[permaculture] Material for raised bed

Santoyo & Associates santoyo at earthflow.com
Tue Jul 30 14:17:28 EDT 2002

Robert Waldrop,

Cob is great for a lot of things, but not in a constantly wet 
situation... The ovens that you have seen will erode over time (a 
very long time). Ovens are not waterproofed, because they need to 
breath, but are usually protected in storm events with a tarp or roof.

If you don't have cobble stones to build walls with, then check out 
Nadir Kalili's site at <www.calearth.org>, for other ideas for 
materials for freeform beds. He uses earth-filled bags (he does use a 
little cement) to create some beautiful forms.

Larry Santoyo
San Luis Obispo, Ca.

>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


More information about the permaculture mailing list