Sunday, March 4, 2012

Work continues on the Food Storage Area

Eastern Nebraska has managed to dodge the bad weather patterns so far this year.  Only one recorded tornado in Nebraska and it was out in an unpopulated area.  Even the rains have been without concern.  The first good old fashioned thunder storm came through and left the streets clean from the winter crud and the air fresh as only a Spring thunder storm can.

The garden beds are still just a bit wet to work the soil but I expect in another week the gardening will be happening here at the Urban Ranch.  I have some plans for a couple garden beds to be fresh salad greens so I am planning on planting those soon.  Most of my garden area has always been warm weather plants so those will be started in the new seed starting station.

Food Storage Area
I started this area last year about this time thinking that I'd have it completed before the end of the year.  Life has a way of intervening doesn't it.  Well, and I just like to help others.  Last year seemed to be a year that many folks needed help.  It's sad to see how the economy has affected so many lives.  All of the moves that I helped with last year were forced moves because they just couldn't afford to live where they were. 

This started as an area that got stuffed with things that hadn't been seen in 20 years.  It was time to clean it out and bring it back into a useful area.  The walls and ceilings were bare studs.  My plan was to insulate the walls and ceilings and put drywall over the insulation.  A new wall will be built to actually close off this area from the rest of the house.  My hope is that the two outside concrete block walls will keep this area cool for storage in the winter months without actually freezing.

The one inside wall and the ceiling have been completed as far as the insulation and drywall.  Because of the new wall which will include a door the area will need a light.

Ceiling Light Electrical Box
The electrical wire was installed last year before the activities of Spring and summer gardening brought a halt to progress.  The light was purchased back then and has laid in wait for an entire year to be installed.  Yeah, I know, I'm not too speedy with projects around the home.  I'm about an hour away from having this light installed.

Shop Light fixture
I'm just a little cheap so instead of buying a fancy light fixture designed for ceiling installation I bought a shop light.  A shop light hangs from the ceiling with chains and has a cord that plugs into the wall socket to provide electricity.  The difference in price would be the reason I purchased a shop light instead of an actual ceiling light.  Some modifications will have to be made but with just a little change this light can be used as a ceiling light.  Since I had to install one light outside of the storage area and one light inside of the storage area the cost saving was about $30 for the two fixtures.  With the electrical plug cord removed and the hole for the ceiling wires to come through the fixture all that remains is to attach the ceiling box cover to the fixture, bring the wires through the hole, attach the fixture to the ceiling box, and wire the light into the circuit.

Ceiling Box Cover Ready for Attachment
Here the ceiling box cover has the knock out removed and has been placed over the hole drilled into the shop light fixture.  A little gizmo called a connector will actually fit through the hole and has a clamp on one side and a treaded nut on the other side.  It's used in electrical wiring to keep sharp edges away from insulated wires.  The connector will hold the cover plate in place on the fixture as well.  Two screw holes will be drilled to allow the fixture and the cover plate to be attached to the ceiling box.  Walla, wire it up and all done.  Well, of course, install the light bulbs.

There's always something going on around the Urban Ranch.  This year I am determined to finish some of the projects in progress.  Well, that is after I'm finished helping others.

Until next time keep the coffee on and your shadow in the garden.


  1. If you can give someone a helping hand, go for it. I do hope you get your storage area done though. You're going to need it with all the produce bound to come in this year. Happy gardening.

  2. I bet you are already finished installing those lights. It sounds like you are definitely going to need the coffee on!

    I don't think you are cheap at all! All of my shop lights were free, given to me by neighbors. I use them any where I can!