Urban Forest Cob Experiment, part VII: foundation half finished

What was that idiom: “Rome wasn’t built in a day?” I’m co-oping that to explain the lengthy time it’s taken to build the foundation, but changing it to more adequately reflect my building skills to “The Pinto wasn’t built in a month.”

Though Romans did use a form of concrete (which has lasted to present day), the Pinto most decidedly did not. However, since its recall in the 1970s for the little explosion problem, it has made many top 50 lists (as the worst car of all time).

This is the 1977 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon. Used solely for the description.
Introducing the 1977 Ford Pinto Cruising Wagon: cute as a button. A dynamite button.


But how could you resist this family cruising wagon version of the Pinto?  I really hope my end-product is no so combustive, but equally cute.

Distractions this week

The word “distraction” has such a negative connotation, but need not. This week, there were a few things that took me away from cob:

  • Syba’s eye leak ($100 peace-of-mind-specialist it’s fine)
  • Preparing for Vegan Drinks!
  • Hopscotch day parties
  • Outreach planning
  • #Comments preparing, filming, editing
  • Excuse making
  • Thinking


When the heck did this happen?

Suddenly, there are two adult peppers, flowers no more. I pass this leafy ensemble daily, seeing nothing but leaves. These gardens really pull one over on me.


Building the cob foundation wall:  halfway there

Nevertheless, putting in three “mixes” today (Saturday) helped me catch up with my goal of working on this home (or “bathroom” as friend David G. called it) at least three days per week.

Foundation, looking west (new mortar from today on far right)
Foundation, looking SW


Next week, I’ll be continuing the foundation then ending the week early to take off for my birthday Weston camping trip (if it’s still camping when you’re sleeping in Weston).  Rob ordered a special vegan cake from the Cupcake Bar which we’ll be picking up and eating in entirety. I’ve never been a fan of ceremony of any kind for myself, so it’s nice to leave town when the occasion of my entrance rears its yearly head, so to speak.

In other news

I was also fortunate to be interviewed for the News & Observer, and the article is shared here.

Photo by Lisa Sorg, 2015
Photo by Lisa Sorg, 2015

Thank you Lisa!


Total costs to date


Week Cob item Cob cost
1 Used decorative door piece, wooden dish rack $2
3 Extra 4″ drainage pipe $6
4 Gravel $55
4 Portland Cement $16
4 Sand $15
5 More sand $15
5 4 glass block windows (from Scrap Exchange)
5 Psyllium husk for floor (with shipping)
7  More sand  $15
TOTAL $151