[permaculture] Material for raised bed

Mark mpludwig at facstaff.wisc.edu
Tue Jul 30 15:08:05 EDT 2002

I tend to concur with Robert, especially in situations where plant roots 
and critters  may invade the structure I would guess these walls would be 
pretty short lived.  I read a book a while back about a building system in 
Iran where clay huts are built, filled with other pottery and hard wood and 
then fired in place.  This would be overkill, but probably look really cool 
when you finished and last indefinitely.
Build to leave ruins for the ages!
At 11:17 AM 7/30/02 -0700, you wrote:
>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
>permaculture mailing list
>permaculture at lists.ibiblio.org

Mark P. Ludwig
Poultry Research Lab
University of Wisconsin -Madison
608-262-1730 WK
608-846-7125 HM

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