Natural Building Portfolio 2015-date

– 2023 May Wooden structure for BBQ – 2023 May Roof overhang extension. Full re-tile and fix of main roof also – 2023 April Wooden shade house. Cement footings. Pine structure. Single wall, pine clad, rest open. – 2023 April Opening 1.2×1.2m space in granite wall to receive a window – 2023 April Wooden structure…

How to mix Adobe with a cement mixer

For a long time I have wanted to try mixing cob with a cement mixer but never had the opportunity. But today I was helping a friend render his wall with Adobe in a stone house and as he had a cement mixer there and I was tired I offered to try to mix it…

How to make compost in the Mediterranean Summer

Since moving to the Mediterranean over three years ago I have struggled somewhat with making compost. The issues I find are that in the summer the air is so dry and hot that piles quickly dry out meaning they stop composting… There is no rain during the hot months so all water needs to come…

Monthly Rainfall. Castelo Branco, Juncal do Campo. 2020

Monthly rainfall taken from a Bresser Weather monitor in Lameiro do Velho, Castelo Branco, Portugal. Data for average monthly rainfall taken from en.climate-data.org Annual Average – 881.0mm 2020 total rainfall – 502.2mm (57% of annual average) Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec Historic Average 128 118 84 77 62…

Rammed Earth Cement Blocks

This technique may sound a bit strange to some, using cement blocks and earth, but we tried it and it worked. But first of all, why mix natural materials with something like cement blocks? We were making a bathroom outside of our house and wanted to use earth as much as possible, so for the…

Permaculture Farm Design – Fazenda Tomati

There are many reasons to do a Permaculture Design before starting work at a farm or garden. Putting in the hours designing your farm on paper before you start making permanent changes on the ground will save you many hours work in the future as you know that the changes you are making are permanent…

Layer Chicken Output Data – Mediterranean Region

We are in Portugal in Koppen Geiger zone CSa. Mediterranean, Hot Dry Summer. Our summer heat gets up to 40+C and winter nights down to -7C. Rain generally stops in May and starts again in October. All the data that I have previously seen regarding layer output shows high Spring and Summer rates followed by…

The Reason to use Fibre in Adobe Mixes

Today whilst plastering with Adobe onto a cement block stem wall we encountered a problem. We were aware that using fibre in an adobe mix was necessary to spread the cracks more evenly across a surface but when we started on our second mix and realised we had forgotten to add grass we stood in…