Wednesday, May 23, 2012

Root Cellar

The guy we have digging the pond is a stellar champion of homesteaders. He hit gravel while digging the pond, so he put in a gravel road to the cabin for us. Previously we've only had a dirt track and when it rains real hard (seldom) we've had to park down at the main road or we get the vehicles stuck. That's about a third of a mile to hike back in the rain, often carrying groceries. No fun. Now we have a beautiful white gravel road that leads right up to our cabin. No extra cost. As he said, "I have to do SOMETHING with this stuff" so he put it to good use.

At the 8 foot mark while digging we've run into what appears to be a layer of quartzite. He's bringing out a tractor with a jackhammer on it tomorrow and he thinks he'll be able to go through that rock and lift it straight out in slabs with the dozer. He can use those slabs to help shore up the dam.

But we had to stop digging on the pond a bit early today because of the rock layer. He's not one to sit idle so he took his backhoe and dug us out a root cellar as well. It's up by the cabin with the closest thing to a hill that we have on the property. It's 10' X 10' and about 6' deep. When I put a roof on it then that will add about another foot of height to the inside. And about 4' of dirt on top.

The walls are clay and just as smooth as you could wish for. There's no water seeping in and it doesn't feel damp to the touch, though it smells a little wet if you're familiar with the smell of wet clay. I could put up some sort of cinder blocks or wall material, but it doesn't appear to need them. You want it a little earthy and humid down there. The only problem is that I don't really know how to put a roof on that thing yet. I'm thinking I'll just put down some vertical 2" x 12" boards about a foot apart. That ought to be plenty strong enough to hold the roof up, even with a lot of soil on top. The owner down at the hardware store has some thick timbers that he says he'll make me a heckuva deal on though. I'll go down and look at them in the morning.

Things are progressing along at a rate much better than normal. I don't think we've gotten this much accomplished on the homestead since we built the cabin. And even with all that's going on this week I still managed to finish up a nice looking knife.

God is great!


Gorges Smythe said...

Better go with touching timbers and forget the 2by's. Dirt is heavier than you think! A few layers of plastic over the mound of dirt, followed by more dirt, should make it pretty water-proof.

InvalidID said...

Pictures Ernie, pictures!