Win a bunch of tools from Truly Garden and Loma Creek! this week in the Gear forum!
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
permaculture forums growies critters building homesteading energy monies kitchen purity ungarbage community wilderness fiber arts art permaculture artisans regional education skip experiences global resources the cider press projects digital market permies.com private forums all forums
this forum made possible by our volunteer staff, including ...
master stewards:
  • Nicole Alderman
  • r ranson
  • Anne Miller
  • Pearl Sutton
  • James Freyr
  • Mike Haasl
  • paul wheaton
  • Dave Burton
stewards:
  • Joylynn Hardesty
  • Jocelyn Campbell
  • Joseph Lofthouse
garden masters:
gardeners:
  • Carla Burke
  • Steve Thorn
  • Eric Hanson

Alternatives to Cement Sidewalks

 
Posts: 1
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Just wondering if anyone has tried to build a cob sidewalk? Would it stand up in a snowy region? What are some other alternatives to cement sidewalks?
 
pollinator
Posts: 2392
87
  • Mark post as helpful
  • send pies
  • Quote
  • Report post to moderator
Sure, it's called living in Mexico.

The way that people take care of their dirt in Mexico, sweeping it and tossing water on it to "keep the dust down" results in what is pretty much a "cob sidewalk". What they don't do is to add lime to the water that they toss every morning as they are tidying up their patch of dirt. The more calcium that you add to the dirt, the quicker it turns into cob, and the harder it gets. In places with a lot of dirt roads, it's a common practice to scratch in some lime to harden up the soil. Do it often enough and you end up with a surface layer of caliche, which can be concrete like in its properties.

Of course, during the rainy season all bets are off. If you get long and steady rains, the lime can slowly dissolve and leach out and run off someplace lower in elevation. Which means at the start of the dry season, you may have to do the lime trick all over again. It would be kind of the same story for snowy regions; all would be fine while the ground was frozen, but during the spring thaw, if the ground stays wet enough for the calcium to leach out, then all you are going to be left with is soft mud instead of hardened cob.
 
A "dutch baby" is not a baby. But this tiny ad is baby sized:
permaculture bootcamp - learn permaculture through a little hard work
https://permies.com/wiki/bootcamp
  • Post Reply Bookmark Topic Watch Topic
  • New Topic
Boost this thread!