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Strawbale Workshop: Day Zero, Morning

by Tyler

Our strawbale workshop begins today! Or rather, folks start arriving today. It's 7:40AM on Sunday as I write this. I'm laying in bed with Tara, preparing to head out and tackle the last remaining tasks before Andrew and the students arrive. Our to-do list is getting smaller and smaller, I feel Iike we're actually ready for this thing!

Yesterday I did the following:

  • Wired the breaker box in the workshop to the solar shed (the giant 300 foot long power/water/internet trench between the two buildings is finally buried as of a few days ago!). We have electricity in the workshop for the first time!

  • Set up a 350 gallon IBC tote full of water for an outdoor shower. It's hooked to an RV pump and an on-demand propane hot water heater for the students to shower. All we have left to do is conceal the shower area with tarps. I wish we had time to make it as beautiful as the shower we made for our Grindbygg workshop two years ago.

Outdoor Shower
  • Wired our generator to the well pump via a power line that is trenched between the solar shed and the location where the bath house we are going to build next year will be. No more janky extension cord with the well pump lines jammed into it!

  • Cleaned out the solar shed.

  • Cleaned up the workshop in prep for the students arriving. I'm making a big tool wall, with labeled/outlined hangers for every tool. I can't wait until the day comes when we can build cabinets inside the workshop and actually have a real home for every one of them!

  • Built a fire-ring in the clearing for after-class bonfires.

  • Moved the mortar mixer and IBC tote that goes with it down to the workshop and set up a plastering station.

Meanwhile, our friend Joanna came over to help! Thanks to her, all of the rigid foam insulation on the top of our pony wall has been installed. Thank you, Joanna!

Joanna Adding Foam to Pony Wall

While Joanna and I were working on the homestead, Tara and Becky had their final food-planning meeting and went on an hours-long grocery shopping trip to purchase staples and ingredients for the first three days of meals. Tara stayed up late making quinoa salad and brownies, and now she's off to make chili and gluten-free cornbread muffins. (And no doubt post pictures of them on our new Instagram account)

I'm off to finish cleaning up the workshop! This coming week is going to be nuts!