Tuesday, 14 February 2012

Future plan

Whilst we had that handy digger loader at the farm last year, I started the groundwork (LOL) for a future plan.


And that plan is an underground cellar!  Why cellars are not a standard feature in this country I have no idea.  Especially given that the original emigrants to this country were mainly from Europe.  If this cellar has a suitable temperature, I plan on storing excess harvests in this cellar, as well as my preserves and any food which I would normally store in a fridge - which I don't have LOL  (And it will also be large enough to store RMan's favourite tipple - Windhoek Larger.)
Leveling the ground running up to the
entrance to the future cellar
We had originally dug a cellar hole with the first foundation trenches which we dug, before we discovered that we were too close to the boundary and had to re-dig our foundations 30 mtrs from the fence - what a stupid law - I mean, for heavens sake, we are on an agricultural plot, not in the middle of a built-up urban area.  And, even in the town you're allowed to build within 1.0 mtr of your boundary fence.  Makes no sense to me...


So, late last October / early November the digger loader came in and dug the original cellar hole a little deeper.  I am picturing a half submerged cellar which will be covered with an earth berm.  That should help to keep it cool during our hot summers.  And, hopefully, invisible from any building inspectors who come to sign off the house... when it's complete.
It is situated roughly half way between the start of the lemon orchard and the house - and right next to the vegetable patch.


The door opening is facing east - so that should help keep the midday / afternoon heat out.  I couldn't have it facing south, which would have been ideal, as the slope of the land dictated it's position.  Also, our major wind comes from the south, which would cause havoc with opening and closing the door - trust me - our kitchen door faces south - and that's a b-i-g hassle.


We have a layer of topsoil, a layer of clay and then pure shale.  The only thing that could cut through that kind of ground is the digger loader - and there were times where even it seemed to initially battle a bit.  And the solid shale will be a perfect base for the cellar.
The entrance still needs to be dug a little deeper, but, because we were running out of digging time on that trip, we had to call it a day before I was finished...

20 comments:

  1. I love cellars! There is always an earthy smell and it keeps food a long time.

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  2. It's 'fun' to watch the progress you are making. A cellar is such a wonderful storage option. I hope it all works out.

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  3. Best of luck on your project. I guess "government" intrudes everywhere. What a pain!

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    1. Thanks. Yes, they are the ruddy pits, aren't they!

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  4. Looks like a good idea. We should do the same. We have one that is not in the best shape, but usable.

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    1. John - I don't know how hot it gets where you are, but certainly in winter it would be a terrific place to store stuff.

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  5. SO jealous, I've wanted a cellar forEVER. In fact, working on a blog post now about cellars (around here more for storms and such). But our water table is so high in this part of the country that almost no one has cellars or basements. Where I was born and spent summers, Oklahoma, is tornado country and everyone has a cellar. My grandmothers kept their canned goods in there all year. What a fond memory. Can't wait to see how it comes out! Exciting!

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    1. 1st Man - Lucky you with the water table! We need a borehole - wanna swop?

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  6. 1st man...is a lucky man!My closest water table is 3000 ft deep.

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    1. Frann - Agree - would happily trade a cellar for a borehole!

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  7. sounds like you really need a cellar out there, i hadn't thought about that before... Im sure you cant wait to have some cool beer from it lol

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    1. Astra - With the size cellar that I have planned, RMan may have to load up the trailer with beers - there'll be plenty of room :)

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  8. "Invisible" oh yes, I love that. If only all our new farm structures could be as invisible!

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    1. Leigh - the less obvious the more secure...?

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  9. Great work. Belle gave me a book on cellaring for Christmas last year. It's on our list to do. Honestly, I'm a little concerned about collapsing walls. I'm sure I'll warm up to it eventually. We have the perfect hillside for it. Your post is an encouragement to press on!

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    1. Jody - would love the title of that book :) We do plan on making re-enforced brick walls, with a ceiling that can take the weight of the soil. Lucky you with the hill :)

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  10. We have basements here, and we have two in this house, but both are too warm to keep produce in which is a shame.

    Gill in Canada

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    1. Gill in Canada - I'm hoping that the earth berm (roof) above the cellar will help keep the cellar warm enough to store preserves. Time will tell...

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