Good Day fellow-forum-foragers! My name is John and I was bit by the "green" bug a couple years ago. My fiancee and I recently purchased 4.55 acres of reclaimed mine land in west-central pennsylvania, namely the Clearfield area. We fell in love with Ianato Evans, linda smiley and michael smiths "hand sculpted house" and are determined to turn this property into 1 acre of farm land, the rest pasture for some sheep and livestock (nothing too big) with a large cob wall surrounding a garden courtyard where additional sleeping huts can be built later on, coupled with the main dwelling.
I am determined to build at least one small dwelling by the end of the summer, which judging by how the weather has been lately might be august or november. If anyone knows of any sources of free, donated or recycled usable materials for the building and grounds (coarse sand, large sized stones, unwanted timber, old barnwood, windows, sliding glass doors etc.) please feel free to contact me with information or post in this thread.
Also, if there are people who would be interested in aiding in the construction to get some experience with this technique please don't hesitate to express interest! I figured i can do this on my own if i plan it out accordingly and kept it small and simple, but any help would be greatly appreciated and would make for a more pleasant experience.
Thanks for reading folks! if you want more details on what is planned, let me know...i don't want to be too lengthy.
I have never worked with cob before but definitely have an interest in trying my hand at it. I live a few hours from you and could drop by for a work day (when the weather gets better, not if!). Just let me know when the time gets closer.
"Turn your face to the sun and the shadows fall behind you." ~Maori Proverb
The plans are as follows: the 4.5 acres is shaped like a trapezoid, width wise is facing south. It sits @1700 ft elevation with a decent slope facing east/NE. There are some ponds on the back of the property and I am assuming there is significant clay deposits there (will save me from hauling it).
The grounds are covered in wild rambles and grasses; that will all come up and grasses and clovers suitable for sheep grazing will be planted on an acre or two. The house is to be around 200-350sq feet with a living roof, attached greenhouse for passive solar heating, a composting toilet and a small enclosed garden courtyard. This can come in multiple phases but the main goal is to get some plants growing and get the dwelling ready to live in by July.
@jen, that would be fanatic! I also have no experience with cob but I have worked with similar materials and doing quality testing in mixing before so this shouldn't be too terrible. You are more than welcome to come and help when the weather warms up! I'll keep posting in here and feel free to spread the word
It's about that time here in my neck of the woods for me to start collecting materials and planning how to transform the landscape! I will be looking for donated/discounted topsoil, fieldstone, urbanite, log rafters 7-12" diameter, and any used or reclaimable lumber. Drop me a PM or put up a post if you know of any resources in the Clearfield/Centre county regions of Pennsylvania!
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