All buildings start with foundations and its no different with natural building as we are building a cobwood cabin for the first build of four cabins, we will need a good amount of subsoil so although a trench filled with rubble makes an excellent tried and tested foundation we are digging a large hole 50cm in diameter larger than the footprint of the actual building. This will give us the turf stripped off first as the final layer of roofing material the sub-soil moved to the gardens to improve soil depth and a good amount of sub-soil to use to make cob.
Here is the pile of turf striped from the site and laid on a tarpaulin this will be put back on the roof of the building with Sedum’s planted in it to replace the grass as it dies back in our hot summers.
Here we have used the top soil to cover two Hugelkultur beds more on the beds to come in a future post. These are now ready for planting and mulching.
Here is the sub-soil which is around 85 to 95% clay which when mixed with sand, straw and cows muck will make great cob.
The end of two hard days of digging gave us the hole dug and some of the stones returned to add to the rubble.
The next step is to get a delivery from the local quarry of stones graded from 40mm up 75mm as our rubble, this will give us a stable platform on which to start the building.
The next step is to build a stem wall but more on that in the next post.