Weed Pulling and Landscaping – Preparing for Cob

Cob House Basics – Tilling the Earth

Before any kind of building – cob not withstanding – one must prepare the land. In order to build with cob, I need dirt…the main ingredient. As such, I am working to till the earth in the backyard and scrape off the top 6-8 inches to save for building material. With the rain gone for the moment, the ground is soft and easy to work with. Yahoo! I’m taking advantage of the climate conditions in an otherwise unforgiving landscape known as the desert. So, today I spent a couple of hours weeding. I love the smell of the rich earth and I’m happy to announce that we seem to have very clay-like soil…something I’ll need to build with cob. I used my spade, turned over the soil, picked out the weeds and used the rototiller. My feet just sank into the fresh-turned soil. Ahhh!!

Cob Planning – Thou Must Dream!

Planning and dreaming go hand in hand. Planning is the reality of the dreams; dreams give us the inspiration to plan. Our dream? To build a hobbit hole in Ireland. I know! I’m a fantasy geek, as my writing will attest to. I just get all giddy inside when I think about living in the earth built by our own hands and waking up in the fantasy world that reflects the reality I already live – perfect husband, perfect job, perfect life.

 Cob Building Philosophy – Slow and Steady Wins the Race

You can’t rush things like this…as my body informed me. I did about a 10′ x 8′ patch of dirt as described above, then started skimming off, shoveling away and saving the top 6-8 inches of dirt to use for cob building…and then I got tired. I still need to cart away the top layers, but my 43-year-old-soon-to-be-44-year-old back said, “Okay, sistah! That’s enough for today.” *sigh*

My goal is to get the entire yard ready in time for our Halloween party in October. Foot-by-foot I’m getting the backyard prepared. I have a whole backyard to work, weeding and leveling as I go along. In the end, it will be a great project and I can’t wait to see the results. Patience, Arial. Patience. Each shovel I turn, I dream of our little hobbit hole in Ireland…and I smile.

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