Tuesday, October 16, 2012
We got some nice weather today (cold but no rain). So Nicole and I started to put cob on the front wall of the green house. The mud was ice cold. My hands could not take much of it. I did cob the wall under the cross. And that was the easy part because the bricks have texture, and the cob sticks well to the bricks. We had bought a special plastic net to nail to the wood, but forgot that in Juergen’s car. So we tried gunny sacks and an old net you put over strawberries. The strawberry net works much better. But hopefully both will stick to the wall. Juergen needs to finish putting up the wood on the wall. We hope to put up 2 or 3 coats of cob, then a wash of paint you make out of ground up chalk and butter milk. Nicole took a class on making paint from anything. Evidently butter milk paint dry’s hard and last a very long time. You make cob with sand, clay soil, cow or horse manure, water and straw. It generally is 3 parts sand to one part clay and manure. But that just depends on how much sand is already in your soil. We used about 2 parts sand to 1 part soil because our soil is a little sandy already. I mixed the sand, soil, water and manure a few days ahead, just so they could really bind together. And then today I added the straw and also one box of wall paper paste as an additional binder. Some people add wheat flower. The only thing I would change is chopping the straw finer, or skipping the straw and just adding straw manure. I would also find it better to do this in the summer. The mud was very cold. We had our first frost last night. Juergen was scraping ice of the car windows this morning. It would have been nice to do this in summer. My poor hands felt like ice cubes.