I love it when a question gets answered in a flash of light. Happened a few times this last week.

Earthen Floors. We want the floor to collect heat during the day and release it through the night. The obvious option is to pour a concrete floor and make it look nice (very possible) or cover it with tile. Maggie doesn’t want a cement floor as it feels cold and is hard on our feet. (See Blog 4 for more on this) I suggested we keep the cement/tile floor as open as possible nearer to the south/sunny side so we can collect the sun’s warmth but cover the floor with curved sections of wood where we walk the most and have throw-rugs where that makes the most sense. Not so well received.Earth Floor - somewhere

As I was searching for a used copy of the Rammed Earth bible ‘The Rammed Earth House by David Easton 2007 edition’ I ran across ‘Earthen Floors – a modern approach to an ancient practice – by Crimmel and Thomson’. I sent for it on impulse. It felt right for our home and our foot issues. Maggie loves the look, its characteristics and I love its owner-builder resonance and heat sink ability. Our question is – Can we find any in place done by people we could contact? Thanks for any help.

Saw Log Abundance. With Jonah’s help (young man managing our greenhouse), we went out with Henry a few times to find long, healthy and straight enough poplars to make into saw logs. At the end of it we weren’t sure we had enough. While Jonah and I were busy Henry went off as the elf he is in Henry, Jonah, logsthe forest and came back suggesting we lengthen our day. He had spotted a runway with the trees we needed. Wow. He was so right. We went back for 20 beauties. And now feel quite confident we have the wood we need to finish the house! Thanks be to the generous, beguiling spirits of the forest.

Timber frame a-ha moments. We sat with Sheldon – the timber framer – in their elegant home. Maggie and I had drawn, pondered and imagined, but some things we just don’t know. A couple light bulbs went off with Sheldon. 1. We can place the 16 posts, that carry the weight of the roof, inside the exterior wall. That way they’re beautifully visible, the wall sections between the windows can be insulated and built more easily and we can cut a foot off of the length of each rafter-beam. 2. We had decided to use stress skin insulation above the rafters but I was fretting over the compound cuts I’d need to make on a 16 sided sloping roof. No problem. There’s a company near Winnipeg that will cut each piece to fit before sending. They only need an accurate drawing from us. Happy days when the lights shine.

We’ve started talking of at least one work bee – July 29th to Aug. 1st. Let us know if you’re interested.  Always sweet to hear your feedback and suggestions.

A couple things we’re looking for: 1. Fire brick to build a masonry stove, 2. A 10’ diameter metal bin to bury as a root cellar and 3. Pneumatic (air powered) pounders used to ram the walls. Thanks.