At the beginning of January 2020, Ralph started clearing land on some rocky sloped land on the farm for a new walk-in cooler.
Ralph has built a “small” 100 sqft walk-in cooler under the roof of an existing barn, which is now being replaced (supplemented?) by a larger 400 sqft stand-alone structure which resembles more a cottage than a cooler, one with no windows of course. Since being let go by his company in March, he has made great progress on this project, with completion planned around December 2020. Efficiency should be very good, there are 2 foot thick walls that are to be filled with cellulose fiber, which is shredded recycled paper products, with an estimated R-80 insulation value. In the under story below the cooler is now equipment storage on a dirt floor, but planned is a small mushroom propagation laboratory and grow room! Gourmet/medicinal mushroom growing is Ralph’s new hobby for this year and growing addition to the Gathered Threads smorgasbord.