|Sent on:||Monday, March 17, 2014 7:39 PM|
It has been a long cold winter, but the building season is upon us and we have a great year coming up.
As always, I want to thank you for your interest and enthusiasm in Natural Building, and encourage you all to come out and get dirty this year.
We will continue work on the cob wall this year – last year we learned a LOT about bricks, mortar, and masonry, how to build a brick wall that falls over, how to build a brick wall that does not fall over, bricklaying patterns, how to customize our own mortar for bricks of different density/strength, and the importance of testing for lead when scavenging used bricks. Many, many thanks to stonemason extraordinaire Simon for his invaluable guidance on all this.
This year we expect to continue building a brick stemwall wall that does not fall over (since we know how to do this now), and we have high hopes that we will finally be cobbing on the wall itself in 2014.
We are also planning a couple of workshops on building cob beehives this year!!!! A million thanks to Peter for taking on this project. More details will be forthcoming…
Is this the year you start your own project? Consider the possibilities – there are many projects that can be taken on legally in an urban backyard. There are projects that can be taken on in an apartment without a backyard! Members of this meetup are welcome and strongly encouraged to host events of your own. The more projects, and the more opportunities to help people get their hands muddy, the more we can share natural building techniques and methods with more people – and that really is our main mission. If you feel that you are too inexperienced, or don’t have enough knowledge, or if you want to get a project going but don’t know if you are “ready,” then please contact me and I promise to talk you into it! I host as many meetups as I can, which is one a month, but there is only one of me. We need YOU! And we need to come help you build something :)
After three months of cancellations due to polar vortexes etc, our regular 4th Saturday 1pm meetup will take place this Saturday, March 22. It has been a long cruddy winter and this week’s meetup will be about transitioning to spring and getting ready to continue progress on the wall. Our theme this week is “Winter Wrap Up” (For fans of “My Little Pony” - http://www.youtube.co...)
I’ll be cleaning up debris in the yard and surveying how the part of the stemwall that we built last year has held up to the freeze (it has been buried in ice this whole time so I haven’t been able to even get a look at it in months). That is basically our agenda, but if you are new (or old) to the group this week is a great time to come by and say hello.
Finally, I will take this opportunity to ask you for two things. First – while certainly we want to see you whether you RSVP or not – RSVPing helps me a great deal to know who is actually coming. Typically, half of the people who RSVP show up, and a few more in addition who haven’t RSVP’d will come on any given day, but I never know if 5 people or zero people are coming and it just helps a lot to be able to know in terms of food, whether I have enough tools or should borrow some in advance, and other prep issues (how many bricks to soak, etc). I don’t want anyone to decide not to RSVP, and then not come because you aren’t a million percent certain if you can, but IF you know in advance, then you can help skew the RSVP rate towards greater accuracy and that is all I need :) If not, well, that is ok too because you will never be the only person who didn’t RSVP and you are always welcome RSVP or no.
Second, I am never going require a donation from anyone, but your donation of $10 helps me cover the $144 annual meetup fee, which I mostly pay out of pocket. Three members donated in 2013 so I paid $94 of it myself last year. I will keep paying the difference, but if those who are able can make this contribution at some point during the year, it helps to take the burden off of me. Coincidentally, they are billing me for the next 6 months this very Saturday so please consider giving what you can~
Happy Building to all – can’t wait to see you this year!Heather
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