Dylan finally took a weekend off from the workshop and we took in all sorts of local harvest festivities and did a little canoe trip with visiting friends Mark, Mel & Leroy down the Slocan River which is crazy low right now. But before the weekend he got the last of the 10 final roof beams up and in place, and as I type he is pegging in the last 4 poles. This will allow him to move onto readying the site for the final excavation (to move the bin into the hillside) expand the turn around road area, level the worksite, and provide us with more material for the rammed earth walls.
Last week Dylan tested a section of wall ramming the loamy sandy earth by hand into some steel forms we had around. The results were pretty encouraging, as we had planned to use sandbag but are now switching directions and exploring renting a pneumatic tamp to create free-standing non load bearing earth walls, likely finished with a portland plaster parging. Dyl will also get to work on the french drain, weeping tile and gravel trenches this week.
Mia and I are going to finish the nesting bucket coop wall this afternoon using beer cans and the same earthen concrete mix I used last week, which has set up really solid. On Saturday morning before our guests arrived Dylan and I started breaking down all the birch branches from the summer birch harvest into piles of unusable burn scrap, fire logs, and “wattle” material for the rest of the chicken coop. We have gone back to our original plan to play with wattle and daub (weaved stick walls finished with earthen plaster), and we now have a good sized pile of wattle to start playing with, and as my good friend David from Montreal is coming to stay for a while next week I am hoping to enlist his help in finishing the coop, and maybe finishing some canning with me too!
Finally we are eating grapes from our vines and soon there will be more than I can handle! I see grape jelly in my future, lots of grape jelly.
*If you look closely at the above picture you will see is Dylan is sporting a ridicules yet kinda sexy seventies handle bar moustache… the beard is gone and I am relieved about that, but I think I miss the goatee.