It rained for two days after I dug the makeshift cellar, and thankfully not a drop of water made it in. Yesterday I went to Home Depot and bought a simple wireless thermometer/hygrometer to measure and record temperature and humidity.
So far there has been a five degree fahrenheit fluctuation between hot and cold, from last night till the warmest part of a sunny day (45F to 50F). Humidity has remained fairly constant at 86%, which is pretty close to where I want it. I really wanted to get one of these, but then I would have had to work out exactly how I was going to either run way too much cable in conduit in the back yard (and under a concrete path), or figure out how to build a rugged little computer to live in the cellar along with some wireless repeaters. And while it actually does sound like fun, that's a bit more involved than I wanted to be at the moment.
For the summer when it gets quite hot out here I plan on simply putting a big fake rock filled with styrofoam we haven't thrown away yet on top of it. I may add a bag of ice every once and awhile, but I really don't know until July gets here. The placement is in an area that doesn't get much sun to begin with, so I'm hoping to keep it below 60F without artificial means. This project, if it works, will greatly expand my ability to store perishables, and might be a pretty novel idea in it's own right. A small 'cellar' like this could be a great answer for many, many people who don't want to pay more in electricity for refrigeration, but also don't have much room to work with.
Anyway, only time will tell.
Cheese A Day by Jeremy Pickett is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial 3.0 United States License.
Based on a work at cheeseaday.blogspot.com.