Natural Building Update: Seasonal shift

Natural Building Update: Seasonal shift

Posted on: March 26, 2019

By Elke Cole

What do you do when the snow piles up and mud is too cold to work with?
Shop cleanup!
OUR shop has long been a central piece for the building team. Some years ago it was named “the Taj” because it had been renovated to a beautiful building with customized doors, work surfaces and a sitting area by the wood-stove. A team change left the Taj without the Raj…and things began to accumulate inside: after all, it’s frost free, locked and dry. Anybody wanting to use the machinery opened up just enough space to do their project and otherwise put out complaints that the shop needs a re-organizing. A tall task!
Finally, this winter OUR resident and wood-worker Peter Shumaker took it on. He built shelving, sorted tools, organized woodpiles and built new workbenches. We’ll need to make new agreements on how to use the shop and who takes responsibility.

OUR Turtle house is waking from winter sleep as well:
The earthen floor is finally changing colour, indicating that it is dry(ing)! We spent some time in January installing a mud ‘baseboard’ or mop edge along the walls. This idea was first brought to us by Cindy Walker, who has taught many plastering workshops here. This diagram will explain:

This border will be oiled just like the floor and not absorb water from mopping. The oil also hardens the surface to protect from damage from Vacuum cleaners, brooms, and other abrasions.

As I’m writing this, the cupola windows are being installed completing the exterior openings. These windows will bring light into the loft and filter into the living space.