Monday, February 23, 2015

Tires, Tires Everywhere!

When building an earthship, one must accumulate lots of tires. We have done an excellent job at this, and we have also notice some of the down sides of having piles of tires everywhere. 

          No, the neighbors don’t mind the eye sore, it’s all the mosquitoes! Yep, a tire is the perfect place for a little puddle of water to rest and become a breeding ground for lots of mosquitoes, multiply that by a ton of tires and you have yourself a mosquito epidemic! We roughed through this past summer with a very high volume of the blood suckers and knew we had to get the tires wrapped up and out of the rain.
          If you have ever had the pleasure of trying to get stagnant water out of a tire, then you are well aware of the nasty smelly outcome, and I commend you for your efforts. The best way that we found (up until freezing temperatures) is to flip the tire quickly so that the water is at the top of the tire when the bottom tread of the tire hits the ground, the water will splash out. But… you also want to make sure that the tire lands on a bit of a diagonal, so the water doesn’t just fall into the bottom of the tire. Anyhow, the sewage smelling water will violently splatter everywhere no matter your tire flipping expertise. Glenn is pretty experienced and still ends up with mucky water splattered on him, and I feel like I have practically bathed myself in a tire by the time we are done.

So, Glenn had the amazing idea to get the water out of the tires while everything was frozen, 
and get the whole pile stacked and covered again. It worked out perfectly! 
Instead of flipping the tires, Glenn used and ax and I used a hammer 
and we just hit the outside of the tire and the chunk of ice would pop out! 

It was kind of like a large version of a silicone ice cube tray,
 only instead of silicone, it is a tire, and instead of ice its swampy-ness...
 but you can even see the grooves from the inside of the tire on the ice we popped out.

 I found a resilient and frozen little mushroom in the pile of tires.

The finished product!

We still have more tires exposed to the elements but we are not going to worry about them
 because we plan to be packing them full of dirt this spring!  

There have been some bitter cold days and then we get a break and can dig in the dirt and enjoy nice “warm” days too, so on one of the warmer days we made a cold frame for later this spring when I have some seedlings ready for them. We used a heavy old glass sliding door (thanks Nancy!). 

I will just slide a tray or two of seedlings in there and plug up the end 
with a piece of foam or something. I will let you know how it works out.

Glenn got to work on skinning a cedar post that he installed
 as part of the upstairs railing in the cabin. 

The current state of our upstairs railing, has a ways to go. 

Enjoy your week and stay warm! 

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