We never expected so many interesting, eager people to show up. There is no doubt we’ve just met some long-term friends. It seems that the kind of people willing to try their hand at natural building all care about many of the same things- health, caring for the earth, friends, family, and keeping that “kid inside” alive!
As pictures are worth 1000 words, you can see all the workshop photos here.
All ages and abilities were right in there mixing, throwing cob balls up to the sculptors, digging sand, screening clay… It was nice to know there is no pressure to be a workhorse. Some liked to keep a steady pace going, others preferred the sprint and rest method. It was important to us that people listened to their bodies- some of us need to sit more often than lift (could it be the over 50 factor?).
We all took notes or photos throughout, so we wouldn’t forget the fascinating science involved- how clay, water and straw become a concrete-strong building medium; how the fire in a clay oven heats the thermal mass and the insulating layer with straw holds the heat in; how the shape and size effect efficiency and durability, etc..
And, just when the cobbers were losing energy, Leenie and son Aren rang the dinner bell. What a treat! Everything homemade and local; artisan breads, Amish wedding soup, salsa, apple pies, Greek roasted chicken, Wild Herb Spanakopita, Venison barbeque, wild flower teas, homemade Chai tea…. and on and on it went. A feast for the mud gods! The magic in the kitchen was just as amazing as the creative sculpting going on outside.
Tired, satisfied cobbers relaxed on the porch or by the river listening to the wonderful impromtu “pickin” session by Pete and Andy. Nothing finer after a day in the sun and mud.