Andrew and I have this dream of buying land in this area, about 5 acres or so, and building our own small farm. Nothing commercial, just a huge garden for us, a few fruit trees, chickens, and maybe some goats. Oh, and we want to build or at least design our own house so that it is exactly what we want. Lately, we have been looking at alternative forms of building that would allow us to do more of the work ourselves. Not to mention that there are some pretty cool things happening out there. One method that is catching our interest right now is Cob Building.
Here is an explanation of cob from Cob Works
Cob is a mixture of sand, clay, straw and water- wet enough to shape, yet dry enough to build up without forms. It is generally mixed by foot but can also be mixed by machine. Adobe uses the same materials as cob, but is formed into bricks which are dried in the sun and then mortared together. A cob house is essentially monolithic. This with it's curved walls gives them greater strength in earthquakes. Cob invites creativity to be expressed in the process of building your space: be it living space, meditation space, work space, sleeping space or play-space. And who says that walls have to be flat? You can build curves, arches, shelves, benches, niches, fireplaces and ovens. Cob has great thermal mass but a low insulation factor. A fun way of learning is to participate in a workshop; where you build a structure, eat great food while living in community and in the process meet new friends.
Here are some pictures of cob houses of all different sizes. We like the one called Katie's Cob. What do you think?
We are definitely in the researching and question asking stage so please share any information that you know of!