Thursday, July 2, 2015

Closing in on the Commercial Kitchen!

When our WWOOFing intern Kelly arrived two months ago, the north end of the barn was a big, dark open space with a garage door and a dirt floor. One of the first projects she got to work on was helping to screed and trowel concrete being poured  for the floor. When Kelly leaves for her next adventure in a few days, the kitchen will be nearly complete and this area will have transformed into a beautiful commercial baking room, a storage room and a bathroom!

Here is a brief summary of our kitchen progress the past two months.
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Rog got all the rooms roughed in, and the plumbers and electricians did their initial wiring and installed pipes and drains.
Rog reinforced the floor of the loft/attic space above the kitchen and cut a hole in the front of he barn so that the heavy exhaust system could be installed. A lull ever-so-skillfully and gently slid it through the  opening into place in the attic.
As long as  we had to take the Squash Blossom sign down to cut the opening, I repainted the surprisingly  faded sign and Rog hung it back up when he repaired the opening.(Yes, of course we did this late at night.)
Kelly and I tiled the large main  kitchen with 6-inch quarry tiles.
WWOOFer Mandy began tiling the bathroom walls (with awesome  retro butternut-squash-yellow 4-inch tiles we found at the Habitat ReStore.)
WWOOFers Kelly, Mae and Elizabeth also worked on the bathroom wall tile. Kelly and Mae tiled the floor of the storage room, working on it one night until 2 a.m.!
I tiled the floor of the baking room and also the fun part--the front of the wood-fired oven.  The red tiles were leftover tiles from a friend's project, the yellow fancy edges were from the ReStore and the arched mosaic was created from a large hand-painted ceramic  Italian plate  I broke up and reassembled.

Rog hung countless sheets of drywall in the kitchen, baking room, storage room and bathroom.
He then glued white FRP board to the drywall that would be behind sinks, and equipment.

Our "retired" professional dry-wall taper friend John offered to tape the drywall.
It turned out to be a bigger project than he realized he was getting himself into! We are so grateful for his expert work.
Then we were able to paint the walls and ceilings of all the rooms. When the paint was dry the next day, we applied a clear epoxy layer to the walls in the kitchen, baking room and bathroom. Kelly accurately described painting the sticky epoxy as like painting with sweetened condensed milk.
Rog contemplating the next step. (This guy is so amazing! He has been working his demanding architect job, and then putting in late nights and early mornings and long weekends doing hard physical work- 16 hour days, for weeks on end. He deserves a nap!)

Using the pallet jack, we moved the big equipment into the main kitchen. The huge double cooler at the end of the room is considerably taller than the door opening, and required a demonstration of Rog's brute intellect to get it through.
The beautiful, immense Vulcan range is now in place beneath its exorbitantly costly hood and fire suppression system. I cannot wait to cook on this beast!

Today the plumbers installed the 7 sinks, water heater, and toilet and hooked up the water!  They will connect the gas lines next week and the electricians will connect the power. We still have a bunch of things like counters and trim and shelving to install, and lots of cleaning and organizing. But we are SO CLOSE!!


gz said...

an awesome crew!

Julie and Harold said...

Wonderful summary, wonderful space. What's going to be cooking in the commercial kitchen?

Susan said...

Thanks, Julie and GZ! We will be expanding upon our Farmers Market baking (wood-fired sourdough breads and pastries) to sell our breads at the Peoples Food Co-op, a few restaurants and sell baked goods at the farm. We will also make woodfired pizza, Dinners on the Farm with guest chefs, host events (our own concerts, etc., plus family reunions, company picnics, occasional weddings, etc.) and offer classes (e.g. cheesemaking, pickling, breadmaking, ethnic cuisines)

Marcia said...

What an incredible undertaking. I'm sure word is out to look for your baked items. People calling to book events?

Bethany Ringdal said...

WOW. It's so beautiful! I can't wait to see it in person. Love to you all from Team Ringdal!