This Portable Clay Fridge Keeps Not Only Water Cool, But Also Curd & Veggies
There was a power outage at the Sivasamy’s household in Coimbatore, Tamilnadu one afternoon. His wife and he pulled up a charpoy by the back door to enjoy some cool breeze and fanning themselves. Their grandson has lit a candle inside his room to continue studying.
Despite doing different activities, the trio had a few drops of sweat running down their foreheads. Deep down, their thoughts were “Oh, this heat!” However, the vegetables in the Sivasamy household are not complaining. They are seated snugly inside an earthen pot arrangement. They are fresh and carry the fragrance of the earth.
Sivasamy, a potter based in a hamlet named Karumathampatti near Coimbatore, built this contraption in 2018, which he calls ‘earthen refrigerator. Since the early days, clay and earthen pots were used to keep water cool naturally. So if these pots can keep water cool, why not other liquids and solids too?
Having built clay items all his life, the 70-year-old decided to use his knowledge and expertise to build a device that would help people live sustainably as well.
He says, “Clay pots are not just useful to cool the water but also to purify it naturally. The porous micro-texture blocks contaminants in the water and makes it relatively safe to drink. Apart from this, clay is alkaline which interacts with acidic foods and provides an adequate pH balance. Thereby keeping the acidity and gastric-related problems at bay.”
What is the earthen refrigerator?
Caption: Adding water to the clay refrigerator
This device is a big cylindrical clay pot that has two features added to it — a tap in the front and an outlet at the back to pour water inside.
Inside, a smaller pot sits neatly, on top of which goes the lid, where you can place your vegetables.
To make it a cooling device, one has to pour almost 15 liters of water into the big pot. This keeps your vegetables and fruits chilled. If stored properly, they remain fresh for up to four days.
“You can also use it to store curd, milk, and eggs,” says Sivasamy.
There are two variants of this refrigerator — one is 1.5 feet in length while the other is 2 feet. They cost Rs 1,700 and Rs 1,800 respectively. To date, Sivasamy says that he has sold more than 100 fridges so far.
Caption: Sivasamy placing vegetables in the clay refrigerator
Hailing from a family of potters, Sivasamy has made a plethora of products using clay. His house doubles as a shop and godown, where he sells more than 150 types of earthen products. The shop is called Thiruneelakandar Stores and has been running for the past 50 years.
During his father’s time, the duo used to only make lamps and pots. But decided to expand to meet the demands and needs of people. Explaining the process of making the fridge, Sivasamy says he gets clay from three different places, which he has to mix to the right consistency.
After that, he makes each piece of the fridge, which is then dried in the shade. It takes him one month to make ten refrigerators.
A healthy life
Growing up, Sivasamy ate fresh produce from farms. However, over time they had to purchase from markets and store them in refrigerators. This not only caused deterioration of their health but also increased their electricity consumption.
So the clay refrigerator solved two problems for their family.
Sivasamy also makes and sells clay kadais, pans, tumblers, bottles, jugs, and cooking pots, among other products. Some of Sivasamy’s customers include families, individuals looking for healthier lifestyles and even doctors
In the past four years, with more people taking care of their health, Sivasamy has seen a rise in sales. He says, “As our health has started deteriorating, more people are moving towards old habits now. We have been following a simple life since our birth and are healthy. I am happy that people are learning about the benefits of clay pots and cooking in them.”
Many people are drawn to earthen pots for the sweet smell of rain and earth that the pots lend to the fruits and vegetables when used for storage.
The earthen refrigerator can be shipped across India. For more details, call 8015032612.
Roshini Muthukumar, a native of Chennai, started her career as a content writer but made a switch to journalism to pursue her passion. She has experience writing about human interest stories, innovative technology, entrepreneurs, research blogs, and more. Previously, Roshini has done internships with The Hindu, Metroplus and worked as a correspondent with The Better India.
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