Echo, echo, echo…

Well, we are finally putting up paneling – something we expected to do a couple of month ago until we found out about the additional fire proofing foil paper that was needed. On the bright side, seeing the dome covered in what is essentially tinfoil is a once in a lifetime opportunity. It looks like the set of a cheap 70’s science fiction movie. Though it was easy to light up at night with a single bulb. There isn’t much to describe about the process – we stapled up the FSK (Foil-Scrim-Kraft) paper and taped all the seams just like we did with the vapor barrier. The FSK paper also acts as a vapor barrier. Had we known ahead of time that we needed it we could have skipped the 6-mil plastic that we put up before it. The FSK paper does tear easily so it’s probably better to have the plastic barrier as well.

While the FSK paper was being put up, Mike spent most of his time carrying interior triangle panels around. Each panel needed one coat of stain and two coats of fire retardant. That means each panel was moved at least 9 times – from the dome (where they are stored) to the staining “station” (the side of the back extension), to the drying racks (a couple of tarps on the ground), and back to the dome once they were dried. Times 3.

With all that work finished, we are finally seeing some nice results. The last two visits we put up a little over half of the interior panels (we would have gotten more done, but our generator conked out on us over the labor day weekend and cut our visit short.) The acoustics in the dome are slowly changing as we get the panels installed. We have a radio playing while we work – in one part of the dome the sound appears to come from your right, in another your left, and in some places it’s balanced and you can’t tell the source. It will probably take another two visits to install the remainder of the panels.

We also had a couple of truck loads of dirt delivered to our future garden site. I think there was some miscommunication as to the size of the garden so we are getting a couple more truck loads dropped of this week to make it bigger. It will be about 1500 sq feet when complete. Sara ran some PH tests on the soil and found it to be very basic – 9.2 or so. We will need to pick up some sulfur (sulphur?) to try and drop it to 6.5. On our last trip I colonized the dirt with a pound of mycorrhizal fungi. That is the fungi that forms bonds with the roots of plants and help to gather additional nutrients and protect the roots from disease. All soil contain these fungi species, but freshly “manufactured” bulk dirt tend to have low levels since the composting process kills most of them off. Once the fungi takes hold and the sulfur helps the soil PH we’ll plant some clover as a winter cover crop. With any luck we can plant some vegetables come spring (after we build a fence.)

This week the trench to the well should be filled in as well. We can then trim the water proofing on the foundation to the correct height and call in the siding company (hopefully they can get to it before the winter rain/snow hits, otherwise it will have to wait until next spring.)

We will be placing a order for all the wood we’ll need for the interior walls/loft soon. We already have the walls and doors marked in Sharpie on the floor. We will start building those as soon as we finish with the interior panels.

Neil