[permaculture] Material for raised bed

Robert Waldrop rmwj at soonernet.com
Mon Jul 29 21:09:52 EDT 2002

What about the cob technique for making walls (i.e. a mixture of
earth, sand, straw, water, formed into a wall and allowed to dry)?  It
can be molded like modelling clay, I've seen some pictures of very
imaginative outdoor ovens (one was shaped like a snail) made from
this, and I was thinking that if they were suitable for framing garden
beds, you could do some really artistic things with them.  We're
thinking of beds laid out in a spiral, or maybe a labyrinth pattern,
and thus we  need something that can be easily curved.  One person
here locally suggested recycling corrugated roofs, and that is an
option for us, but I'd like something that looks better and not so,
well, metallic.

I've been doing some searching in the archives of a Cob discussion
listserv at deatech, and have found some discussion but nothing really
definitive.  Free standing cob walls (that is, those that aren't part
of houses) are generally topped with tiles or something, and put on a
foundation of some sort.  One though I had was 2' cob walls topped
with some used yellow and red bricks.

The cob ovens I've seen pictures off are not covered in tiles, so
there must be some other way to water proof them (I've ordered a book
on them so presumably it has the answer to that). Perhaps the use of
them as ovens bakes the cob and makes it more like brick?

Robert Waldrop, Oklahoma City

-----Original Message-----
From: Scott Pittman <pci at permaculture-inst.org>
>I'm not familiar with AC2 but I've not heard of a treated board that
>would trust.  The recycled plastic boards are fine.  I also use
>stones which I gather from the river.
>Good luck,
>Scott Pittman

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