Foundations finished, wood work started
After a full week of heavy work spent lifting bags full of gravels, fulfilling and compressing car tires and leveling walls, the foundations are finally complete and the 4 central posts put in place. The north-east corner of the building even reached is final height with the exterior post sitting on it. The work will continue next week with more earth-bags, wooden frames and beams assembly if the weather allows it.
One of the week’s highlights was the giant “ring and pin” game won by Xavier (he has been playing basketball – so easy). He managed to throw most of the tires on the posts, which were then filled with gravels to lock them in place and avoid the roof to be lifted by the wind. We also started exterior walls over the foundations. The technique remains the same with small red onion bags instead of large rice/sugar bags, filled with a slightly clayey earth. Bags are tamped to create strong blocks and each row is connected by barbed wires. End of rows in the walls (for doors) are reinforced with rebars and wooden connections are placed to hold the frames. These earthbag walls won’t be more than 110 cm high to limit heavy work. Curtains hanging from the roof will fill the remaining space.
Meanwhile we also started working on the (large) roof trusses. They will be placed diagonally on the posts with an inward slope to be able to direct rain water to the center of the building and harvest it. Such beams are very heavy and long. We are now impatiently waiting to lift them up in place, an interesting challenge were all the available hands on the farm will be required! Finally, the interior walls have been started. The first wall frame has been placed with the footplate laid on its own foundation. This frame will then be filled with slip-straw and will create an interior insulated space that can be warmed during the winter for nice warm showers after a long day of work in the cold.