Saturday, July 4, 2015

Patrick Dougherty

Last week we visited a natural building installation in reston Virginia. Pretty amazing what that guy can build with some sticks. 

Friday, July 3, 2015

Earthen floor workshop

We poured the floor! It feels great to start and finish a portion of this project. Natural building is a time consuming process so to complete a piece of it is quite nice. As always the group of people here to help and learn were amazing. Everybody jumped right in and didn't let off until we finished. Thanks again to all our participants. It would not be the same or even possible without you.

Cob Walls workshop

Our first workshop of the year was another great success. Folks from Pennsylvania, Virginia, DC, and even Michigan made the journey to help with our little Maryland mud hut. It was an awesome group and a fun time. Thanks to all.

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

Lime slaking

Lime is a great choice for plaster for earthen buildings because its breathable and more weatherproof than other natural plasters like clay or gypsum. After many many hours of research we purchased calcium hydroxide (caoh) in bags in pellet form. The process involves taking this material and adding it to water. This produces an exothermic reaction and its important to keep stirring it so that it doesn't explode. Once it has cooled it can be added to buckets for storage making sure that there is a layer of water on top because the lime putty will react with air and begin to turn back into lime stone. Fun process, but do your homework.

Tuesday, December 2, 2014


Well we reached our goal of getting a roof on this thing. Pat and Cody came out and we made quick work of it. Plenty more to come next year.

Loft Floor

We took some boards that Phil the farrier once used for his pony and cleaned them up for our sleeping loft floor. Collin, Peter, and Adam did all the work while I took pictures.

Monday, October 27, 2014

Framing a roof

We choose a gable style roof for our little mud hut for several reasons but mainly because they will allow room for a loft and they are more simple to construct. The latter is important for us because we are not experienced builders and this is not an area to just slap something together. Lucky for us, Sarah's brother Collin is an experienced carpenter and he has helped so much. The value of experience and skill has become apparent to us.