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

From: user 5.
Sent on: Thursday, January 10, 2013 10:01 AM
Water saturation was my main concern - I've seen some examples of raised
beds constructed this way online, but nothing over time, so I don't know
if anybody has come up with a way around that. I am definitely interested
in other uses, and will very likely be posting an update in a month or so
after meeting with some of the prospective gardeners to consider other
uses for the space. I think benches would be great and I dream of an oven
on one of our sites, though I think we need some practice with simpler
structures first.

Thanks for your reply, Heather!

> 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 :)
> Heather
> ____________________­____________
>  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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> This message was sent by Gabriel Piemonte ([address removed])
> from The Chicago Natural Building Meetup Group.
> To learn more about Gabriel Piemonte, visit his/her member profile:
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