Summer - Fall 2022

It's been another busy year. After planting the garden and getting the firewood into sheds to dry over the Summer, we refurbished the yurt, dug out a wading area off the side of the pond, and built a root cellar.

The Yurt

was leaking and we couldn't get it to stop, so we took it apart, repaired the woodwork, and rebuilt it with a new liner and a new outer covering. Next year, we aim to have it available for Bed and Breakfast.

Yurt Assembly

Wading Area by the Pond

Both the rock leading into the pond and the banks all around are on sharp inclines, making it hard to get into the water. To make it more pleasant for swimming and just cooling down, we dug a shallow, relatively flat area and covered it with sand. Thanks to accommodating weather, we were able to pump the water level down to about three feet below full. For several days, with our small excavator, we dug out material and moved it to low spots near by. My wife Claire indicates the size of the pond extension.

Wading area

A truck load of crushed rock stabilized the clay and a load of sand over top finished the 'beach'.

LEV beach

Now we are waiting for enough precipitation to refill the pond. Note that the stake near the right of the picture marks the water level when the pond is full.

It filled, bit by bit with thaws and some rain, and reached the over-flow point on the last day of the year.

Pond full

Root Cellar

This was the big project for the year. Our friend Chas had dug a hole for it a few years back when he rented a big high-hoe for work at his place near by. We thought he'd only be able to dig down a few feet, but it turned out that the 32,000 pound machine was able to remove rocks and dirt down almost seven feet on the uphill side.

After the long wait, the first step was to level the bottom and pour a footing.

Filling footing forms

To get blocks safely down to the bottom, we put together a slide.

LEV Block delivery


First row blocks

Seven courses later.

LEV row 8

On the job for all this:

Masons 4

Calib, Chris, Edward and myself.

After row 10 was complete, we selected a red pine that had been planted in the 1960s by the previous owner, and milled it into enough 1 3/4 inch boards to cover the top.

Home cut lumber

Followed by a layer of tar paper, five inches of rigid insulation and some iron reinforcing.

LEV form with iron

The two pipes coming out of the cellar come from the top and bottom of the interior space, for when ventilation is needed.

Ready for the big pour, another crew assembled with a rented mixer.

LEV Concrete Crew

Greg, Jim, Tim, Edward and Tsunami.

Claire and I are grateful for all the help we got this Summer. Not pictured above were Savangia and Rahul, Vic and Arline, Mara and Louise.

Not long after the roof was cast, our beautiful extended Summer weather disappeared to be replaced by an advance Winter freeze. I managed to build and hang an insulated door to finish enclosing the cellar.

A couple of walls, that will eventually be buried but are presently exposed, detract from its ability to maintain a steady refrigeration effect powered by the temperature underground. We are watching a thermometer inside to see how it does while awaiting Spring when we can finish filling around the structure and bury it thoroughly.