The Reason to use Fibre in Adobe Mixes

Today whilst plastering with Adobe onto a cement block stem wall we encountered a problem. We were aware that using fibre in an adobe mix was necessary to spread the cracks more evenly across a surface but when we started on our second mix and realised we had forgotten to add grass we stood in…

A Simple and Cheap Greenhouse

This greenhouse design is incredibly quick and easy to assemble. We got lucky in that all the materials we needed were already lying around on our farm, but if not then a little bit of scavenging could land you everything you needed. First up, the materials list: Wooden stakes & a hammer Plastic tubing &…

How to make Adobe bricks

We are making a fireplace for our house and decided to use Adobe bricks. They use more or less the same mixture as your average cob, but instead of moulding the form using wet cob, you build using bricks which have already dried in the sun. Adobe bricks are much more commonplace in hot and…

How we made our Cob Floor

We have just about finished our cob floor and it looks and feels beautiful. As such I thought it necessary to start the blog post about how we did it. It was a lot of work but the techniques weren’t all that difficult. Here we go First up level the places in your home that…

Wattle and daub with pine and olive

We have made our internal walls using a pine structure and green olive branches. It has worked very nicely so here is a little guide on how we did it. Firstly we built the structure using 70x100mm pine joists. We secured them to the floor horizontally and connected them to the first floor joists vertically….

Hang pictures on a cob/stone wall

Hanging things on walls built with natural materials generally requires different techniques from a modern build, and sometimes a bit of pre-planning. We are at the stage of our build where we are rendering the walls with cob and we know the layout of the rooms. As such, we are comfortable to start deciding where…

Off Grid Solar Hot shower

Before we begin, depending on where you are on the planet, this shower will not likely work during the cooler months. We are in central Portugal and experience 40+ degree C summers, and 10 to 15 degree winter days. During summer we had scorching hot water every day, warm water on cloudy days, but it…

Pallet long drop and compost toilet

Here are a couple of compost toilet designs you can make very quickly using a few pallets. First of all the situation: you need a toilet that same day, and you then need a permanent compost toilet for the foreseeable future. So here is our idea, using the same pallet for the long drop as…

Make window frames with re-used train track sleepers

Old train track sleepers are really heavy, really strong, and using them can ease your conscience as you are not cutting down new trees to build your house. They are however likely to have been pressure treated with seriously dangerous chemicals which keeps them strong for a long time but makes them pretty toxic especially…