Friday, June 27, 2014

Rain and More Mud Tales

Slowly, cob by cob, the wall gets higher. I am amazed at my persistence! I get so excited by the next 'row' that I have to get on and do it. (Like knitting, for anyone who finds knitting like that).

We had some bad weather last week. Real rain and thunder and lightening. The 'elephant tank' filled up and R emptied it into the big tank. We have a system that works! I was worried about how the wall would fair with all the heavy rain, but it was fine. The straw in the cob leads the water away from the mud. Brilliant.

The bales have arrived and the one I'm using for the cob has brambles in it. I feel that is a bit cheeky. I have plenty of brambles here already. Not nice for cobbing so I have to pull them out. Ouch! I hope the rest of the bales are good ones.

This is rather a sorry picture of a niche I'm making using an Irish whisky bottle. It looks much better now that I've made an arch over it. Really!

I couldn't resist taking a photo of the dark clouds just before the rain. Such a novelty in the summer.

Here is a picture of dawn after the rain.

The garden is suffering a bit from neglect as I spend all my time and energy on the site, but we had our first tomato tonight, chopped up with a red onion and some garlic... yummy. The sweet corn has tassels and the beans are producing pods. Strawberries appear and ripen one by one which is nice for a passing snack. Ah, this is heaven.

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

Cob and Cabbage

This cob is brilliant! I can't stop! It just goes on so easily and this morning it was cool and cloudy so I did quite a bit. I now have four windows in place. It's really beginning to look like a room. I started thinking about all the light that won't be inside, and the views... Just gurt mud walls. If I can keep at this pace I will have it done before R goes back to UK.

R painted the dome with white wash. It looks cool.

I've got so many cabbages and onions. Everything else looks a bit starved of nutrients. I will have to find lots of animal manure and perk up the beds. It has been very hot, sometimes getting up to 40 degrees, so I think the plants just switch off until it cools down a bit. We have been plunging into our tank to cool down every so often. It works a treat!

The gladiolas are looking fantastic, and there are always a few strawberries to pick on passing. The fig trees have fruit swelling on the branches. It's all very good on the farm at the moment. :)

Thursday, June 12, 2014

Cobbing, then hobbling, then putting the boot in

The cobbing has been going well. It is such an easy, simple medium to work with, but there is a learning curve. It takes patience. I am learning how to pace myself. R had a go and cut his foot and then I cut my foot, on the sharp wee stones. So this morning I went down with my wellies, and hey presto, it works just as well or even better. Faster, anyway. I am glad I did some with bare feet because you do get a feel for it, when the clay goes sticky... but I can see that in my wellies.

The wall is up to my hips now. I am on the third layer and it is time to decide about the windows. We went to a car salvage place and asked about old windscreens and the like, but the man was about to dash off so he said come back another day. He had some. I also have some old windows I found thrown out. These will do for windows that don't open. The opening window is waiting to go in after the next layer.

Around the doorway I put in a log on each side so we can fix the door frame to them. ('Dead men'). The walls have set solid and it's very exciting!

It has been very hot. Today it got to 38 degrees. We sat in our tank for a while to chill the bones. Lovely. R cooked supper in the solar oven. He said he used about two minutes of gas and then popped it in this contraption and left it to cook away in the blazing sun all afternoon. It was delicious.

We are eating beans, cabbage, onions, broccoli, carrots,garlic, from the garden and the occasional ruby red raspberry!

Thursday, June 5, 2014

Cob, Cob, Cobbing Along

Look! The wall is beginning! I've been waiting for the straw to be harvested, but I got impatient and have started, using straw from Gail's horses. It's perfect and it's free and it's a waste product. Brilliant. I've been trummeling it with my feet and rolling it on a wee bit of black plastic, which keeps each load small. It takes longer to make than to sling on the wall. I've done half the circle in two short days. I love cob.

My feet are getting used to the occasional sharp stone. I wonder if I could borrow a cement mixer? It would be a lot quicker...

Here is one of the giant cabbages from the garden.

And here is Mr Brown. He is very sweet.