Hi! My parents and I (late 60s, late 30s) are attempting to build a homestead on our 35 acres of mostly crosstimbers woodland. We’ve lived here for 30 years and my grandfather did some farming on the garden plot so we have some old rusty equipment laying around for that. Right now we are trying to find a way to build houses for ourselves that are better than the old trailer we live in now. We have zero money. I am too sick to work (autoimmune) and dad is retired from a low paying job and mom is about to retire from a low paying job. We are looking at cob, cordwood, etc. and we believe we can source most of the materials from the property. We have tons of eastern red cedar and Oklahoma red clay. I thought we had good sand but it is too fine to use in cob. Would be great for mudcrete and mortar though. We don’t have wheat but we have Johnson grass that did well in a clay and grass mud pie I made. We also don’t have rocks for a foundation so we are looking at urbanite. But basically, I’m here to learn everything I can about building from the land!
Welcome to Permies, Tammy! I think you'll find some great ideas for building here, and plenty of folks to help you brainstorm ideas and answer questions. It's great that you have so many building potential materials on your property! Have you had a chance to explore our Building Forum yet? Lots of interesting things going on there.
That Oklahoma clay, if there's enough and it's the right consistency, would be great to build with. With several forms made with wood, all of equal size, you could mix the clay with enough water to make it workable, mix in some of that grass and fill the forms. After some time in the hot sun, you'd turn the clay out of the forms to continue drying in the sun. This will essentially create adobe bricks of uniform size. When you build, you would lay the bricks as you would for a regular brick house, but use good, clean, wet clay as the mortar. Wet enough to scoop and spread with a trowel. Smooth it out on the inside and outside as you go so that it gives a nice, smooth look. When your walls are complete, let them cure a bit, then give the outside a couple of coats of a light-colored paint - this will serve to not only protect your adobe walls from hard rains, but also, the light color will help reflect sunlight to help keep it cooler inside.
Not a perfect plan, but I would give it a shot if it were me. Make a few and put them together to see how it would hold.
Welcome to the forum from Tulsa, Tammy!
It sounds like you have a lot of work on your hands with big goals! If you're not too far from Tulsa, I would love to make the occasional trip to help out. It would be a great experience for when we have our own space. ^_^
Stay safe, enjoy, and blessed be!