Yesterday, I helped out new friends Robin and Jadi with their Cob house in Ocotillo Mesa. It was good to take a break from my own project and get some new ideas. Robin and Jadi have a great house in the works. They are doing things in the right order. The first thing they did was have the roof built. That gave them instant shade and water catchment. IMPORTANT in the desert !
Before the day started, I wondered if my inexperience would slow things down, but towards the end of the day, Robin mentioned how much faster this is going having another person. Robin and Jadi have spent most of the last year building their place on their own, with occasional help from friends. With cob building, one doesn't need any experience to be of help. Just about anyone can help to speed things up by shovelling dirt, stomping mud, and shaping walls. Many other cultures have realized, or have not forgotten, that building one's own house is what makes a house a home. It builds community at the same time. This idea is making a small comeback here in America as more people are realizing an alternative to the enslavement of the housing and mortgage markets. This is a pay as you go system...allowing the home builder to always own what they have and never go in debt. Cob ( sand, clay, and straw ) costs nothing. It is found all over the earth and is there for the taking.
It was a fun day. We ate delicious coconut soup and a salad with home grown beets and radishes.