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Cob material

 
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Hello,

I'm new to the cob world and am looking to start playing around with some bricks.  I don't have a nearby option to dig, and don't really need a lot of soil yet.  Does anybody have any advice on where I can buy soil that would work for cob?  I live in Portland, OR.  

Thanks!
 Dave
 
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Not sure about Portland, but I look at 2 places:

1: cemeteries. Those that bury bodies need to get rid of the extra dirt. They either pay to haul or sometimes they'll let you in with a shovel and a bucket.

2: Craig's list. Look for the clean stuff because atleast here, sometimes people have toxin infested soils they are digging up. I won't dig near a wood house where I live because of lead paint issues.

If you want to know about soil types, you might be able to look it up on Web Soil Survey. Here though everything is clay, so I don't even think about it.
 
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Building contractors. Anybody building a new house probably has a lot of dirt to get rid of, and much of it will be subsoil which is more likely to have a reasonably useful clay content. As soon as you see excavation start, ask the contractor if you can take some of the dirt. They may or may not allow it, if liability is an issue, but an inconspicuous evening visit might be practical. In the best case, they will be happy to dump a load from a nearby job in your yard rather than haul it far away.
 
I got this tall by not having enough crisco in my diet as a kid. This ad looks like it had plenty of shortening:
Hope in a World of Crisis - Water Cycle Restoration
https://permies.com/t/118080/Hope-World-Crisis-Water-Cycle
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