Factor e Farm Winter CEB Convergence – This Weekend

People, we are getting into major CEB construction. Today we are building trusses for the roof. It will we an workshop addition to the greenhouse, featuring living roof, CEB walls, shallow insulated foundation, masonry stove, plus sauna running off the same stove. We’ll be digging more soil and pressing bricks the next few days.

This weekend is a great time  people to come and help build. Work will include pressing bricks, and if the foundation is finished, we’ll be laying bricks.

Tell all your friends, bring them along. We need 10 or so people.

Nick Raaum is coming from LaCrosse, WI, as well, on Friday night.  If you know anyone on the way from Lacrosse to Maysville, MO- who would like to come and get a ride, let us know. Nick is planning on returning on Tuesday, in his vegetable oil-fueled Mercedes.

As far as accommodations, Nick has an insulated army tent with stove, we have one hexayurt (no heat, though), and our cordwood hut as the heated spaces. The weather for the weekend looks relatively decent – 60s in the day, 40s at night. Bring a tent

Please spread the word. I put this up at the Factor e Farm email group on Google. Please join this group for future announcements of activities on the land.

Factor e Team


  1. Richard Schulte

    I would love to come, if we can get enough people together. How long are you letting the bricks cure before laying them, though? My impression is that you need to allow them to cure for a month or two before laying them, as i have read in several manuals and guides. Have you found a way around this?

    Also, I have some things to bring out, including the books I mentioned on the wanted list on the wiki, and certain tools as well. And, if you want, I can get a discount on the purchase of a book called “Natural Plaster Book: Earth, Lime and Gypsum Plasters for Natural Homes” from the peacenook, tax free. It is extremely informative. Anything else you need me to round up last minute?

  2. Marcin

    When I visited AECT, the leading manufacturer of CEB presses, they told me that bricks can be laid right after they are pressed. Curing can happen right in the wall – as long as it is protected from rain. Please pint us to references that state otherwise.

    Thanks for the books – they’ll be a great addition to the OSE library. If you can round up any metal t-posts for fencing, that would be great. Also, we can share your fuel costs – or if can come down in a diesel car, and we’ll fill you up with our biodiesel.

  3. Richard Schulte

    id assume they know their stuff. this is an older guide i found online,, via craterre. It was made in the 80s so i assume its out of date. They had recommended curing lime stabilized blocks for 2 months! I thought it seemed quite ridiculous. Yea i would assume that sufficient overhangs and rainwater catchment would prevent any problems. Besides, the bricks need moisture to cure properly, so right to wall should be fine. The guide said they will be self supportive, so rebar is probably not necessary, and doublewalls are important as thermal masses

    have you guys considered dyed cement over hydronic tubes with a glossy surface coating for flooring? This guy had something like that in booneville and it was very nice, and not too pricy. The cement acts as a thermal mass and heats up very cozily from the hydronic.

    I should show you guys the designs I have sketched up for a babington burner masonry stove with heat transfer, a casting section and a cooking section. The cooking is distanced a few feet from the burner (the whole thing is masonry enclosed, with a trap for cleaning out ash). For cooking, there are clay or cast-iron lids that you lift and place pressure cooker, cast iron pot, or whatever in the hole. The pot will be almost totally submerged in the heat caused by the babington burner as it is heating up hot water and antifreeze (seperate pipes of course) for use. When the babington burner isnt running, starting a fire with biomass will work as well.

    The two heat transfers will run from catchment (water) and from a closed system (hydronic). Both will be stored in underground ferrocement tanks, and pumped through their relative systems when needed. The submerged tanks will maintain the heat quite consistently, and can probably keep the liquids at about 150 degrees year round. This way, you could run the babington for maybe 1-2 hours and have all the hot water and hydronic you need, plus be able to cook and cast at the same time. There might even be bread oven and kilning capabilities. It would be neat to have a design for something like this that is scaleable and modular, so you could add and take away different “Widgets” so to speak.