Saturday, November 28, 2009

Mud Cabin and Other Delights

Yes, still a million butterflies fluttering around us as we continue to enjoy the joy of learning. It has been a rainy month (totally opposite of last year's drought at this time) and our rivers are at record highs (vs. record lows last year.) We have been able to do lots of experiments and work with our interns, despite the weather, or rather working with the weather and taking some rainy afternoons off.

Our Earthen cottage is coming along so wonderfully! Here are some photos of it going up.

The roof is made out of recycled Tetra-Brik and plastic bottles, smushed into long tiles. It is 8mm th¡ck which adds thermal protection, plus it is quiet in the rain, pretty to look at (lots of colors), and easy to install.

Three of the walls (above the Earthbagged base wall) are made in "chorizo" style, or sausages of straw and mud mix. Wattle-and-cob is another way of saying it too. We framed with scrap wood at first, then switched to wire between the posts to wrap our mud-straw around.

Here's the chorizo-making station inside the building. The straw is all harvested from our rye grass winter crop. We tried a wild growing straw but it was too coarse for the wrapping bit.

The chorizos go onto the wall and with a little hand-sculpting and love they can wrap and frame windows and bottles, etc.

Our windows are recycled from the scrap yard and junk stores.

We also used old car windows and loads of bottles...

And drank lots of yerba mate in the process!

Pesticide making: leaves from 3 different plants in the jungle, put in a bucket of rainwater and let sit for at least a week till it's nice and stinky, then spray onto the garden to fend off evil over-eating grasshoopers and the like.

We took the interns on a field trip to see Professor Eric Barney and his alternative power creations. We also visited the Chacra Suiza and saw their bio-gas and gardens.

So, we are hoping to finish up the building this week, put in an adobe wall, give some love to the gardens, and keep staying dry from our massive rains!
Bonus photos:
This fella was gigantic!
And these will be gorgeous butterflies soon enough...

This is a photo from our friends property where we took a little day trip when we were on break from the program.

1 comment:

ReservaNatural Victoria said...

Felicitaciones, esta quedando muy bello. Tomaré algunas ideas para la construcción de mi refugio ecológico.
David Riverao