Along with vegetables and fruits, farms tend to grow buildings. The original structures at ALM have all been added to and transformed and new ones have come into being. Most of the growth has happened out of necessity; a little cabin lacked space, a common place to share lunches was needed or the kiwis required new trellising. So we asked ourselves what sorts of structures would be appropriate on an organic farm and what are our resources.
Well, there is a beach not far away where we can gather posts for fencing, trellising, and building and a sawmill down the road with a big pile of irregular lumber in their burn-pile free for the taking, and wood shavings, clay, manures, stones, slate, used windows and doors all not far away.
In 1996 ALM hosted a cob building workshop led by Ianto Evans of Cob cottage company and by Elke Cole of Cobworks. Local materials were gathered and with a group of 20 people we began a small cob cottage. We used few power tools. Instead we worked together, mixing the cob (clay,soil,sand and straw) by foot and passing it along hand to hand to then work it into the walls. After 2 weeks we had most of the walls up and then continued finishing the building on weekends. Since then it has been a shelter for many apprentices and a place of gathering and sharing food.
Holger has continued to work with natural building with both Elke and Ianto and a cob builder in Germany, Eckhard Beuchel, who specializes in bread ovens and masonary heaters. And the building, naturally, will continue with various workshops and projects.
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