I’m “cooking up” a batch of Opuntia juice preservative. It is a traditional weather coating used on adobe and cob structures. We will be adding it to the final coat on the Westchester Community Oven when we re-surface it next weekend.
I had to post this because it is absolutely a frightful color of green. No filters in that photo!
To make the preservative, you finely mince or puree cactus pads (Opuntia species, better known as prickly pear, or “nopales”), which yields a goopey green glop. Then you pour this into a 5-gallon bucket of water, at which point it doesn’t mix with water right away, so it really looks like Shrek had a horrible head-cold. Continue Reading
Earthen ovens are cheap to build, fun to use, and provide a baking environment that is impossible to recreate in the kitchen.
Ben Loescher will conduct a 4-day hands-on workshop this June, to teach you how to make your own earthen oven. Ben has built dozens of these ovens, and has great expertise in both adobe construction and earthen plasters and finishes. You will leave the class with the knowledge necessary to build an oven of your own, with materials that you may already have in your yard.
It’s part of the Westchester Community Oven project. The 4-day class is suitable for bakers, building professionals and do-it-your-selfers, and is a great introduction to the adobe construction and earthen plasters (which are covered in more depth in AdobeIsNotSoftware’s other classes). Continue Reading
This Earth Day, get in touch with Adobe. California schoolchildren learn about it in 4th grade when they study the Missions. But did you know it’s part of the cutting edge of sustainable architecture and building with local materials.
On May 9 or May 16, get your hands muddy and have a lot of fun as we make Adobe Bricks to be used in building the Community Bread Oven.
This hands-on, get messy workshop is free and open to ALL AGES, and we are told by veteran adobe makers that grade-school children are REALLY GOOD AT IT! So please bring your whole family for head-to-toes fun learning! Continue Reading
Mr Homegrown of RootSimple shared this video of their construction process. He is part of the team, advising us as we plan how to build the cob oven at the Community Garden at Holy Nativity. Continue Reading
Last Saturday we had the kickoff meeting for a new project: building a community bread oven out of cob.
What’s cob? For us in Southern California, the easiest comparison is to think about the adobe bricks used for the missions; cob is kinda like “freeform adobe.” (there are differences, but that’s enough for this discussion).
The wonderful thing about cob is, in many locations it is free (you dig the clay material at your site). And you can build it yourself with a community of people ( = fun). And you can make gorgeous freeform shapes (here’s an eagle).
Ours would be part of a forest-garden-style community gathering space, which Milkwood Permaculture describes as “a lush, shady place, dripping with fruit and springing with herbs, flowers and tubers.” Ours would be an addition to our already existing community garden.