Well, right in the middle of those two projects we were surprised by a sudden adoption placement that we were expecting to take over a year, and 3-week-old Mr. Smiles joined our family in a whirlwind 9 days. So homestead projects screeched to a halt.
Here we are, a year later, and we are finally getting back to them! Fall really is the best time to get outdoor projects done around the mountain homestead.
We have access to a free tractor with a back-hoe again, so we have been using it to dig up dirt from some spots on the property and then put that extra dirt on top of the root cellar to finish covering it fully.
Here are pictures of how the root cellar has been since last fall, showing all four sides as I walked counter-clockwise around it starting at the back:
And here it is currently:
After covering it with dirt we added a layer of compost from the barnyard to help the grass grow back over it next spring.
We still need to finish closing in the front section next to the door, secure the door to make it as bear-proof as possible, and build shelves inside. We wont be using it this year, but we want to get a thermometer/hygrometer in there so we can track the temperature and humidity in it through this fall, winter, and spring. That will help us to know what it will be suitable for and we can plan the garden next spring to grow plenty of what we would like to put in the cellar for winter.
Last year we got the smoker part of the smokehouse all set up and buried the stovepipe. This year we have been working on building the smokehouse itself. Mtn Man is using oak pallets because a smokehouse needs to be made of hardwood and we have access to plenty of free oak pallets.
Here is what we accomplished last fall:
And here it is now:
So the base framing is done, but we still need to finish the siding, door, and roof. We are hopeful to use it this fall and winter to smoke some of the elk and deer that Mtn Man and Young Man hunt this year.
It feels good to be making some progress on these projects that have been waiting. Hopefully we can get them done soon.