Monday, August 24, 2009

Not Your Ordinary Corn Part 1

Last summer Randy built a chicken coop by himself using cob, an ancient building mixture of clay, sand, water, and straw. It didn't get finished and his chickens wound up being eaten by a raccoon- good news for him because now he/we can finish the coop and get more chickens... and then more eggs!!

Above are photos from the front and back. Eventually the roof will be finished up as well.

The windows and bottles (and motorcycle lights/eyeballs) let in light, let the chickens run free when needed, add character, and take up some space so that less cob is needed.

Yesterday we made several batches of cob and finished up a majority of the coop. I was in charge of aesthetics and Randy did most of the manuel labor.
Below is a step-by-step guide of our work. It really was super rewarding and fun, despite my sunburned back where I neglected to apply sunblock.
Three Cheers for earthy, handy, dirty work!

One Part Sand

Two Parts Clay

Mix with tarp.
Pull corners of one side all the way over the other side.... It's rather heavy.

Spread out mixture and break up large lumps with feet. Like smashing grapes + doing the twist!
Remove large rocks.
Spray mixture with water until it no longer absorbs water. You will know because some small pools will form in some areas.

Mix again with tarp and mixture will look something like the above.
Do the twist with yer feet to break up baby terdlings.

Sprinkle straw on top.
This creates tensile strength and absorbs extra moisture.
Mix again with tarp. It is possible more straw will need to be added.

After the final tarp mix, you should end up with a mamma terd.
This is COB!!

To be continued......

1 comment:

TexasDeb said...

Totally cool - very similar to the stuff LawSchoolGirl learned to do while part of a permaculture group in Brasil one semester.

Oh - if you need any more wine bottles to let in light, etc. just let me know. I am all about helping out my neighbor. I'll provide you with as many (empty) bottles as you need for a few fresh eggs now and again....