Goals for the full 2014-16 seasons: (2015 in bold)
- Kid’s Cottage, finish ~ the rocket stove heated bench construction, stone foundation wall, natural insulated floor, construction of 2 doors, installation of windows, east wall construction & earth plasters.
- Provide natural building exhibits and demonstrations for several eco-events. 3 ft tall. Round Pole A frame, for exhibits. (Built a 1 ft. tall model house round-pole frame, 2014)
- Round Pole framing: Hops Trellis. (done – 2014) Add branches as bracing.
- Thatching – finish the Spiral Chamber roof (done 2014) and Lean-to Wood Shed, redo Kids’ Cottage ridge. Harvest cattail.
- Strawbale Cabin: roof, hybrid wall systems, install windows, wood stove, thatched screened-in porch.
- July Natural Cottage 2 week Course to build a strawbale & round pole addition to the Hobbit Sauna with a cob archway, Cob Garden Wall, niches Living Roof and a Rumford Fireplace. (basics done 2014 to be continued in 2015) .
- Off-site 2 week Natural Cottage Project hosted by Chris McClellan, co-taught by Deanne in Ohio, July 10 – 24, 2015.
- Harvesting & processing wood for fire and construction projects. (done 2014 and ongoing)
- Install a Compost Heating System for the radiant floor of the Strawbale Studio (done 2014)
- Assess Compost Heat System and decide whether to rebuild it this fall.
- Strawbale Studio ~ finish plaster on benches, seal with linseed oil, make a finished earthen floor.
- Strawbale Studio ~ outdoor Cob & Stone Bench (done 2014)
- Workshops: see the Calendar on the website.
- Monthly Full Moon Potluck & Bonfire. Firing up the earth oven and making pizza. Wish: create a regular “Foraging & Breakfast” event, Medieval Garden Party. Musical evening in the Strawbale Studio.
- Permaculture Projects ~ Haybale Gardening focus in 2015. sheet mulching garden beds, cover crops, planting & tending the Mandalla Garden, Hoop House & Herb Spiral. (2014 some spring cleanup & planting in Mandalla and Herb Spiral. Foraging for plants and herbs, preservation (drying, tinctures, vinegar). (done 2014 and continuing.)
- Pipeline ~ Permaculture installation for coppicing & pollinator plants. Bee Hive. Carolyn or Jimez. Develop further in 2016
- Fermentation ~ continue with sourdough projects, kombucha, keifer, sour dough, krauts and other lively possibilities. (2014 and continuing
- Reskilling ~ finish the solar food dehydrator, home-made ceramic water filter. Perhaps: cover drums with rawhide we made , experiment with brain tanning.
- Outreach and Education: data entry, website update, weekly blog, class development (2014 & ongoing) & educational game. Metro-Detroit Green Map project: collect & input data. (others are doing this 2014 and continuing)
- Finish the Tree House Platform in the Fairy Forest.
- Harvest Reed for thatching (2014 and continuing)
- Hand-harvesting & preparing building materials is always part of our creative process.
- Red Shed Polebarn – high ventilation louvers, design for building an 2nd story addition in 2016.
Natural Building Outcomes: Depending on the timing and length of your stay, you will
- find, and test the qualities of clay, sand and fiber
- create the following materials: “Cob” (clay/sand/straw) earthen mix for building and sculpting, Earthen plasters for covering strawbales, Finish plasters for natural or conventional walls
- apply Cob and Earthen Plaster
- understand basic construction techniques for Cob Buildings, Strawbale Buildings, Light Clay, wattle & daub
- understand design with the sun and with nature.
- understand the basic principles of thatching: designing/building a roof structure for thatching, collection and application of reed grass.
- understand the principles of rubble trenches, stone knee-walls, and round pole framing.
- experience a variety of sustainable living skills: make a wood mallet with a hatchet, learn to chisel, cord, cook in a hay box, use the solar oven, rocket stove cooker, rocket mass heater, composting systems, foraging, fermenting.