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Better late than never! Walapini build.  RSS feed

 
Posts: 97
Location: 6A
13
dog hunting cooking solar woodworking
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Well its a little late in the season. But I have enough wood for 2 winters and my house is sealed up real nice. Time to start thinking about food. I have never built a Walapini before but in our climate it will be necessary to sustain. I got a little help from a neighbor and his old ford. He's a T.V. reality star who shall remain nameless as he has had enough exposure lol. In one of the pictures we had a breakage so I dug the bird poop weld out with a grinder and welded it back up. Today I will reconfigure my welder for 220 and run it off the big genny. She worked fine for small jobs and I thought I was in the clear but soon as I turned the amps up she shut down....#mountainlife.... This morning I'll finish welding and dig the rest of the hole.
We have a little rain today and its warmer than yesterday so should be good to work in. I have to get hot on the roof or I'll have an offgrid muddy swimming pool! Have a nice day.
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steward
Posts: 4412
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
286
bee books forest garden fungi greening the desert hugelkultur
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Looking good Jim. What brand of tractor is that? I haven't seen one with the roof so low, do you hit your head a lot?
 
jim hughes
Posts: 97
Location: 6A
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Made some progress today. That tractor is an old ford. Came in pieces and is all kind of welded together....but it digs a fine hole. I decided, as I'm not a pro, to Just kind of let this thing tell me how it wanted to be built. So I took some ruff measurements and my wife and I set out to find some suitable logs. All of what ya see is Blow down so I guess we repurposed it :) The floor is decomposed granite and makes a fine base, so we just hand formed two of the forms and used some cabinet doors for the pole closest to the entrance. I'm thinking it will blend in with the steps when we get there. Pretty stoked with the way its coming along. most of its still undecided but at least we have an idea of the space. I think it will work out to be 200sf ish.
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jim hughes
Posts: 97
Location: 6A
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Our dog thinks we made her a half pipe!


 
jim hughes
Posts: 97
Location: 6A
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Got a second wind last night so we searched the property for parts. Ask and ye shall receive! Found pretty much everything we need for our RMH. I've never built one so any suggestions are welcome. I think this will be the layout. I have just enough fire bricks for the J tube and some regular bricks for everything else. I plan on filling the mass with rocks and dirt. I have masonry mortar to bond everything together I'm pretty sure this is ill advised but if anyone has used it and it works please let me know. Thanks and have a great day!
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jim hughes
Posts: 97
Location: 6A
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Well POOP! We ended up getting about 3 inches of showstopper yesterday. It's melting fast but I have some work to do on the plumbing so we should be back in action Monday or Tuesday. Still on the search for a suitable front. I have a bunch of windows scoped out on craigslist for free but to do that I'll need to frame em all in and that will cost extra wood. I'm thinking we'll just frame it up simply and fire some plastic over it for this year. We are running short on funds so this will be a budget build. There is a place in town that sells cheep blocks so maybe I'll see how many I can fit in the CRV....We cant even afford to license the truck! LMAO. We are retired in our 40's but the struggle is real! Couldn't be happier!
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jim hughes
Posts: 97
Location: 6A
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Got out early this morning and poured the footers for the rear section. Starting to kind of look like something!
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jim hughes
Posts: 97
Location: 6A
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Hell of day today! Got the roof done on the rear section and had time to dink around with my first rocket stove.
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jim hughes
Posts: 97
Location: 6A
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Craigslist barn wood and shit laying around the property. found some sand bags at a decent price. I'm too tired to type anymore lol.
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pollinator
Posts: 1528
Location: Denver, CO
44
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This sort of thing is always happening to me; racing against the weather to get a big project done! Spring and summer are always too busy planting and harvesting; then the frost comes and I have time, until it snows!
 
jim hughes
Posts: 97
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We are very close to finished! Just a few more holes to plug and its sealed up. Some of the things you will see are temporary as we will be making stuff more permanent next year. This should however get us growing this winter or spring. Just as I have never built a walapini or RMH, I also have never tried to grow in the winter. Can anyone recommend some good winter crops for the walapini?

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Miles Flansburg
steward
Posts: 4412
Location: Zones 2-4 Wyoming and 4-5 Colorado
286
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Looks good Jim, Do you think you will have any problems with water coming off of the roof and eroding down into the hole? Are you gonna collect rain water or snowmelt?

I had an underground house in Wyoming but didn't have a rocket so I am looking forward to seeing what all you will grow in there. (So I really didn't grow much in the winter.) I think you might just throw in some experimental plants of all sorts and see what makes it through!

Oh and ya gotta love craigslist!
 
pollinator
Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
93
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I love watching this project come together.  Thanks for posting progress pics.
 
Posts: 2
Location: Walsenburg, CO
bike forest garden cooking
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garlic, leeks, onions, radishes, lettuce, peas, potatoes, chard, spinach, rhubarb, and other leafy greens such as bok choy and kale. <3 Awesome project and progress!!
 
jim hughes
Posts: 97
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Miles: we're not really sure just kind of wingin it. I have built in some drainage areas but the decomposed granite will be my major pain in the arse. We just wont know till spring. I have an area designated for a sump dig if necessary. It's funny all the foxholes I dug as a private and always put in a grenade sump, so It was natural to look for a spot lol.  We are at an in-pass right now as we got a foot and a half of snow over night on Friday. The roof is holding nicely and RMH keeps things above freezing but we are on the fence as to if we will be using it in the winter. Looks like it is gonna be a cold one and I dont want to run out of wood on the hopes we will get a few heads of cabbage...
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pioneer
gardener
Posts: 2255
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
400
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I love how you named your entry door "Dori" 
 
jim hughes
Posts: 97
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Cute little door we found in the rafters. We name everything for some reason. The correlation to "peewees playhouse" is not lost...but its our thing. Ol' man jeep jenkins AKA Poobican, Browny is the snow plow, proaction jackson AKA skimadoo, Carla is the honda crv AKA redneck razor, etc. lol
 
Mike Jay
pioneer
gardener
Posts: 2255
Location: Northern WI (zone 4)
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We do that too for some weird reason.  Woodstove is named Burnie, wood hauling trailer is Cary, etc.  Good to know we're not the only ones
 
jim hughes
Posts: 97
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Thats awesome. My wife just lol'd she said "I thought we were the only ones..."
 
Todd Parr
pollinator
Posts: 1793
Location: Wisconsin, zone 4
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You guys are awesome.  My parents are right around 70 years old, and they name everything.  The motorcycles, the tractor, everything.  I find it hilarious.  I hope it isn't contagious though
 
pollinator
Posts: 269
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Amazing project! Very creative. I really enjoy watching your progress.
For what to grow look up winter gardening on youtube, but basically best things to grow will be greens. There is just one little thing - you had to start growing them in August...In winter they more or less stay alive under covers, but do not do much growing. But there is also inside gardening -sprouts, which grow to "maturity" in just a few days. Also, search Chinese greenhouses, they are insulated on one (or maybe 3) sides, and they possibly grow things in winter, not only keep them alive.
 
pollinator
Posts: 915
Location: Longbranch, WA
67
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Actualy what tou want to start growing is soil.  start bringing in containers of the best of the topsoil you dug out and amend it with organic material and plant some cool weather seeds like lettuce and peas to get roots in there to feed the soil.  I bring my containers with the peas and lettuce out when it warms up but the peppers and tomatoes stay in all summer and I still have some ripening in December.
 
Posts: 12
Location: central Pennsylvania
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I'm sorry to ask what may be a basic, obvious question, but what is a walapini?
 
gardener
Posts: 2609
Location: Upstate NY, zone 5
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A walipini (with an "I") is a type of semi-underground greenhouse developed in/for equatorial highland climates in South America. They have been adapted to other climates as well.
 
pollinator
Posts: 242
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Definitely going to follow this one pretty neat build
 
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