Tuesday, September 15, 2009

Working on the bunky

Yesterday and today we got lots of work done on the bunkhouse at Niagara Escarpment Organics, in preparation for Plaster Saturday this weekend. I spent a chunk of the day putting tar paper and onion bag strips on the wall to bridge the wood and straw/clay so that the plaster has a consistent and toothy surface to grab onto. Then I got a chance to build my first screen ever; how I've mostly managed to avoid screening materials in the five years that I've been involved in natural building is a mystery to be sure. Nonetheless, I think this screen works pretty well at separating the finer clay (and attendant aggregate) from the big clumps and chunks. It's got a 1/8" screen on it, which is still pretty course, but I think the clay will be plenty useable.

Ryan and friends worked hard on the stone stemwall, making substantial progress today. All the stones came from the farm, and were handpicked by farmers and interns over the last couple of weeks. I am amazed by the beauty of the rockwork; I would say that it is well worth the effort.

Our test patches are crackier than I'd expected, so we will amend our mix to include a more diverse range of sand particles, and we'll also plan to include wheat paste.

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