On the 15th of August we held our pre-spring working bee to ready the garden for the imminent arrival of the chickens who were due in the garden the following Friday. Before the day I finished off the garden paths using a Dingo so that attendees didn’t spend the bee shifting gravel.
We had a few tasks to complete including fox proofing the chicken coop, building seedling benches, cobbing the chicken coop and a few odd jobs.
The day started out sunny but rain was forcast. However, apart from a few sun shower the rain kept off and the day was a great success.
The chicken coop that has been built for the school garden was built using cob building technique used for building construction around the world before the advent of concrete. Using clay, earth and hay a render is made that is used to seal the structural wall. The walls of the coop are stuffed with Straw as an insulation material. The Cob is then made using clay to give strength to the wall and straw is used in the cob to provide structural strength, similar to reinforcement in concrete. An additional benefit of the clay in the cob is that it will draw water out of the straw that is being used as insulation. This building technique will mean that the coop walls have thermal mass which will keep the coop cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
The cob was mixed by willing attending children and plastered on under the guidance of community clay expert Teffany Thiedeman.
Further, more of the trees were given tree guards to prevent them getting stepped on and the mulch piles were moved in time for the election. Finally, we begun work on seedling benches for the north side of the shed. These will provide a place where students can place seedlings that have been potted up.