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Saturday the 18th we had a workshop here at Joes and put a layer of cob on the straw bale bench. Applying a second coat this time with 1/3 or more in volume of fairly finely chopped straw and not really a lot of water. All mixed with great creativity and exuberance on tarps by the folks that showed up. The whole day went smoothly, the bench had all it’s dips and valleys filled in, and the basic form is now there. We will add 2 more layers over the next week or so.

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We also wired some of the gabions, rebar reinforced expanded metal lathe, for the stem walls that will be topped by the quarry screens Joe got from the salvage yard. These wire forms, staked every couple of feet with 3′ pieces of rebar pounded 1′ into the ground, will be filled with the gravel from the yard and have a thin layer < 2″ of, 1 part portland 3 parts mortar sand, troweled on in 2 1″ coats, or left open to view and planted as vertical gardens.