meeting with our Canadian sales reps, Ampersand Inc., I was researching earthbag building.  I suddenly got the idea that it might be possible to build the root cellar I have been wanting by using earthbags.  A quick e-mail to the author returned these links - along with much encouragement!


There are some articles about earthbag root cellars on Kelly Hart's website at and, as well as plans for one at And course, the new book describes how to build them also.


Both these cellars are built into relatively flat ground and have domes constructed over them.  Domes are one of the unique aspects of earthbag building. 


I was hoping to put my cellar into the side of a hill and found this example at Alderwood Wilderness College.  Although the description of digging the hole and the long construction schedule was a bit daunting, I am not deterred.

Earthbag structures are finished with natural plasters and as luck would have it, Essential Natural Plasters: A Guide to Materials, Recipes and Use  by Michael Henry and Tina Therrien will be released one month after Essential Earthbag Construction. 

I think my goal should be to have the structure ready for plastering by the time the second book is off press.  What do you think, all you natural builders out there?  Am I being too optimistic? 




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