It’s Alive (Or At Least, Will Be): Living Roof Installed and Seeded

by ziggy on October 23, 2013 -- 2 comments -- Follow

New Green Living Roof: Straw Bale House

Newly built living roof, seeded and mulched… and one day, green!

Finally finally finally… after many months of waiting, we are on our way to a completely finished living roof on our straw bale house. Yowee. Just last week, we completed the lower roof over the east half of the house. After we designed and built our living roof edge detail, we heaved soil up there once and for all. Very exciting. I guess it won’t be truly “done” until it’s green, but I’m happy enough for now!

Living Roof Installed and Seeded

We used our same pulley system from last year’s living roof work party to manually raise hundreds of buckets up to the roof, dumped them, and continued that pattern for a good five hours or so. It was thoroughly exhausting, but the accumulated months of anticipation, and adrenaline kept me going. As we went, we scattered winter wheat and vetch seed — a few plant varieties that stand a chance of sprouting this late in the fall. If they don’t come up now, they’ll hopefully make an appearance in the early spring.

Planting the Living Roof

Seeding the living roof with winter wheat and vetch

We went ahead and broke up some rotten bales, spreading the mulch on the surface to keep the soil protected. Fortunately, this east half of the house is well protected from wind, so I think the mulch stands at least some chance of staying up there.

A gentle rain came down yesterday, and if all goes well, a few seedlings will show their heads through the top of the mulch. We’ll see. It’s getting cold around here, so the seed will have to really want it.

Over the next few days, we’ll do our last side of edging, and with one more work party, we’ll raise the remaining bit of soil up to the upper roof. Exciting times. It’s been a long time coming…


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  • Corrine

    Hello again! I’m loving your posts and very interested in your move to Berea and a more in-depth posting on the why’s of this. Also, could you give your recommendations on who might be a leading author or just builder using natural building materials, who has experience building especially in the Midwest.

    Thanks and good tidings!

  • I’m considering writing a little more about our move to Berea, and why we chose that area in particular. Thanks for your interest! Where are you located in the Midwest? I’ll get back to you with a few recommendations.

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