I wanted to make a quick post about a super easy and super cheap woodshed we built back in the Fall of 2011. Using mostly materials we salvaged from the trash or re-used, we threw up this shed in a little more than a weekend. It has a capacity of around 8 cords, but we use it for much more than just wood storage, and it now keeps our tractor out of the elements, provides storage for straw bales, and houses miscellaneous items that needed a home. Think of it as an open-air barn.
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In April, the Dacha hosted a mushroom log workshop, where participants got to inoculate aspen logs from our property with oyster mushrooms. After a rainy and cold early fall, I’m happy to report that the first crop of oysters have fruited on our logs!
One thing I’ve learned from this process is that logs need to be as fresh as possible for the best result. On some of our logs, which were harvested 6 months before the workshop, I’ve noticed some competing mushroom growth in addition to the oysters. If you’re cultivating mushrooms, make sure you can identify the mushrooms you’ve “planted.”
What’s next in Dacha mushroom cultivation? Shitake logs, perhaps?
If you’re interested in mushroom cultivation, or mushrooms in general, I highly recommend Paul Stamets’ excellent book, Mycelium Running: How Mushrooms Can Help Save the World
On Saturday, October 2nd, the Dacha Project will be opening it’s doors to the public, as part of the Ithaca Green Building Tour. If you’ve ever wanted to visit and walk around with us on a tour, this is the day for it! Come see all the recent developments and fun projects we’ve got going on, from mushroom logs, to our waste vegetable oil tri-generator, to our passive solar earth bermed home.
The open house will run from 10AM to 4PM. For more information and directions, email us at dachaproject [.at.] gmail [.dot.] com.
The Green Building Tour is put on by the Cornell Cooperative Extension of Tompkins County, the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association, and the Ithaca Green Building Alliance. Thanks to all of them for the work they’ve put into this!
(photo credit: Beer Nuts)
diznila buildings, DIY barn board, barn boards, barn wood, ceiling, cottage, Finger Lakes Reuse Center, hardwood, oak, reclaimed materials, reclaimed wood, recycled materials, recycled wood, refurbished wood, refurbishing, restored wood, salvage 0 Comments
After mulling for weeks about how to finish the ceiling on our straw bale cottage, we still couldn’t decide what to do. Should we go with drywall, the (cheap) material of choice for nearly everything built these days? Or tongue and groove wood, which would definitely look amazing, but would cost at least 4-5 times more.
As we wrestled back and forth, an opportunity fell into our lap. While hunting for a bathroom vanity at the Finger Lakes Reuse Center, we noticed that they had reclaimed barn boards for sale at a very reasonable price. Before long, we were driving back to the Dacha with a truckload of miscellaneous planks, most of them oak from 60-80 years ago. The boards were a dull gray on the outside, with a thick layer of dust and the occasional worm hole. They looked dingy, about what you’d expect for a plank that’s been in use inside a barn for the larger part of a century. You could still see deep saw marks from now-antiquated milling equipment.
Join us for a hands-on workshop this Saturday, April 10th, as we learn about mushroom cultivation on logs. We will be inoculating poplar logs with oyster mushroom spawn, using a method that is sort of like a game of Whack-a-mole.
We’re certainly not experts (yet), but we’ve been wanting to try this for a while, and it should be a fun learning experience. All the necessary tools and materials will be provided.
This workshop is free! If you want to take an inoculated log home with you, there’s a suggested donation of $5-10 to cover material costs.
The event is expected to run from 1-4pm on Saturday, April 10th, 2010. To RSVP or get directions, email Danila – dapasov (at) gmail (dot) com.
With temperatures in Ithaca rising into the 50s, spring feels like it’s right around the corner. In actual fact, we’re still deep in February, and it might well snow on Friday. But the heat still makes me imagine the coming warm months, when the ground will thaw and the become ready for planting.
With that in mind, I’ve started searching for information on our soil and the wonderful plants we can grow in it. Reading a great local blog, Living in Dryden, I found a handy map produced by the town of Dryden which roughly classifies soils and floodplains in the area. According to the map, we’ve got either Class I or II type soil, which they consider the best for agriculture. Excellent news!
I dug deeper and went to the Web Soil Survey from the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service. This is a really great resource which lets you look up soil information for just about anywhere in the United States. And most of the information is current, which may not be true about paper soil maps. In our region the map is from 2006.
After tinkering with the interface, I came up with a map like the one below. It shows roads and the boundaries of different soil types. It also has a nice legend which helps you figure out what you’re looking at, and lets you pick a point and grab information about it. In the small area I chose there were just 6000 acres with 35 different soil types!
Danila here, bringing you an update on our fabulous little cottage. While the rest of our crew is wintering in sunny California, Joe and I have been working on the toolshed-turned-guest house nearly every day, trudging through mud, ice, snow and the joy of building stuff with our hands.
Since November, we have made wonderful progress, and the little building has really come together. We’ve put in windows and doors, plugged holes in the walls, and have gotten to a point where someone could stay in the cottage without freezing!
So without any further ado, on to the photos! Here’s what the “toolshed” looked like in early November, when we were just getting the straw bale walls up: