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Paul Wertenberger

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since Mar 10, 2015
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Recent posts by Paul Wertenberger

Thank you for the quick reply.

Would it be better (strictly speaking to roots), to leave the animals on

1: for a long period of time, then off for a long period of time ex. 6 mo. on and 6 mo off .

2: 1-2 weeks on and 3 mo. off then repeat, 1-2 weeks on and 3 mo off

3: any other suggestions

4 years ago
Background: We own 80 acres in SE Nebraska, reclaimed farm land that hasn't been farmed for 20 yrs. The draws (ditches) and creek areas have Oaks, walnuts, hackberry, cottonwoods, as well as various other trees.

We are in the process of taming the "timber" areas and trying to get rid of buck-brush, poison ivy, wild rose, etc. I'm using cattle and hogs to improve the draws, which means break over the sharp drop off of the banks 4-20' banks. I rotate the cows through 2-3 times each year trying to not graze the same area at the same time each year. (ex graze it April, September one year and June, October the next).

I want to get as much "herd impact" as possible to change the timber areas to make them more kid friendly, also to open them up to allow more grasses to grow with out damaging the existing trees.

So how much herd impact, soil compaction can occur with out damaging the roots of the trees, and for that also, the fungi? As I'd hate to ruin my chanterelle, hen of the woods, and chicken of the woods areas.

4 years ago
That looks great Jay, ok so how did you transform the rocks from jagged to smooth? I was showing this to my students and they couldn't grasp that those rocks were the foundation!


As the previous posters said, sorry to hear about the fire and glad to hear no one was hurt.

Keep us posted when you can


Jay C. White Cloud wrote:Hi Elle,

If we are speaking of an area with lots of tornadoes I would more than encourage a client to have a good solid traditional root cellar, maybe even with direct access from the house "under ground." Now this type of fossorial architecture is pretty bomb proof against tornado, as basements are not, by a long shot...they are just better than being upstairs when one comes. For real safety from these types of wind events...root cellar will always be way to go, well beyond a basement...

Just another view to consider...


I will incorporate a root cellar/shelter into the back of our basement, I don't like the idea of being at the bottom of a house piled on top. So now any sketches of a cellar/shelter incorporated into a basement, maybe with an escape hatch?


elle sagenev wrote:You live in Nebraska and you don't want to put in a basement? I'm in Wyoming and I would not even look at a house that didn't have a basement. I value the shelter from tornadoes and you guys get them way way way more than we do.

I don't disagree with your statement, I was just looking for other options. Since the layout of our place works well for a walk out basement, we will have at least a partial basement.
Thank you Jay, I will be in touch soon. I hope to get the floor plan completed in the next several days then I will get it sent to you.

Next year I'm teaching a carpentry class that I plan on incorporating some timber framing into.

Thanks Bill,

I cannot take the credit for the plans, just some that we have found, tweaked, have and will be continuing to customize.

I guess that I need to research rockwool and MgO insulations.

I'm going to have to nail down a floor plan soon so that I can have someone design a timber frame for it, so that I may begin cutting timbers.

The mechanical systems will most likely be in the basement.

Thanks for looking


Thank you,

Attached should be a sketchup file of what we are working on. The image in the sketchup file is what we are basing our plans on. Since it has been raining here almost non-stop we have been putting in some time on the floor plan. So any advice/suggestions will be taken with consideration. Right now we are working on the layout, then we will merge the layout to fit with timber framing practices/sizes.

We haven't decided on the skin, keep going between Trussed Walls and Clay straw slip. The high humidity (70-90%) during summers concerns me with clay straw slip. But I don't know what I'd insulate the Trussed Walls with?

If you don't use sketchup, let me know and I'll post a better image.

A continuation of the previous posts. the last 180 degrees


BTW... I had to save my pictures upside down so that they would post right side up on here???