"We learn from our gardens to deal with the most urgent question of the time:
How much is enough?"

– Wendell Berry

Crop Storage Structures

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About Our Storage Structures


Our root cellar, crop, and food storage structures use geothermal technology to cool their chambers and keep food stored at it’s optimum conditions. Our storage structures offer long term storage of up to six months and beyond of some produce, allowing you to offer fresh local foods year round.


These buildings and structures offer custom storage chambers to create the temperature and humidity conditions for several types of foods. They meet the needs for processing and storing foods for the cellar, drying racks, and fermentation while creating cooling shade, housing utilities, and offering production space.


Storage systems are a minimum of 700 cubic feet and in an average residential basement retrofit and upwards of 48,000 cubic feet for facilities and farms.


The practical storage length is between 4-8 months depending on location, thermal mass enhancement, and exposure to heat of outside walls.. Our systems can be retrofitted for use with energy efficient cooling systems for extended spring and summer use in hotter climates.

 All of our project come with energy data and projected savings statements to help you find a return on your investment.

Energy and savings information

Whole Farm Services is working and researching to provide the necessary data to prove how Geothermal mass enhanced cold storage saves money, energy, and provides the necessary conditions to keep foods fresh and vital.


As a matter of local, regional, and national food security, storage and distribution systems must change in order to reduce the carbon foot print of the food and farming industries.Root Cellars and other forms of renewable cooling technology offer a solution to reducing the energy inputs into food while keeping them optimally stored.  


The cost of an 800 cubic foot walkin cooler can be $7,500.00 installed this is close to $9.50 cubic foot and then you have to pay for electricity, averaging $1,5 –2,000 per year.


Ave. installation savings for a 800 cu ft. basement retrofit when compared with a similar sized, new conventional uninstalled 770 cu ft. walkin- approx $2,000.00.


Ave. annual electrical savings over conventional in the retrofit with add’tl energy efficient seasonal cooling device – 75%


Ave. electrical savings 800 cu ft retrofit during passive months- 100% approx- $750/year.


This will last about 13 years the average life span of a refrigerator compressor. This total will be equal to $25,000 conservatively. Over a 13 year life span.


This equal out to almost $30 per cubic foot over 13 years.


The average cost of a root cellar retrofit and new construction:

  • $6 and $10 per cubic foot. (This does not include sight work and utilities to site )  Our structures have been made from concrete masonry units, gunite, and other forms of masonry materials that are guaranteed for fifteen years for workmanship. Their life span is expected to last 200 years if properly maintained. Pay back time is approximately ten years at a depreciated value between $0.50 and $0.90 per cubic foot/ per year.

The average food mile: 1,300 miles


This does not account for total energy consumption retained in food production.


The average energy lost in conventional food including: 7-10 cal. for 1 cal. consumed


This includes transport, processing, and distributor storage – not home refrigeration 


Food storage home energy costs: 16 percent of electrical bill


Supermarket costs: 43 percent supermarket electrical bills.


Substantial energy can be saved in supporting local farms by creating valuable home food storage and adding incentive for farms to produce more storage crops and thus more local revenues and economy.


We know that creating food storage can reduce home energy use drastically because of limiting food processing, packaging, transport, and storage energy. It can also create a peace of mind knowing that if the power goes out, you won’t lose all of your food. Of course they are great tornado protection as well.


We are currently developing the carbon foot print for our food storage cellars as another means of comparing values with conventional technologies. If you have research or other information that disputes or supports our claims please contact us so we may refine our products and make them accessible, affordable, and effective.



Sterling College Crop Storage Facility Design