My original scheme was to build a monolithic dome home and live off grid in the county of Thorhild, where I bought the first farm, but when Waste Management bought the 18 farms around me for a class 1 landfill, I hightailed it out there pronto. Who wants to have an organic permaculture farm next to a dump?
It was quite by accident and in a hurry that I ended up here in the Elk Point area of St. Paul county. My dreams of building the monolithic dome were gone, since two houses already existed on the property. Now, I am thinking of building something out of the earth. The land on my farm for as deep as we have dug, which is 9 feet, is pure beautiful golden sand. There is always an 'if' to every story. If I had clay, I would build a wapini, or pit green house. The wapini makes use of the warmth of the earth, which is a constant temperature 10 feet down and lower, and of the sun. It has a southern exposure roof of glass sloped to collect the heat and light of the sun. The problem here though, is we are quite far north and there is not the intensity in the sun's rays, even on full sun days, not in the winter. Lots of folks suffer from seasonal affective disorder or lack of sunlight. Taking vitamin D in large quantities helps and spending time outside helps, however; the only part of the person exposed to the sun is the face and if it is really cold, not even that. Still, I would like to build a wapini, 'if' there was clay.
I put an ad on the local buy and sell site looking for clay if some one was building a house and wanted to dump the clay somewhere. There was no response, but I am not giving up. With clay I could do straw bale construction, or cord wood or build a cob oven. There are so many natural building techniques to do, if only I had clay. The early settlers built their homes of roughly planed logs notched together and then infilled with a mixture of straw, manure, sand and clay. Drat! I need to find some clay. I could even do some raku style pottery.
So, if I can locate a few gravel truck loads of clay, I would be off engaging on a new and exciting natural earth building project for sure, and the wapini. I need to start thinking about setting some new goals and some of them definitely will depend on the acquisition of clay. But there is also the new garden plot which will be the south slope of the penned area where the cows are this winter and the sheep were last winter. It is close to both houses and can be watered with a hose if necessary. I have some wonderful heritage tomato seeds, sent as thank you for the soap I sent to Mandy, the gardener extraordinaire from Manitoba. And there are many other seeds but no place to plant them, YET! That new plot will be goal number two, after finding and procuring some clay.
Then I will work on the next new goals. Learning to felt wool is one, not a very lofty one, but nonetheless, still an aspiration .
Think good thoughts surrounding clay on my farm, would you please? Thank ewe!