Tag Archives: earthbag

Earthbag Dome Completo

Rose has moved into the Earthbag Dome at Milkwood Farm and we can now report that it works. There’s the woodstove to stoke up on cold nights, and the rest of the time it’s a very quiet, very temperature-stable bedroom, with only slight hobbit connotations.

One of the things about this earthdome is that it’s very tricky to photograph internally, given that it’s so darn small (yet comfortably spacious, in its way). Prepare for lots of close-ups – hopefully you’ll get the idea… Continue reading

Up-cycled door for the Earthbag Dome

No-one knows how old this door is – it came off a shed that pre-dates Nick’s family taking over this farm… bet you its maker never imagined that it would wind up keeping the wind out of a earthbag dome, high on the ridge at Milkwood Farm…

Shane sanded this door back, oiled it and added some beaut hinges (also scavenged). Then he put a little window in it, cut the top to fit the curve of the shape of the door hole, made a curved door frame (no mean feat) made a step, and there you go. One solid door, good for at least another 100 years. Continue reading

Earthbag dome: getting it done…

The deal with Rose the permachef returning to Milkwood Farm this Spring is this: apon her return (which is imminent) she will move into the completed (ok nearly) earthbag dome, ensuring her personal seclusion and wood-fired comfort for the coming season.

The earthbag dome, while awesome, has been somewhat of a side-project since the first big gush of effort dedicated to its bag-raising (if that is a term) in Feb 2011. But now it’s time to get it done.

Partly because done is the engine of more, and partly because we want Rose to have a cosy haven after a big day of cookery. Nearly there now….

Continue reading

Building an earthbag wicking bed garden…

Earthbags are a great idea for building raised garden bed surrounds because of their simplicity and their strength.

Recently Nick led a community workshop to transform a townhouse patio into an edible landscape, with earthbag surrounds for a set of bathtub wicking beds… Continue reading

Earthbag bench building workshop: 6th May, Sydney

This Sunday Nick is leading a free earthbag bench building workshop as part of National Permaculture Day in Sydney. Do you want to come along?

Earthbag is a really excellent, low-impact building technique used for building strong, solid structures; be they benches, garden beds, or homes. We’ve cut our teeth on an Earthbag dome at Milkwood Farm, and now we’re ready to pass on the knowledge. So we’re starting this weekend. Continue reading

Rendering our Earthbag dome… first coat (bring on the cow poo)

While I have heard from multiple sources that cow poo is a fine and admirable structural component for cob render mix, I never thought we’d try it.

But thanks to Harris, we have finally given the Earthbag dome we started building in February 2011 it’s first complete outer render, featuring mud, sand, silt and cow poo. And it seems to be working! Continue reading

DIY EarthBag Dome: building the foundations

This is the first post in a series explaining how we built our very first earthbag dome at Milkwood Farm. Earthbag is a natural building technique that uses bags of earth to build structures that have incredible tensile strength and a very low energy footprint…

The first step of the build was choosing the site. We chose a spot 2/3 of the way up our hill, above our tinyhouse, as we’re planning to use this dome as guest accommodation. The site faces due north so that, when the dome’s door is open in the cooler months, sunlight will flood into the space.¬† Now for some foundations! Continue reading

Earthbag dome, happy home

A couple of months ago we had the opportunity to build an earthbag dome at Milkwood Farm, and run a workshop while we built it. We jumped at the chance. We’d always wanted to try earthbag building, but where do you start with such a venture?

And so it was that over six days, Neil and Stella guided us and 20 other workshop participants through the dirty, intricate but surprisingly simple process of raising an earthbag dome from the soil of Milkwood. It was one hellava week. Continue reading

EarthBag Building Workshop at Milkwood Farm

Earthbag dome going up at the Permaforest Trust Farm in Northern NSW

The idea that you can build a structurally strong house with nothing more complicated than a bunch of bags, earth, clay and lime, plus some basic on-farm materials and plenty of hands on deck is pretty exciting for a lot of people, including me. Earthbag building might just be the answer to our dreams. Want to join us creating our first earthbag structure at Milkwood?

Under the expert guidance of Neil and Stella from Guiding Star, we’re holding an EarthBag Building Workshop at Milkwood Farm from Feb 27 – Mar 5 this year. We’ll be building a 2.5m wide dome with mezzanine level, which will be perfect for cozy guest accommodation or a root cellar (we’re still deciding which). Bookings and more info here.

The reason I’m getting so excited about Earthbag is that by the end of this 6-day workshop, we should have all the knowledge and skills we need to go ahead and build earthbag structures by ourselves. And any building technique that can be taught from start to finish in only 6 days is one i want to learn! Continue reading


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