The 57 acres that comprise Cedar Ridge Farm are located in the beautiful rolling hills of South Central Kentucky. My wife, our four children, and I are on a homesteading adventure as we work toward increased self-sufficiency. We grow much of our own food and enjoy being in touch with the agrarian roots of our lives.

One of the major projects we have undertaken is the building of our own home. The house we're building has three major distinguishing features: 1. we're building it without incurring any debt; 2. it is a timber frame structure; and 3. the exterior walls will be plastered straw bales. We live debt and mortgage free, and building our house with that approach makes perfect sense. Large timbers in a home possess a beauty and project a sense of strength, stability, and warmth that we want in our home. Straw bale walls provide insulation and make ecological sense. This blog is a record of our home-building project.

Thursday, October 7, 2010

More progress and a work party (ya’ll come)

We are keeping at it and making progress!

I decided to invite friends and acquaintances over for a work party on October 17, 2010. If you’re interested, let me know.

The plan for the work party day is to get as much mud on the bales as possible. In preparation, I’m planning on getting all the bales stacked, one of the living room windowspinned, and ready for plastering before October 17.

Yesterday, we stacked the rest of the bales downstairs (well, except for one above a door). There weren’t a great number of bales because of the many window openings, but it required a bit of retying which takes time. Also, the last course downstairs must be wedged in between the previous course and the bale plate which requires a little effort and some persuasion with the large mallet.

back wallnortheast corner

While Dad and I stacked bales, Danny and Jon plastered the kitchen walls. plaster on front kitchen wallThey did have some help from my younguns for a while. They weren’t able to finish the front wall, but they got a good start.

I’ll be sorting out good bales from those stored in the barn for the upstairs walls. So far we’ve used about 280 of the 300 bales I bought for the downstairs walls. I’m not sure how many bales the upstairs will take, but I guess about 150.

So, we have a lot to get done this next week. Today and tomorrow, Dad, Danny, and I are going to cut the winter’s supply of firewood. I’ll get back to the house at the beginning of next week.

northeast corner from outside  front of house


Ruth said...

Hi, Darryl! It's cool to see all the progress you are making! :) So very exciting! :)

dp said...

Thanks, Ruth! I hope you and your family will be able to visit and enjoy our new home with us when it's done (if not before)!