The Gloucester Project, run by Marnie and Ken, invited us up to run an earthbag workshop over a weekend building a wall with a seat to define an entrance garden to the beautiful community garden Gloucester is so lucky to have – “The Tucker Patch”. The weekend was funded by a ‘Better Builders’ grant and attracted many people from the community keen to learn this new technique.
We started with a small core group which grew throughout the day and continued to grow the next day. The earth we used to fill the bags came from a dam on the property that was being enlarged – the perfect clayey soil for earthbag building. Marnie discovered it was easier filling the bags by the dam where the earth was being directly dug from instead of carting it up in a wheelbarrow first, and fashioned a great funnel from a tube that was self-supporting and meant you didn’t need two people to fill a bag. Most of the wall was finished on the first day, with the rest on the second day along with the lime stucco. We couldn’t get the normal ‘fatty’ sand we like to use on usual renders here so used ordinary washed beach sand – and with a great result. We especially loved the found objects we could include in the wall big and small – the old glass buoy was a special find and looks fabulous when it catches the sun.
Thanks also to Pippa and Steve for inviting us up here – such a beautiful corner of the earth and such a wonderful community. Check out The Gloucester Project for more information on what is practiced – here you will learn about sustainability in its truest form.