Things you'll need:
- 2-3 Friends who like to dance in mud!
- A 2 meter x 2 meter square tarp. A 3mx3m will also do if you would like to mix more with more people!
- 2 shovels (or however many people would like to dig)
- 2 pairs of wet-resistant rubber boots
- 2 x 5 gallon buckets of sand*
- 2 x 5 gallon buckets of clay* (this is the sticky stuff!)
- 2 x 5 gallon buckets of water
- 1 straw bale
- 1 wheelbarrow for transporting the mix
*In most places, you can just substitute sand and clay for abandoned soil. Most soil is very rich in sand and clay along with many other useful sticky elements that help stick the plaster together. So just dig a hole anywhere if you do not have access to sand or clay. Check out the Gardener's World site under References to see how you can find out what is in your soil.
The Natural Building Blog: http://naturalbuildingblog.com/
Straw Plaster and its Uses: http://www.earthsweethome.com/plaster.htm
Earthened Homes from around the Earth: http://naturalhomes.org/
Soil Composition and Formation Information: http://nerrs.noaa.gov/doc/siteprofile/acebasin/html/envicond/soil/slform.htm
The Hungarian Permaculture Forum: http://www.permaforum.hu/permablog
What kind of soil do you have?: http://www.gardenersworld.com/plants/features/structural/find-out-your-soil-type/1118.html
Next step: Preparing the mix...
Step 1: Lay out the tarp next to the digging site
Caveman Carl says: It is important to keep all your materials close so that they are easy to access.
Buff Brian says: Set up the tarp next to the digging site. Also prepare the buckets of water, the strawbale, and your pair of water-resistant rubber boots nearby.
In this photo you can see that we have chosen a demolished building site to dig under. This house was sitting on top of a hill of moist soil which is packed full of sand and clay! We had to take out the tile and brick as we dug but it was worth it considering 1) we did not have to get in the car and use polluting energy traveling to the store 2) we did not have to buy sand and clay 3) we were reusing and recycling materials locally 4) we were clearing the construction site for future projects.
Next step: Digging and adding water...