The KICC cob project has been slow going with this new challenging weather we are learning to live with. We are still working on framing the foundation and getting the gravel laid under the cinder blocks.
A huge shout out to my husband for the hard work he has invested in cutting through the sod and digging the channel for the gravel.
Make no mistake, that is not really a bandana on his head... but rather a halo. ;-)
The channel is approx 4 inches deep and about 8 inches wide. When the cinder blocks are laid back in place there will be approx 2 - 3 inches of gravel on either side of them, providing a sound foundation.
We are using road gravel because it was the least expensive option. It is very sandy, which helps to pack it in nicely and will prevent having to go back after the gravel is laid to fill with sand between the rocks.
On the far end we got creative with the shape. The narrowed area will hold a table with a garden tool storage area underneath and the loop on the end is going to be the new compost area.
Let's talk compost piles for a moment. Recently I had a conversation with someone who had a near disaster with a compost heap. It was started and maintained in a plastic container that had begun to melt and smoke.
The KICC would like to remind everyone that compost heaps generate a fair amount of heat so when containing a compost pile, please be aware of flammable materials!
We decided to add the compost area to this portion of our project because cob is the perfect container for something that generates heat! Cob is fireproof! In fact, the heat exposure will strengthen the cob and because it is a gradual building heat, it should help to avoid cracking on this end of the new raised bed.
To the other side of the table is going to be our new worm bed. The worms will provide castings for our gardens and when the worm population is plentiful, we'll be able to return some of them to the gardens where they can help tend to the roots of our plants. If we find ourselves with a worm population that needs thinning there are many uses for them, from fishing bait to wild bird food, and aerators for the lawn, outdoor potted plants, etc. In a dire situation worms are a high protein food for humans, too, though we are really hoping we don't ever have to find that out personally.
The new odd weather patterns we have been experiencing have limited the time we can work outdoors on our projects. We have experienced below average cold at night with mild daytime temperatures, followed by days of heatwaves and storms with high winds, hail, lightning, and heavy rain. We are entering another heatwave and storm cycle this week but we're hoping it will clear again by next weekend.
Have a great week everyone! We'll see you at our Roundtable on Thursday evening!