I’m working on a straw bale wall and benches, as part of a sunken garden, siting area, we are creating out front of Joes. I’ll be posting picks as I go. I’ve got a pretty good method with the wire hedged, gravel filled, footers, rough form of benches and wall is made with Straw Bales. The gaps are filled with cob, and the whole thing is plastered, with cob containing various amounts of straw chopped to gradually increasing fineness mixed with a clay sand mix.
The benches and walls will require 14 bales for the form and another 4 maybe for cob , just over $140.00 here in town,. The blocks we’re $.65 a piece 7 x 14″ at the salvage yard and are set in a bed of clean sand. The center piece will be a round, 4′ wide, 3 feet tall, 225 gallon, ferro cement tank that works as a table < $200.00. Probably end up taking a couple weeks at about 6hrs a day.
I just helped install a solar water heater with a Bosch in line propane instant heater. I don’t know about the solar yet because it was dark, but the on demand unit was surprisingly fast. It was a slick set up. The solar is a $2000.00 Factory built from Glass tech. Nice clean design with a few flaws mostly having to do with ease of installation. The Place was near the top of a peak off 83 just south of I 10 headed towards Sanoita. Really nice set up all off grid.