Sunday, February 20, 2011

Root Cellar Update

We had to abandon the finish work on the Dirt Bag Root Cellar until the temperature returned to cement curing range (above 55 degrees Fahrenheit). Actual stucco is extremely difficult to find these days so we opted to use Sand Topping Quikcrete which is available in large quantities at Lowe's. This is basically your typical add-water mix used in DIY cement jobs but lacking the gravel. Since we were applying such a thin layer, it seemed like a good substitute.

I took us some experimentation to determine the correct 'texture' that would stick to the gravity defying contours. A slightly dry mix seemed to work best. As the pictures indicate, Bernard is working from the top down, I'm working from the bottom up. We will meet in the middle. (Not a good way to construct a wall, but for this job it should work!).

The bags accumulated a lot of moisture over the winter so we are trying to dry it out by leaving the door open during the day. As we lay concrete over the outside, the curing process seems to be sucking the moisture out as well. Even with the door open, the temperature inside is usually 10-15 degrees cooler, so I'm confident once it is completely covered and dried out, it will maintain a good temperature/humidity balance for curing cheese.

More pics to follow!

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