Straw bale Workshop Day 6

installing mesh

Today is day 6 of the straw bale workshop here at Common Kettle Farm. One thing that I have discovered at this workshop is that straw bale construction takes time and there are lots of steps. If you want a completed home fast, straw bale is not the way to go. If you want a warm cozy or cool home with low utilities and are patient straw bale is perfect.

Today the rest of the meshing was put up, and more of the electrical put in. The boxes have to be cut out with a chain saw and the wires pulled. The wires are then pushed back into the bales where it sometimes needs to be cut out with a chain saw. Once this is all done the mesh has to be sewn together from the inside walls to the outside with long string and huge needles. Andrew showed us how it was done and we all jumped in to make it happen. Every 18 inches this has to be done going up and across. We used a jig to cut the string and hung them on a tree. The sand arrived for the plaster today and the kids enjoyed seeing it dumped from the truck.

Besides the usual work there were other were other activities going on around the barn. A wedding was planned for that evening as Sasha and EJ were getting married and the residents of the farm were decorating and rearranging the leftover bales for the event in the evening. Another busy day at the straw bale workshop and only one more after today.

I missed the the official wedding as I was invited to dinner at Michael Janzen’s of Tiny House Design. However I got back soon enough to enjoy some great music by Andrew, our hostess and the kids, and a chance to see the bride and groom do a wedding dance. A fun evening!

electrical box

Wiring an outside electrical box

cutting twine

Cutting the twine for sewing the mesh

twine

Sewing twine hanging in the tree

straw bale needle

Andrew demonstrating the straw bale needle for sewing the mesh together

straw bale needle

Needle coming through the wall

miller's knots

Lot’s of Miller’s knots when completed!

mesh

Installing more mesh

girls decorating

The girls decorating for the wedding this evening.

straw bale seating

The guys arranging the bales for seating and cleaning the work area.

 

Andrew singing

Andrew entertaining the wedding crowd.

hostess singing

Our hostess sharing her singing talent with a beautiful Dutch song.

kids singing

The kids want to sing also.

EJ and Sasha

The bride Sasha and groom EJ performing the wedding dance.

russian dance

Sasha performs a Russian dance with EJ.

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John Mc - October 7, 2013 Reply

How did you eliminate any dormant stages of insects or fungal spores in the straw before using it in the construction?

    Kent Griswold - October 7, 2013 Reply

    Straw went up as brought in to my knowledge. Andrew could you step in and share your knowledge here.

JM Hatch - October 9, 2013 Reply

I’m curious about the insects and fungus issues too. I’m wondering in part because even in near anaerobic conditions hay will compost and make a lot of heat. So, are there climate limits?

Andre ewert - October 11, 2013 Reply

If i understood correctly, the ” plaster” seems to be sand mixed with mortar or stucco cement. Is that right? Here in Canada, it’ s what i would have used.

MARK - October 11, 2013 Reply

I was wondering, why is there no vapor barrier for the inside? Areas near kitchens and baths, etc, have huge amounts of water vapor that transfers into the wall with no vapor barrier. Then you get mold, fungus, and decomposition.

Anyone? Anyone? Bueller?

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