Archive for February, 2013

Mission accomplished … finally the new log store

Saturday, February 9th, 2013

At the end of last June, we set out to replace the log store on the yurt terrace which had started to lean precariously. At the time, it was serving as a temporary home for our composting toilet, so to relocate the toilet, we ended up building the cob bathroom. Now, with the bathroom walls slowly drying and soon ready for their coats of plaster, it was finally time to rebuild that log store.

Compost bin and log store

Two years ago: the original compost bin and log store, newly roofed


On rocket stoves …

Wednesday, February 6th, 2013

It seems rocket stoves are as much part of the natural building vernacular as glass bottles in cob walls: de rigeur for any self-respecting stomper-of-mud, stacker-of-straw and fashioner-of-eccentric-curves. Being innately somewhat contrary and suspicious of fads and fashions, even ones I’m participating in, this fact alone would usually send me running in the opposite direction. But reading about rocket stoves, I was attracted by their low tech simplicity, their apparent ease of construction, how they lend themselves to self-build projects, how they can be made from junk and be fueled with the small branches and sticks that are no more than kindling for more conventional wood-burning stoves, and how efficient a burn they can achieve. So they were penciled in firmly for the buildings here – for cooking and heating water – pretty much from the start.

But theory is one thing: practice another. With a big push on the main building planned for this year, it was time to start experimenting – constructing different configurations of firebricks and clay and stuff and firing it all up to see what works and what doesn’t.

Rocket stove core