Forecast: Muddy Sinking Death

So the forecast called for rain tomorrow.  Key word; tomorrow.  I thought to myself, I’ll just put the tarp over the gaping man hole tonight.  I’m sure I’ll have time. 

Little did I know it would start pouring before I got home from work.  This is “old man is snoring” kind of raining.  I know what you’re thinking.  “Oh no!  Now he’ll go back to the hole this weekend and sink into a giant puddle of muddy death!”  Well, thank you for your concern, my mildly interested reader.  But I actually thought ahead this time, and put up a make-shift roof this morning! A twist!

I put two X-like sizeable twigs ground-level on either side, with a small tree I cut for this sideways across the 6’6″ wide hole I dug.  Then laid other branches across longways, then a tarp, plastic left over from the Ikea couch we bought recently, and cardboard boxes.  It’s pretty ghetto, but hey, like my fake cousin from New York says, “It woiks!”

I hope it keeps the rain out well.  Especially since I made a blog post about it.  Life has a funny way of being ironic.  I prepared, but mother nature always has the upper hand.  The house always wins.

Side story: I did make my first cob wall this morning. … On my shoe.  I noticed it before I left for the store this evening.  I had to smell it to make sure it wasn’t….well.  Doodie.  Not that I have a dog, but maybe a woodland creature decided to grace my lawn with it’s… doodie.  The earth dug up from this project is pretty clay-y.  (Cob is sand, clay, binder.) There was clay, dirt, grass, half an acorn, and some other unknowns.  It would not come off with a jackhammer.  I looked like the guy from The Shining walking into the grocery store dragging one foot. 

Anyway, the moral of this post is to be prepared, lest you have a muddy sinkhole to trap people in and do other scary movie cliches like “It puts the lotion in the basket.”  For others who think about digging a hole this deep, I would seriously encourage you to have appropriate tarps in place before you start digging.  B/c working in a giant mud hole will not be fun.  I had enough stuff around to get by, but more real tarps would have been better.

One more thing I should note, for those who consider building a root cellar this way.  I am putting all the dirt I’m digging up that is 6″ below the surface level on the sides around the root cellar.  This makes it easiest for people to dig, chuck to the side, fill the bags then transport back into the wall space.  The first 6″ has too much root, leaves, and organic material to sort out for bags.  The roots would decompose in the bags, and cause gaps, leaving weaknesses in the wall.  Where it is on my lawn, is where big trees are, so the leaves compost in place and leave good garden material anyway, so it’s going on cardboard in place of briars and poison ivy I’m trying to kill.  I hope that all makes sense, but hands on experience makes you think of stuff like that anyway.

Now leave me alone.  Wait, I’m the one writing this.  Because now (being fall) I have a sick wife, a sick son, and an IPA to attend to.

Until next time, stay dirty.

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