Earthbag Cellar: Cob Bench, More Earth Finishing & Final Burial

We finally got around to converting the three stumps of wood in the retaining wall into a bench.  Long pieces of wood were laid length-wise (and some anchored down with bent nails).

… and then covered with cob:

… on top of which another layer of cuttings was laid out (to extend the width of the bench):

… and on top of that another layer of cob (no picture yet … imagine the same picture as above just thicker).

There isn’t much to show in terms of cobbing … lots of sieving soil, mixing cob, loading it into buckets and applying it to the walls (first layer to fill in the spaces between the levels, second to flatten the wall). This is what it looked like inside when we stopped work to focus on the final burial … more than half way through the rear wall in the large room:

We invited the excavator for one last time (we thought) to finish the burial: this time to cover the umbrella and restore the part of the hill that was excavated behind it during the previous (pre-umbrella) burial. This is what the ready-for-burial umbrella looked like before we started:

We were too busy to take any pictures when the cellar itself was being covered, but this is what it looked like when that was done (the top is now a flat area):

This was done with subsoil from behind the cella (from a depth we’d already excavated from/to). We decided we did not want to use existing top-soil since ours if full of weed-seeds. We will try to build new top-soil on top of and around the cellar (maybe more on that in a separate post).

Then we started filling the back. We used this opportunity to clear out of the field two small hills (that we created years ago). Here Iulia is guiding the driver to the piles:

… and he cleared a path and started moving earth (lots of it):

… and that wasn’t nearly enough (I’ve given up trying to estimate soil quantities … I keep under/over estimating quantities when it comes to soil) … and so we started excavating from a hill not far from the cellar site:

… and then the driver informed us we were done for the day (he too underestimated the work) … he returned a couple of days later and finishes the job:

… and the tractor went back and forth …. until the back of the structure was filled:

… since then we’ve been doing LOTS more earth-finishing … today we completed the large room and moved into the smaller one … and applied a first test of final fine finishing.

 

 

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