Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Workin' On It

This post is the first of several to answer all the great questions ya'll posed last week. I promise to get to them all but ya'll bear with me. So, the question was:
what do you have for a food pantry? Do you have cold storage, root cellar?? Are you a prepper?
This photo shows what will soon be my pantry. Due to the fact that I'm still building on the house, I do not, at the moment, have all these items mentioned but do plan on all those things. So, I'll just have to show what I have and discuss my plans. My pantry is an 8'x8' room right off the kitchen. There will be a cased opening leading into it (no door) and it has one small window. I am trying to finish the side to the left so that I can at least set the base cabinets on that side and pour the concrete counter top. Above the base cabinet I plan on having open, wood shelving that extends up to the ceiling. The shelving will probably be five-quarter pine or cypress, 12" deep, with a natural wax finish. Both base cabinet and shelves will be wall to wall. That side will be used for storage of food and other items that I do not want to receive direct sunlight. On the other side of the room I plan on having a chest freezer and it also has a small broom closet behind the electrical panel. The kitchen and pantry will both receive cork flooring.

At the moment I do not have cold storage or a root cellar but would like that. I plan on installing a sand-set brick floor in my pump house (which is partially earth sheltered) and with the addition of shelving, can use it for some cold storage. The pump house stays about 35-45 degrees F. in the winter and I think it would be okay for storing canned food.

As far as the root cellar, that's a little trickier. On the front of the house, which is the north side, I plan on pouring 4' high concrete walls to form planter boxes. This will cover the concrete block that shows now also and help the house appear to 'sit' lower to the ground. Of course, once finished, the planter boxes could possibly be used to grow some food or herbs and medicinal plants without fear that the deer would chow on them. I would like to form a vault of sorts within those planters that would serve as a root cellar. The roof of the vault would also be concrete and it would be covered by the earth and plantings above. Also, since they are on the north side, it always stays cool there. A small, insulated access door would allow you to get to the food from either the outside or inside of the basement. I hope my description is clear and I explained all that well enough. This is one frustrating part of the house because I know what I want to build but it is just taking so long. I'm plugging along though and getting some stuff done. I'm hoping warmer weather will give me a boost of energy too!

As far a s being a prepper, not in the way most people define that I guess. Due to just the lifestyle I like to lead (rural living) and what I do for a living, I do have or employ many of the tools and supplies that preppers do but that's just circumstance more than a conscientious effort for prepping or belief that a great disaster is imminent. Now, don't get me wrong, everyone should keep a decent tool supply, certain supplies for emergencies etc. and I certainly believe that a disaster, whether natural or man made, is possible these days. I am short of the food supply just due to the fact I have not finished constructing my storage areas. I do have some dry goods stored and a good selection of heirloom seeds for growing more food. I have several fruit trees planted already and am adding to that selection and hope to acquire chickens this year. So, I hope that answers that question somewhat.

Oh, btw, this is the enlarged 'cartoon' of the finished design for my bathroom window. I have actually started the window! but haven't gotten real far. I have discovered I need to order glass pretty soon also. I'll try to show what I have of the window soon.

Btw again, I have spoken to the Man From 12 Years Ago a couple of more times since I first told you about that. I asked him to go to dinner with me. He accepted enthusiastically. We'll see.


The Country Experience said...

Good for you for asking him to dinner! If he's been calling you, he is interested in something. The only question I know of is, "What?" Might as well find out!

I really like your idea of having a root cellar in the bottom of the planters. The planters are a great way to accomplish a couple of different goals at once--too cool.

I like the design for the bathroom window, too. The slightly wavy lines are a great counterpoint to the square lines.

Floridacracker said...

Neat! I wish I had a pantry.
Hope your date goes well!

Ed Abbey said...

I dream of having an 8 by 8 pantry some day. All my house designs that I have drawn up have one. They seem essential to someone like me who like to buy in bulk.

tammy (cat lover, res. const.) said...

Way to go! Might be a great friendship or more in the making. Never can have too many friends.
Looking forward to seeing the window.
Pantrys are an important part of a house. i love looking at the older homes and seeing the large "butler" areas they had. It's funny to see lock chest for things such as tea, coffee, sugar which was treated like gold. It's a real reality check from our "super" markets with our 40 brands of coffee and 10 different choices of types of coffee for each brand.
To me a well stocked pantry is some what of a security blanket. Gives that warm fuzzy feeling. Not to mention alleviates any last minute trips to the store for forgotten purchases.
Looking forward to the update on the dinner.

edifice rex said...

Hey CE! Yeah, after thinking about it for a week I called him back just to chat and am so glad I did. He said he was hoping I would call. We've had some good conversations since and yes, he told me he is interested but still just needs a good friend right now.

I think the cellar/planters will work well too.

thanks! I think this design works well too.

Hey FC! thanks! A pantry is a great thing; just need to get mine done.
I have a feeling the date will go very well. ;)

Hey Ed! Yeah, I'm surprised more houses do not incorporate a good size pantry into the design. I think this one will work well.

Hey tammy! I figured you would be happy I did call him back and you were right; he really needs a good friend right now. I always thought a whole lot of this guy back when we worked together.

a pantry is a good security and just makes things so much easier. I really need to finish mine.

I'll be sure and post about the dinner. :)

The Scavenger said...

Things are really shaping up around your place looks like. Great job on everything. Oh yea, and conratulations to the man from 12 years ago, lucky guy. Hope all goes well.


edifice rex said...

Hey Chris! Thanks for all your kind words!

Gary said...

Hooray! Chickens! When you get 'em, post pictures...

That's all I've got for now, busy around here as well...