In the midst of us hearing about our utility bills exceeding $8,000 more per year in the next ten years, or the fears that SHTF is closer than many imagine, and then my talking about refrigerating your homemade cola's, we might take a moment to discuss various ways of keeping fresh foods, milk and various other items cool through hot winters. If you live in the north, or anywhere that you get naturally frozen water, you are in luck.
First the Ice house.
Ice houses are wonderful items. We are building one on the farmstead. They are simple to construct as long as you have the time, energy and a little bit of money to purchase the concrete. Once your house is erected, it is a matter of waiting until winter, harvesting as much Ice as possible. This can be accomplished by cutting blocks out of a frozen pond, or for those without a pond, placing many many bowls of water outside and allowing them to freeze over. Then moving them into the ice house. The best insulation is sawdust, but straw works just as well.
Here are some free plans that are available online. Ice house with a milk house.
Second is the natural spring refrigeration.
If you are lucky enough to have an underground spring, building a spring house is a wonderful option. A spring house is very similar to a well house. Four sides, a roof a door and no floor. Once you have your house built, widen the spring, reinforcing the sides with hefty rocks. Sinking a wooden crate that allows water to flow through it, will allow you to keep milk and other food stuff safely cool.
I do not recommend these for items such as milk, but fruits and veggies do wonderful in them.
You can build a traditional cellar, either a natural dirt and wood or concrete. If you do not have the room, try sinking a wine barrel, or food grade plastic barrel into the ground. Insulate with straw. However if you can't get access to a barrel, another one that I find to work wonderfully is old non-working refrigerators and freezers. You will have to dig a bigger hole. Make sure everything is sealed so that mice and water can not get in, and insulate with straw. Old refrigerators are easier to find than food grade barrels, and hold a lot more.