Construction Earthbags

Earthbag Cellar: Shelves and … Food!

The shelves felt like  a small scale “industrial” project … mass production and assembly of parts.

I had already charred a few boards in preparing for the shelves. Now it was time to cut them up and make them into frames.

Then piled them up for charring the remaining parts at the “charring station” just outside the cellar.

After charring I moved the frames into the cellar and over a few days applied two layers of linseed oil to them … both for additional protection and so that we wouldn’t get dirty from touching the charred wood.

After that I prepared the 104 shelf supports and then install them onto the frames (the layout is designed to let us setup different shelf sizes to accommodate the different sizes of jars we typically use).

Meanwhile the temperature in summer kitchen was rapidly dropping uncomfortably close to zero … so While I was busy with the construction Iulia was already busy moving our food from the summer kitchen into the smaller cellar room.

And then came assembly … one frame and then another …

Until we had a skeleton standing and ready for contents:

And just to get a feel for it … I placed a few of the old shelves (I designed the new shelf-frame to use the same size shelves as the old one)  in place and stacked on some tomatoe sauce bottles … and it felt good 🙂

Then lots more packing stuff from the summer kitchen, moving it to the cellar, cleaning the old shelves and moving them also to the cellar, cutting new boards into more shelves (the new frame takes many more shelves), making the rear board for each shelf with a small backing strip to act as a rear stop … LOTS more wood processing.

We got a large roll of plastic-ish table cloth and started covering all the shelves.

… and the shelves started to come together and fill up

… and we brought some root vegetables and cabbages for storage … and they joined some apples and last local pepppers in the small room.

… and then more shelves and more jars and more shelves …

… and the cellar has become a place … the place we imagined it would be.

We started the shelves when the ground was frozen solid (very convenient). Then it got warmer and we had to carry lots of stuff through the mud (very inconvenient). The temperatures are now comfortably parked around zero. We have snow up to our knees … a sight we haven’t seen for 4 or 5 years:

There is still the grainery and another storage cabinet to make … but I don’t know when I will get around to them. The critical things are done and we are settled in for winter. They may wait until spring.

It was 7 years ago that the old shelves were built and loaded (just before winter) with our first winter supplies:

I was and continued to be moved by the site of the old shelves, now standing naked and almost empty.

I feel like I have witnessed a major cycle … and the empty field of the summer kitchen is now available to become something new.

The days are short and cold … and another year is ending … and also … in a way … this feels like an end of this journey. If you’ve been following this Earthbag Cellar chapter of our journey, thank you for your interest. If you’ve visited with us during these two years to lend a hand, thank you also for your material support.

We hope to be back in spring with new projects. Wishing you a warm and peaceful winter 🙂

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