Saturday, April 19, 2008

root cellar progress - front wall

i worked on the root cellar today for the first time in recent memory. this project has been going on for almost three years. my back is sore.

my little truck was instrumental in making a serious leap forward. this root cellar is always the last thing that i get to work on in any given season. luckily i caught up on spring gardening earlier in the week--herbs, basil, cilantro, arugula, spinach, dill and tomatillos from sugar mtn.

the root cellar is made from earth bag construction. i got the poly bags as a mis-print cheap. the nice thing about this method is they breath proper humidity and don't require a poured foundation. i made the roof arch from ferocrete. it was really fun to do but very labor intensive.

today i made the door frame from pressure treated two by fours. i stitched the barbed wire through drilled holes. the barbed wire is laid between the bags and keys them together. this bonds the door jam to the bags nicely. i also drove re-bar across about mid way up as further structural integrity.

tomorrow i'll attach expanded metal lath to the door jam and wrap the walls. then i'll mix some stucco and cement and finish the front walls. at the end of the project i'll rock the face with this collection of rock that i have had laying around for almost two years. tomorrow should be another leap forward. a little more infill on the top and i'll be ready to cover the entire thing. the covering will be a water barrier (billboard tarp), a piece of old carpet and then the dirt. the dirt should mound clear up to the top of the pump house. i plan to put a living roof on the pump house. it will be dry/cool storage canning, cheese and stuff.

the solar hot water collectors will shade the pump house. so we'll grow violets on top of it and the root cellar. there will be violet jelly in my future.

once i'm done with the root cellar i can start the milking barn in earnest.
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