Clearing the Yurt Foundation
Doing some precision excavation
The first step was to use the bucket of the backhoe to scrape up the good topsoil and move it away to the garden to be mixed with compost. Once the space for the yurt was generally clear and level, it's time to start working towards a level pad. The wooden arches on the ground were cut from 3/4" treated plywood, and will eventually form the bottom layer of the yurt's side walls -- the part of the wall that comes into contact with the concrete foundation. But for now, they're useful for laying out where the yurt is to go. Starting from the lowest part of the foundation site, we use a flat shovel to project a level trench up grade to the outter diameter of the yurt's foundation. Once that's in and level, we cut another level trench perpendicular from the center of the first trench to create what looks like a large "plus" sign twelve feet across.
The next step is to drive a foundation stake into the center of the leveled plus sign to create a pivot, and then we took a 2x6 and drilled a hole to fit the stake such that when the 2x6 pivots around the stake, the end of the board shows us where the outer edge of the foundation needs to be dug. That's it leaning up against the oak tree over by the blue barrel -- it's important to not leave it on the ground since the downward facing side would take up moisture from the ground, causing that side to swell and the board to bow.
Last night brought a heavy rain, and more drizzle during the day, so it wasn't a good day to be digging a footing trench, and so we decided to spend a pleasant afternoon planting apricot trees. April 03:
This afternoon brought more hard rain (and after a couple of drought years, you'll not hear us complain about rain at all :-), so work switched over to doing more electrical wiring in the new workshop. By end of day, the east section of the workshop was ready for the electrical inspector. April 08:
We'd gotten three quarters of the foundation trench dug when heavy rain came back and drenched the yurt pad again. So it goes in the spring in the Washington Cascades -- and, we've had such dry years of late that we just can't bring ourselves to complain about the rain. And it's not like there's a shortage of other things to tend to :-) April 09:
Had a beautiful spring day today, so after going for a bike ride down along the Klickitat, we turned to this afternoon and finished the yurt's foundation ditch. Over all it took longer than expected, but weather delays are no surprise in the spring -- and the wildflowers that the rain brings out are always a delight to see, so it's all good :-)