All of the cabins in my mining camp have sod roofs and a neighbor's
root cellar has one.
The traditional way is to cut small poles and lay them side-by-side
from ridge to eave, across purlins, then lay the sod on top.
The neighbor put typar (geotextile for road building dirt roads)
under the sod, so dirt from the sod doesn't sift down into the building.
Ask me questions. I'm too scattered right now to write an essay for
you on how to do it right. (I'm trying to listen to the news on the
radio and type at the same time.)
Jan, in Alaska
Thanks, Jan. Do your roofs have any sort of framework around the edges than
holds the sod in place - so it doesn't slide off. What is the angle of the
roof? Do the sod roofs get very heavy during breakup? What part of Alaska
are you in? I lived in southcentral for 25 years (Girdwood, Anchorage,
Wasilla, Bird Creek). Miss it. I'm just outside Portland, OR now.
Yep, we put a 1"x whatever frame *on edge* around the perimeter
of the roof, to hold the sod in place. My cabins in Chicken all have
the ends of 55 gallon drums set on top of the sod roofs, in a scallop
pattern, to shed rain/snow. I have photos of it, but no scanner. It
actually looks pretty cool. Blazo cans, cut open and flattened, also
make good roofing material, over the top of sod. If you can find Blazo
cans anymore. (I caught a neighbor taking Blazo boxes to the dump
and read her the riot act, then brought the boxes home with me.)
Do you *really* want a soddie in such a wet climate? You're going to
have to build a hell of a stout frame to hold the water content that a
soddie will catch, you know. Don't forget to spread flower seeds on
your sod. I'll send you some fireweed seed, if you want. It's fall
up here, but I can still gather some seeds for you out of all of our
farm tractor radiators.
Where are you going to find sod around Portland? Do you have it
there? I may still be able to gather a bunch of Alaskan wildflower
seed for you, to seed your roof. Holler quick. We're expecting snow
soon here. (We're having weird weather.)
Our roof angles tend to be around 6/6. (6" rise/6" run. Do you
understand what I mean?)
The climate up in Chicken is pretty dry, since it's in the Interior.
The climate down here in Homer is wet, snotty, icy all winter; cool,
wet, snotty all summer. (That's why I like to spend summers in the
I spend winters in Homer (20 miles east of town, on a cattle ranch)
and, when I can, spend summers between Chicken and Eagle, mining.
The price of gold is climbing, so I may go back once again. I spent the
last couple of years learning all of my FIL's jobs here on the ranch
near Homer, because Pop is 82, and as my SO says, one of these days,
the old man isn't going to want to help us put up hay. (Pop plays golf.
He gets pissy when we need him to work on the ranch, instead of
going to town to play golf... *sigh*)
Come home, AnonnyMoose! I knew you were an Alaskan, because no one
else could think up a psuedonym like that : ) If we'd gotten our moose,
I'd send you some backstrap with the flower seeds, but we didn't get one.
A friend had a ranch in Homer many years ago (I remember stories of getting
the truck stuck in the mud and hiking miles through the muck to get in).
Think he sold the ranch but still lives in Homer. Is there a golf course
there now? Do you work dogs on the ranch? I've got a couple of border
collies I'd love to work, but I have to rent time with sheep at local farms.
How sad is that??
There is a movement in Oregon to build "green roofs" that are similar to sod
but much more involved in construction. I'll probably look into that because
I'm afraid a regular old sod roof will just crush the wellhouse with our wet
If you get a chance to gather that fireweed seed, I'd love to have some. We
were looking for it just a few weeks ago, but were too late. Husband has
been missing them. Missing that moose, too. And not just for eating.
Wildlife around here consists of raccoons, coyotes and some scrawny deer -
and that's in the wildlife refuge on the island where I live! Sad....
Heading back up north is always an option we keep on the tabletop.
Email me at musoke1 at yahoo dot com
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