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Re: [naturalbuilding-4] adobe/cob raised beds

From: Heather
Sent on: Thursday, January 10, 2013 9:52 AM
Hi Gabriel-

I encourage you to host a south side building event - actually I encourage everyone to host building events where they are. The only reason the meetings tend to be on the North Side is that I happen to host most of them, but there is no reason
it needs to be that way.

Anyone can suggest a meetup, and once three people RSVP then it will automatically be announced to the group. If you would like me to announce it right away without waiting for the three RSVP's, just say the word and I will announce it.

Cob and adobe are unfortunately not suited for raised garden beds. Once these materials become saturated with water (as they will if they are used as the sides of a raised bed), they will lose structural integrity and turn back into loose dirt.

A cob bench, shed, or pizza oven would be a more practical use of the material.

As for the raised beds, the cheapest solution I have come across myself is simply using lumber. Even straw bale is $9 a bale in the city. If you can find scrap or salvage lumber, it would be free, but you must be very careful about the previous use of the lumber. Is it treated with chemicals? Does it have paint flaking off of it that may contain led? Some plants take up toxins in the soil, sometimes the edible parts don't - it depends on the toxin and the plant but you also have to consider that people will be handling the lumber while building and in close contact with it while gardening. Clean scrap lumber from a construction site rather than a demolition site would be ideal. My 2 cents, anyway - others may have better solutions.

If you want to host a meetup, you can suggest your event right on the home page. That goes for everyone :)


From: Gabriel Piemonte <[address removed]>
To: [address removed]
Sent: Thursday, January 10,[masked]:23 AM
Subject: [naturalbuilding-4] adobe/cob raised beds

Hi everyone -

As they say on the talk shows, I'm a long time listener and first time
caller to this list serve. I am interested in doing some natural building
as part of a couple of projects I am involved in on the South Side.
Unfortunately, it seems the Natural Builders Group meetings tend to be
quite a distance from me, so I haven't been able to meet anyone in person,
but I'm hoping y'all can give me some advice via the group.

I am part of a newly established community garden with (surprise,
surprise) no money and a need to build raised beds because of the quality
of the soil in the lot we are working in. I was considering proposing
adobe or cob raised beds, which would also introduce a whole lot of people
to natural building. Any advice?

Gabriel Piemonte
The Abundance Project

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