Notes from Windward: #68


Bricks Link Past, Present and Future

Kerst marks the end of this year's brick season

     With so many different projects going on at the same time, a person at Windward rarely does the same thing from one week to another. However, after taking over brick lead where Orly left off, making compressed earth bricks is something that I've done three times nearly every week since arriving. Other interns rotate in to work with me so that we always have a 3 person team.

[Walt writes: While some tasks such as cooking or taking the sheep for a walk in the evening rotate on a daily basis, other projects need continuity which we achieve by appointing one person as lead for that project. An example would be the "water master" who makes sure that the garden, trees and critters get the water they need on a regular basis. That doesn't mean that the "water master" does all the watering; rather that they're responsible for seeing that the plants and animals get what they need.

     Another 'tern is selected as "garden master" and charged with looking at the strategic issues of operating a garden so as to produce a steady stream of living food for the kitchen, just as the shepherd makes sure that the goats and sheep get the feed they need. Often the leads coordinate their work as in the example of "weeding" the garden, a chore which produces fresh greens for the sheep and goats. As a result, weeding is accomplished in a few minutes a day, just enough time to gather an armful of fresh fodder for the ewes--another example of how the waste from one system is an input for another system

     Although it is a routine work party, making bricks is often one of the most enjoyable things we do--there's always music from an ipod, good conversation, instant visual gratification of your progress and likely the best way to look tan without risking skin cancer since the dust cakes up without discrimination on every exposed bit of body.

     The arrival of the fall's wet weather and cool temperatures brought brick season to a close a couple of weeks ago. I'm proud to report that the total of bricks made on site this summer came to 456 bricks.


     We decided to reserve an afternoon with nice weather for one last brick party. During this brick run, we made a brick for every Windward intern and member who has physically been a part of the brick making process. My hope is that the people who continue the process next year will add their names too so that whenever we look at Octangle, we'll know exactly whose hands created those beautiful bricks.


     While reading a book on cob building where the author reveals that she hides objects within the walls as she's building, I decided that creating a time capsule within a brick would be a great way to connect with future Windward residents (and also act as sort of a journal entry to those who took part). Everyone contributed little notes to put in a spice jar which we then compressed in the center of a brick. This brick is marked "2008-2013: For Summer Solstice 2013" and is not meant to be included in the structure of Octangle, perhaps it could act as a doorstep.

Notes From Windward - Index - Vol. 68