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Old 02-17-2008, 01:01 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
33,341 posts, read 54,735,899 times
Reputation: 23963

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I began to post this as a response on another thread. But as CornerGuy has pointed out to me, I tend to post Off-topic a lot. In an effort to correct my behavior I will start this new thread, in response to BoonSkyler's question.



Quote:
Originally Posted by boonskyler View Post
now i am confuse, i though cellar is a place to store food (potatoes, onions, apples, etc...) I planed to build one to keep food to last through the winter.
Whether you can have a 'root-cellar' in Maine, depends upon your site location, and where the water-table is located.

If you pick a site, and start building you may discover that your site has a water aquifer one foot underground. Dig down and you hit a fresh water spring [in your basement / cellar].

When they began digging out our foundation, they hit ledge and had to make one half of our foundation a foot shallower than the other half. Later as we began to dig out our basement floor, I hit an aquifer. When the river goes up [by 'up' I mean when the river goes up to at least 16foot above it's mean then] this aquifer goes up. So as the river is rising and approaching my house creeping slowly toward the backside of our house, it is also rising in our basement.

Now you can dig a french-drain all around the perimeter outside of your foundation, and lead that french-drain off toward a lower ravine. This will help to drain away surface water as it approaches your house. To remove it from standing near your foundation and threatening to enter. We have such a french-drain completely surrounding our house and leading away into the marsh.

If your site is on a slope, then a french-drain on the up hill side of your site, will catch the surface-water and direct it away from your house. Our place in Ct is like that [on a slope and with an uphill side french-drain installed].

I was considering digging a root-cellar out in the forest near our home. However our land is mostly near-level, so chances are good that anywhere I began to dig eight-foot down will likely hit fresh-water aquifer also.
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Old 02-17-2008, 01:54 PM
 
Location: Virginia (soon Ellsworth)
653 posts, read 1,797,076 times
Reputation: 328
thanks forest, did not realize that water table in Maine is high, i guess that is good, don't have to worry about not find water when dig for well water, but it is not good when want to have a basement or root cellar.

Quote:
Whether you can have a 'root-cellar' in Maine, depends upon your site location, and where the water-table is located.

If you pick a site, and start building you may discover that your site has a water aquifer one foot underground. Dig down and you hit a fresh water spring [in your basement / cellar].

When they began digging out our foundation, they hit ledge and had to make one half of our foundation a foot shallower than the other half. Later as we began to dig out our basement floor, I hit an aquifer. When the river goes up [by 'up' I mean when the river goes up to at least 16foot above it's mean then] this aquifer goes up. So as the river is rising and approaching my house creeping slowly toward the backside of our house, it is also rising in our basement.

Now you can dig a french-drain all around the perimeter outside of your foundation, and lead that french-drain off toward a lower ravine. This will help to drain away surface water as it approaches your house. To remove it from standing near your foundation and threatening to enter. We have such a french-drain completely surrounding our house and leading away into the marsh.

If your site is on a slope, then a french-drain on the up hill side of your site, will catch the surface-water and direct it away from your house. Our place in Ct is like that [on a slope and with an uphill side french-drain installed].

I was considering digging a root-cellar out in the forest near our home. However our land is mostly near-level, so chances are good that anywhere I began to dig eight-foot down will likely hit fresh-water aquifer also.
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Old 02-17-2008, 02:29 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
33,341 posts, read 54,735,899 times
Reputation: 23963
It might not be this high everywhere.

My land is very rutted from timber harvesting years ago. They harvested in the winter with the ground frozen and still needed to hold the equipment up above grade, so they laid trees down in front of the equipment to support it as they roll up over the logs. That pushes logs underground, but supports the heavy equipment. I have a lot of logs buried underground with six-inches to a foot of soil on top of them. And I have two-foot deep ruts and boulders everywhere. The logs do not rot away quickly either. The ruts are filled most of the time with brown tea looking water that mosquitoes like.

The soil here is weird. Rototillers have a lot of fun when they hit a buried log.

The well-driller's rig pumps bentonite clay into the shaft which is a standard practice to solidify the shaft walls. When our well was being drilled, I walked around and I was seeing grey bentonite shooting up out from the ground in geysers as far as 100 foot in a radius away from the well site.

The ground here seems to be fairly well honeycombed with layers where water can flow horizontally like that.

The well driller punched through ledge in the first five feet and then drilled 200 foot before he found a solid enough ledge to set the well casing onto. The well filled in with water up 68 foot. Which is still too deep for a cheap hand-pump to lift it.

I have friends who sell produce at Farmer's Markets, that use the 'surface water' that flows at three or four feet down, it is murky and tea-like. It is cheap to pump, their plants seem to like it, and their customers like their produce. I think it is a "rotted-forest vegetation tea". We have a lot of peat-bog run-off too. I have not had any of it analyzed yet to see exactly what nutrients are in it.

Our well water is loaded with a lot of Calcium. But the 'surface water' does not appear to have as much Calcium.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:04 PM
 
Location: Virginia (soon Ellsworth)
653 posts, read 1,797,076 times
Reputation: 328
Quote:

I have friends who sell produce at Farmer's Markets, that use the 'surface water' that flows at three or four feet down, it is murky and tea-like. It is cheap to pump, their plants seem to like it, and their customers like their produce. I think it is a "rotted-forest vegetation tea". We have a lot of peat-bog run-off too. I have not had any of it analyzed yet to see exactly what nutrients are in it.
I think "rotted-forest vegetation tea" would have a lot nutrients for plants, it is as nature as it get for plant food.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:10 PM
 
Location: Maine
6,314 posts, read 12,298,437 times
Reputation: 6492
My parents' house had a cellar that someone eventually poured a cement floor on. Dad made a cold room in a corner of the cellar and filled it with wooden bins. We kept the bins filled with potatoes, winter squash, etc. When it was too warm we slid the window open a little and closed it when it was too cold. My winter squash are in a bushel basket sitting on a pallet on the basement floor.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:23 PM
 
1,594 posts, read 3,796,521 times
Reputation: 1096
A lot of Mainers still talk about going "down cellar" when they actually mean the basement. In some parts of the state, the two words are interchangeable. Root cellars often are separate from the house, perhaps set into a hillside nearby. The old ones often had cedar logs for the walls. As already noted, you can also build a root cellar in the cold corner of the basement - north wall, generally.
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Old 02-17-2008, 03:39 PM
 
Location: Virginia (soon Ellsworth)
653 posts, read 1,797,076 times
Reputation: 328
i will have to remember when work with the excavator for foundation( prefer basement) to have him dig up trench to drain water away from the house if needed while equipment at the site. i would prefer basement but i don't want to deal with water in basement.

Quote:
forest wrote, If your site is on a slope, then a french-drain on the up hill side of your site, will catch the surface-water and direct it away from your house. Our place in Ct is like that [on a slope and with an uphill side french-drain installed].
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Old 02-17-2008, 06:14 PM
 
Location: Forests of Maine
33,341 posts, read 54,735,899 times
Reputation: 23963
Quote:
Originally Posted by boonskyler View Post
I think "rotted-forest vegetation tea" would have a lot nutrients for plants, it is as nature as it get for plant food.
Could be.

My first summer up here I found that the brine sure does stain your clothing, and those stains are nearly impossible to get out.
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Old 02-18-2008, 08:54 PM
 
8,767 posts, read 17,391,841 times
Reputation: 3510
We've always kept vegetables in our basement. Our house used to sit on a granite foundation. At some point in the past someone poured a 12 inch thick concrete wall, jacked up the house, cut off the carrying timbers and set the house on the new walls.
The granite outer wall is still there too.
The thick walls help to keep the basement a constant 45-50 degrees year round. We built bins and have kept squash,turnips,carrots,beets,400 lbs of potatoes and other assorted vegetables over the years. The squash got a bit mushy around February or March. The rest was good and used up before it got bad. When the spuds got soft we just saved the rest for seed potatoes. They always last the winter though.
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Old 02-19-2008, 12:02 PM
 
Location: York Village, Maine
455 posts, read 1,156,311 times
Reputation: 390
Quote:
Originally Posted by Maine Writer View Post
My parents' house had a cellar that someone eventually poured a cement floor on. Dad made a cold room in a corner of the cellar and filled it with wooden bins. We kept the bins filled with potatoes, winter squash, etc. When it was too warm we slid the window open a little and closed it when it was too cold. My winter squash are in a bushel basket sitting on a pallet on the basement floor.
Robin... The house we are moving into in Limestone has a cellar that has a dirt floor. (Basement) Would it be good place to keep winter veggies??
I also plan on doing alot of canning and having shelves down there filled with that.
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