Yesterday, I mixed the first batches of cob with the help of my new work exchanger Adam and my friend Sara from New Roots in St. Louis. We made three total batches and applied them to the foundation, getting about 1/3 of the way around the building perimeter. It felt pretty amazing to be stomping those first batches for my very own cob home. It’s been less than a month since we started digging the trench.
Since the wall is so low to the ground right now, you can walk on the foundation and pack the cob by foot. Normally, you would use your hands or a cobbers thumb, but using your feet can be pretty effective, too.
Today, I got a dump truck full of sand delivered, which turned out to be a slightly traumatic experience. The truck got stuck in the road trying to back up into my warren. The roads here are very soft – they are pretty much just mulch on top of earth – not very good for heavy vehicle traffic. The driver was forced to dump the sand partly in the road, a good 25 yards from where I really wanted the material. I spent the morning moving all nine tons of the sand by wheelbarrow to my warren with the great help of very willing friends. I guess it could have been worse. But it was quite painful to see that dump truck tearing up the dirt road and making a bit of a mess.
But anyway, we got another four batches of cob onto the foundation this afternoon, nearly completing a single course around the foundation. I have a feeling the cobbing of the walls will go much faster than I originally anticipated. It feels great.