Example of Earthbag Building
Happy to report that thanks to our Global Giving donors we're making great progress on the farm. First, we've hired a caretaker, a husband and wife we've known for several years. The husband is skilled in the building trades and is engaged right now in building an out building on the farm for livestock so we'll soon be able to move our animals to the farm. We are buying a pair of oxen to use for plowing the fields. In Nepal, people use a team of oxen and a wooden plow for their fields. With the sometimes-steep, terraced farming that's practiced and the lack of mechanized equipment in the company, oxen are the most popular choice for plow animals. We will also be adding a cow for milk and some goats as soon as the livestock building is complete, which should be by the end of December.
Another woman and her children have moved in at the farm. She's an experienced farmer, escaping a very abusive marriage and we're so happy to be able to provide her with a good home to live in and prime farmland to grow food on.
A volunteer is arriving at the farm this week to start putting a foundation in for another house on the farm. He will be there for three weeks and is optimistic he can complete the footings in that time. Then, in March our school group from Canada will return and begin construction of another house. We'll be using earth bag building for this as it's inexpensive, earthquake resistant and provides warmth in winter and cool in summer. It's also an easy material to work with for volunteers. Instead of bricks or cement blocks, rice bags are filled with compacted dirt and stacked atop each other with barbed wire in between the bags that acts as a mortar. Once finished the interior and exterior can be plastered with mud, after the local fashion, or cement, a style more popular in the cities of Nepal.The house will have 4 rooms, about 18 feet by 18 feet each. We are building a common kitchen and toilet/bath next to the house. I'll have photos of the kitchen/bath soon as it is under construction now.
Ox team and wooden plow in NepalAttachments: