Friday, January 24, 2014

What the Heck Has Been Going On, part 2

Jeremy's big news is that he had to move the farm in December. Ugh.  He had been making plans in September about how to expand his business and had asked permission of the land-owners to expand into some other areas. They weren't really keen on it and asked him to wait till next May, to see what happens. What's that supposed to mean!?  If Jeremy was going to expand, September to November was the time to get things set-up.  He suspected something was up with the land (since it has been for sale for years and years). He immediately started looking for a new place to move – meeting farmers, taking tours, etc. Nothing was set yet, but he was narrowing it down and hoped to know by February or so and then make the move.  But the day after Thanksgiving he got a call that the land had been sold and he had until the end of December to get out.  The weather hadn't been too bad till that point, but three days  after the call the temperature dropped like a stone and we got our first big snow of the year. Just great. Jeremy talked to some different farms and found a place that was willing to let him move everything. Poor Jeremy spent a good two weeks hauling logs (around 2500), posts, shade fabric, tents, the trailer, etc, etc. It was exhausting and he certainly couldn't have done it without all the volunteer help he got. So now he's in the midst of firming up plans with this new farm. Does he stay there, or move somewhere else? If he stays, what does the new set-up look like and when should he start building it? At the same time, he's trying to track down loggers to get the logs he needs for the year and planning for the types of mushrooms he'll do. I think he's cutting down on Oyster mushrooms. It's too bad because they are so beautiful and very tasty. But people just don't seem to buy them as much as Shiitake. I think people aren't familiar with maybe they're a bit scary. Who knows.

Something else that came up in the fall was the discovery of mold in the walk-in cooler in the basement. Bummer!  The whole walk-in cooler experiment was... very interesting but it was definitely time to move on. We had a modified air conditioner keeping it cold in there, but it just wasn't doing the job properly anymore. Jeremy purchased a chest freezer off Craigslist and did a conversion to make it more of a fridge.  He got another one to use as a freezer. All the mushrooms went to love in the chest fridge and freezer in the garage. We still had a lot of bags of chicken feed in the walk-in, which we kept there to keep away from the mice. But then we discovered the mice had chewed their way in – underground I think, through the basement floor, up through several layers of insulation and plywood till they found a way in. So we got another chest freezer, one that didn't work, so it was free, and we piled all the chicken feed in there. Airtight and mouse proof! Of course – we now have four chest freezers in the garage! Sigh.

Oh. And then Jeremy bought a professional walk-in cooler off Craigslist. It's pretty much a bunch of walls and a ceiling that have to be put together. Of course there is no room in the garage for it at the moment because of how much is in there. We need to do a good cleaning of the garage – get rid of some junk, try to sell that lovely claw-foot bathtub we bought years ago (and now know we will not be using), move things around, organize, etc. A lot of that will be dependent on being able to move some things into the basement. Which is totally packed and unorganized too! So... first things first – we dismantled and removed the root cellar/walk-in cooler.  We're leaving some of the stud walls to create shelving along the back wall. Then we'll be able to organize a lot more stuff into the basement. And we'll be able to clear out the bit of shelving at the front of the basement, which we plan to convert into a chick brooder because we're planning to kill the rest of our chickens this spring and start a new batch of chicks!  It seems all so normal and not a big deal until I say it (or type it out) and then I think – we are crazy!!

These were the canning shelves, devoid of canned goods and coming down. This shelving was attached to the outside of the root cellar / walk-in, so it all had to go!

Here's the outside of the root cellar, one last time!

canning shelves coming down nicely...

Taking off the sheathing, revealing the insulation we'll have to deal with...

Jeremy took out every piece of sheathing and insulation one by one, then I took it through the basement, up the stairs, out the door, to the garage. Boy did my legs hurt after all the stair climbing! And now our garage is packed full of this stuff!

Jeremy surveying the next steps.

Ah, here's where the mice were getting through!  When all the insulation was cleared away we discovered a LOT of holes in the foundation wall, right in the edge between floor and wall. We're going to have to fill those with concrete soon.

We used a blower for much of the process, pointed right out the window, because of the mold. Better safe than sorry!

Getting ready for taking off the interior sheathing...

We used blown in insulation (which had originally come from our top floor when we remodeled up there!) When you take off the sheathing it pours down into the room. What a mess!  We bagged it up and will use it in some other wall-building project in the future I'm sure. 

Oh. And then there's my plan to re-do the bathroom as well. (See what I mean about crazy?) I've been scheming and thinking about if for months, but biding my time till January because I just couldn't think about it till now. And now Jeremy and I have had a chat about it, and there is a plan.  But it's dependent on finding a new bathtub first. A good long one, like six feet I think, and extra wide. We don't want a whirlpool/spa tub, though at that size maybe you can't get a “normal” tub. And the drain needs to be on the right or in the center. And we can't really afford the $1000 or so pricetag I've been seeing for that big of a tub. I'm thinking more like... $200. Any takers? =)  So that requisition might slow things down a lot. But once we secure that, I'm super excited about the changes to the bathroom. I'll have to blog more about that in the future because we have some sinks to decide between and a really beautiful cabinet we got from some friends that just has to be in the bathroom. So stay tuned for that (but you know, not too eagerly...)

Bonus! The tea shelf I bought at Savers in 2008 had become woefully too small for our tea collection. I designed a new version. My sneaky plan was to tell Jeremy the size of the boards I needed so he could cut them out. Then I will put it all together. Well, Jeremy saw my picture so he went ahead and put it all together for me. Yay!  I feel like we could already use a slightly bigger one...or maybe we should cut down on the tea? Anyway, it's very simple and beautiful and I love my new tea shelf!


Adrian said...

Those are some huge projects you are working on! I hope you find your bathtub. The only thing that comes to my mind is an old clawfoot tub, but I don't know that the drain setup would work for you.

Aimee said...

We have an old clawfoot tub - but it's not big enough. I don't know that they make them extra long. In any case, Jeremy says clawfoots are out. If we do that, he'll want to tile the whole bathroom and put a drain in the floor and not have much of a curtain around the tub - so he can get the whole bathroom wet. Yep, we're not going down that road! =)