Sunday, August 24, 2008

3 Days

Well what do you know...been blogging less than a week and already missed two days. Still stuck out here on Friday with drizzle. Was able to to do a test for the walls I will be building for the battery house by the wind turbines. Sort of a cross between adobe and rammed earth. My recipe calls for 14 parts clay, 5 parts sand, 2 parts portland cement. I mixed the parts with just enough water to wet it down and packed it into a 2x4 frame. Instead of ramming it to compact it I used a metal pipe to roll over the mix in the form. This really compressed the mix well with out the intense labor of tamping it over and over again with a heavy chunk of 4x4.

On Saturday I wrote 7 new stanzas for my cowboy poem and rehearsed it over and over....still haven't memorized it yet. Spent a good part of the afternoon exploring my property. To my surprise I found two sotol plants that had sprouted stalks - first ones Ive seen all year - reckon is was due to the dry summer. I have also heard that a beetle has been killing the stalks before they can grow. The stalks grow up to 10ft. and up to 2" in diameter and are strong as bamboo. Local artisans make ornately carved and painted walking sticks out of them for the tourists. They are also collected and used as roof shade on porch structures. The meat of the plant can be distilled into a kick ass liquor - thats definitly on my list.

Sunday: Partly cloudy skies = a dry road finally. Drove up to Spirit Tracks Ranch to take a tour and measure for a swamp cooler I will be building for the folks. Planned out the foundation for the battery house. Made my shopping list for an Alpine run tomorrow....mostly construction materials for the swamp cooler, battery house foundation, lumber for the forms for the rolled earth walls and a solar oven, and various items for my wind turbines. My rolled earth block test is hardening up quite well.


Flaming Heart Ranch said...

John, did you buy the clay for your rammed earth, or is it sufficiently available in the soil?

Flaming Heart Ranch said...

Oh! Nevermind I just saw the answer!