i also have never had a problem with critters unless the structure was unsound to begin with....
just trying to appease worried clients and want to make sure im not missing something. people are always so worried that their natural home will melt and / or become a giant ant hill.
i would love to use your collective expertise here.
my experience has some answers but i wanna know what you all think.
lime plaster over clay plaster yay or nay?
lime mixed into light clay straw to help prevent bugs. thoughts?
what proportion of lime to clay?
like can i add my typical type s builders lime to my clay slip? or should i keep them separate until the straw mixing stage?
Congratulations you lucky four. i expect a 250 word report by the end of the summer!!
or at least let me know what part was your favourite. ;)
no, really, it has been quite amazing sharing this space with such incredible minds . i can actually feel the combined brilliance from my couch!
i hope a few of you one day take a workshop with us and that those that do choose to read our book enjoy it, find it inspiring and go out there and make things all while having fun!
thank you for all the welcomes and the encouraging words.
molly and the mudgirls
nope. no tornadoes. but i saw one once in ontario. scary and amazing at the same time!
all i know is that sometimes no house is strong enough.... underground is good. dark, but safe from flying cars, cows, and BBQs! good luck to you!
ya, our book is about so much more than building. it is about getting out there and doing things, not waiting for anyone else to tell you can. it is about finding your people and shifting the messed up capitalistic patriarchal lame-ass system we are stuck in.
you can buy it at www.mudgirls.ca if you are really keen.
Our collective The Mudgirls has been running workshops for over ten years. And i wonder sometimes if we are getting kinda formulaic, could i say even old fashioned? with our morning instructionals. somethings are a must do like general principles of natural building, and learning the actual system we are employing through out the day.
i guess im asking what would you want to learn most at a NB workshop.
and what do you think the general principles are?
here are ours
build to your environment, and climate
build with local, upcycled materials as much as possible
build with your community
i believe in you amit. i have three kids, and wee house and some stuff struggling to grow. im am just coming out of what i call being under house arrest. my youngest will start school in September.
being a women in the modern world is so such harder in some ways. we want to do everything, be everything, have everything. but we want to do it right with the earth in the front of our hearts. we want to be the best mothers e know how, but w want to be people who do tings too.
One thing i have come to realise that tho being self sufficient in all things from from to firewood, to food, to building, to raising kids seems to be like a gold metal first place standing in the eyes of the permaculture gods, i do feel it misses something... and that thing is Other People. being self sufficient is hard work, full-filling work to be sure, but first and foremost it is lonely. pretty darn lonely. when everything comes from your own homestead you can easily remove the connections that make life so worth while (especially when you are under house arrest with young kids and your brain power circles the rain with the washing water.
we need stimulus in the form of interactions and going to a neighbours to get milk, or to drop off your best pickles or help pull in the hay so you can get some at a cheaper rate. this is all the more holistically sustainable on the longer term. and i thin it helps remind us that we are pretty amazing, strong and on the right track.
ya learning how to build is only one part of living the permie dream, learning how to get along over time is much much more difficult and always changing. where as a good plaster is always a good plaster.
i am involved in a non-hierarchical all women natural building collective called The Mudgirls based in bc canada. we have over 12 years of experience working in groups and making life simpler, easier and more fun. fun is really the glue that holds us together and keeps us coming back for more despite the hard labour and sometimes monotonous tasks that are a big part of sustainable building. so keep things light and enjoy the process.
we run workshops too. www.mudgirls.ca
now back to your project. take workshops, all kinds. volunteer. make mistakes. you'll make less later then.
for any place with snow you wanna go bales or light clay, but bales are easier on the newbie builder as there can be less carpentry excellence required. earth floor, passive solar for sure. and keep your first structure as small as you can. for many reasons. money, time, labour and sanity. think cooking and sleeping and plan into your design the possibility to add on as things change.
if i was going to attempt this i would make sure there was a nice bed of and under the bottles, and enough sand all around them as well, then lay some vapour barrier (could go below bedding sand also). then no less than 4 inches of cob or concrete. not sure what pigs would do to cob, probably wreck it. i like when people try things.
looks like you are living the dream! how is your progress?
cob wants to be about 10-20% clay the rest can be up to 30% silt and fine sands the rest ought to be crunchy sand. lots of things can work, but building while the weather is wet means the walls wont set as fast and putting lots of cob on walls made with too many fines can make for instability and slumpage, worst case -wall failure. (scary af)
i live in about 300sqft with my partner and 2.5 kids. we have other out buildings for things that need storing and things that need washing like clothes and bodies. we make it work.
i would do 200-250sqft place. rounded north wall with nice doors heading out to the north and put a big overhang out there for shade, and extra dry space. this front bit could be single story and the hang out/eating area, the other 100sqft behind, could be two stories, the kitchen below, and bedroom above. out the back of the kitchen is more overhang where you can poop in a toilet and have a shower if it is not raining at the time!
6 posts, two roof planes. two short posts for the north side. (one beam to catch the front load of roof line 1) two tallest posts in the middle, (w/two beams) one can catch the high end of the single story roof the other beam catches the high end of the loft beginning roof plane 2. two more posts medium height to catch the back sloping roof of the loft. over all shape a big oval or an oval with one end squared up...
ya, natural roof insulation is always a hard one, as your roof is the place that is most likely to leak over time and turning your natural insulation into compost. and as stacking functions is super permaculture, that is not the best example.
in my experience it is the one place to maybe go less natural (i say that in a teeny tiny voice to you have to lean in to hear it. and then ill pretend i didnt say anything so blasphemous, i would never!)
id love to hear more about peoples experience using natural things in bags or what have you.
i like light clay walls for more temperate climates. it has an r value of 2 per inch, which aint too bad. frame for 10 inch walls and you are snug. larsson truss and staggered stud framing save on wood too.
I found the podcast. It was pretty great. Clare, you are so clever. I'm looking forward to seeing what unfolds here.
Hey clare, did you read the great review by Nicole above? She thinks we are a bit funny. ;)
time is the key here.
how long does it take for the water to clear? less than an hour= little to no clay.
our tests have shown that after 20 minutes most-all of your sand and silts will have fallen out of suspension. everything after that should be clay.
Everyone has had great ideas. Get the wood off the ground, key.
i work with a group of rad women how have been kicking it old school for the last 12 years. we dig down to stable soil, replace some with gravel. tamp it down, lay real nice flat post stones and put our posts right on there.
so far so good. Gotta keep those post bottoms dry.
lime is carbon neutral only in the the fact that it absorbs all the carbon dioxide it emits during its transformation. it does not take into account the emissions from the mining, or the transportation. which is pretty huge.
clay, on the other hand is dug out from your neighbours yard. local always wins!