Yes Root Cellar, we have been playing with the idea of having one since before we moved here; and our first house plans always included some "foresight" as to where a trap door could be kept. The real deciding factors (yes there is an 's' there), was the Joplin tornado; that was just a tad bit to close for comfort. Also we had watched a video the other day that had a man now in his 80's who hand dug his root cellar in 1980, which would have put him in his 60's when he dug it. Well... in my opinion if a 60 something person can dig a root cellar so can we!
Now there is absolutely no storm shelters on our road, and I think the closest one is about a mile away in a cow field. so the plan is to have it big enough for our food storage while giving us room to stand in it in case of a storm. Seeing as how the storms I'm worried about generally aren't likely to be going for more than a few minutes. Tornado's don't sit on you like a hurricane does.
The plan is to dig down at least to 7ft and we think we are going to use concrete floor and walls, with only a ladder for entry and exit, as an attempt to keep the kids from playing in it. We have rain going on right now, and it's suppose to continue for the next couple of days; so I guess digging some more will have to wait for a non-rain day. Well, at least not while it's raining.
We did manage to get out and do some more digging in it yesterday after the girls went to VBS(my son has spent a couple nights at a friend's house). I think we have dug down to a foot at least on one side of the part of the cellar we have started on. The plan is to get down to a foot then move down and dig down to a foot again; then move down again and dig a foot again till we get the full length. Here is a picture of how it looks now, I left a shovel in the hole for some prospective:
I hope this gives some better perspective than the last few pictures I have put up, the plan is to have it only under the addition to our current home. The thought on this is, if it does take more than another year before we can get the house we want up, at least we will have some comfort.
We have been putting all we dig out to good use, as the path to our garden floods when it rains so we are "raising" the path too it. We fill our small wheelbarrow with dirt/stones and my youngest munchkin takes it and dumps it on the path then it gets smoothed some and we make a very big point to walk on it.
This is the section closest to the garden as it was the furthest from the house. My daughter had asked, "but mom how am I suppose to do the whole path? The wheel barrow will get stuck after a while from me pouring the dirt out." You know, kids are just soooo much fun sometimes! It never occurred to her that she needed to start at the far spot and work her way forward. Then I really made her day winks I got a picture of her -working-, the best part is; I had utterly no complaints about her doing this work. Which for her is not easy to do.
We have also been digging up quite a few large stones that we are saving out for the house foundation where the ground needs building up:
As you can see from this picture we found a "few" stones already, I guess one of Missouri's natural crops is stone. I know it's that way in up state New York. These will be moved in the next couple of days either later tomorrow or on Thursday, as my son's job of late has been to move the stones to the house site. So we have to wait till he comes home (late tonight) from VBS before we can think of putting him to work. it's amazing how he manages to get out of doing hard work sometimes, as we had only realized (one of those silly moments of clarity) that we really needed to get this dug before we started building the addition.
Now for a plant update:
This is one of my 2 Elderberry plants, I think it's a very happy plant right now. It's hard to believe that it was just pretty much a stick when we planted it in April. I wonder if it will produce any fruit next year? I imagine it is possible that it will.
Here is the other Elderberry plant:
Doesn't this one look happy too? The first one sent out new branches off the original stem and this one is growing off that original stem and it's sending up new branches. I have side dressed both of these with some extra peat moss that I have had, which I have put right over the straw that I put on them after I had planted them. I will admit to something though, as I was worried about these having a good start I did buy some fertilizer stakes and used one on each of these. Which is probably why they are growing so well. I think I'm going to start looking up Elderberry jams and wine as I can be ready in case I do get them next year. You never know sometimes.
Be Well and Blessed Be...