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French Drains and Fill

by Tyler

Today, we received thirty tons of 3/4" stone:

Rick Scooping 3/4" Stone

Rick scooped most of it into the concrete form for our workshop:

Workshop Slab in Progress

After that, we made a french drain around the back wall:

Tyler Carrying Perforated Drain Pipe for French Drain

First, we put down a layer of stone:

French Drain Base Stone

Then, a layer of straw:

Tara Covering Perforated Drain Pipe with Straw

Then, some perforated drain pipe:

Tara Arranging Perforated Drain Pipe in French Drain

Followed by another layer of straw and stone:

Tyler Shoveling 3/4" Stone over French Drain

...and finally, a layer of filter fabric which I later covered with dirt:

Tyler Laying Filter Fabric Over French Drain

After Rick left, I spent a few hours shaping the stone. It needs to be sculpted such that the edges slope up from a depth of sixteen inches to five inches. During my raking marathon we were hit by a huge rainstorm. As has become the custom this season, the sky went from blissfully blue to dark and ominous in the space of five minutes. Then, the heavens opened up and unleashed a biblical torrent of rain.

Grindbygg Slab Sections

One plus to this wacky weather we've been having is that we can easily see if our rainwater management plans are working. The french drain behind the workshop wasn't flowing yet (not enough rain, I suppose), but the channel of dirt above it had a nice little river following the pipe all the way to the drywell we are building. As I smoothed out a few high spots in the dirt, I felt like a little kid playing in a sandbox with a bucket of water. This rules!

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Hey guys! I was got on a tangent while googling "earth oven building." Long story short, remembered you guys were constructing a [straw bale?] home. Hope all is going well and look forward to following your progress! Totally inspired (and somewhat envious) of your lifestyle! Kallie and Andrew
Posted by Kallie on July 12th, 2013 at 10:37 AM
Hey Kallie--thanks for taking a second to say hello! We are indeed working on a straw bale house, but we won't be raising the walls until next year. If you're building an earthen oven, this book is a fantastic read. Happy Summer!
Posted by Tyler on July 14th, 2013 at 12:32 PM