Let there be straw...

And welcome to February! My apologies for the lack of recent blog posts. In some ways it would be nice if the intervening time had involved a spot of winter hibernation at Huff and Puff HQ (I like my sleep), but no such rest has been forthcoming. Instead, I've recently been working on a kitchen refurb that has allowed me to do some internal lime work and also try out some of the materials I'm hoping to use on other jobs. That's nearly complete, so there will be a post and some photos soon.

We have some enquiries for sizeable jobs on the go at the moment, however nothing commissioned yet. In fact the only major job we have scheduled so far is our very own Apple Tree Nook project.

If you are interested in discussing work for this year please do get in touch. Planning and building regulations, if necessary, can take up a lot of time, so now is the time to begin!

Also, please get in touch if you'd like to do some hands-on learning about straw bale building, or if you'd just like some advice on your own build. I'm hoping to post more soon on this sort of thing, however at the moment suffice to say I'm happy to arrange something with you for a small fee for self-builders, or free of charge if we're doing some work for you.

The next post will hopefully cover work on Apple Tree Nook, which I'm glad to say is restarting imminently!

Working with the seasons...

Apple Tree Nook - the site
Apple Tree Nook - the site
Traditionally this is the time of year that the straw bale builder makes sure all projects are finished off or shut down for the winter and gets on with myriad other things until the weather picks up in spring. I have been very keen to keep going with Apple Tree Nook to push our boundaries a bit and see how far we can get before the weather gets too much, however, after a good deal of thought, I've decided that this is just too risky with our first build, even if we are doing it for ourselves. There is just too much at stake. Therefore, I am reluctantly putting the building of the nook on hold until early next year. In the meantime there is still a lot of planning and design work to be done for the build, which I will share with you over the coming weeks so you can get an idea of where we are going.

Apart from that there is a very long list of work to do here at Huff and Puff HQ and hereabouts to keep us busy, plus we really need orders for next year. I like to think I am an honest soul, and the whole point of getting the nook finished was to be able to show you a physical example of the standard of our straw bale work before engaging us for your own project. However, in the meantime I will just have to do that in other ways. Rome was not built in a day and all that, and I am very much concentrating on the excellent progress our fledgling small business has made this year, rather than what has not been done, as there is a long list of things to be done and some of them will take many years.

For example we would love to help people build their own affordable straw bale homes in the UK. That is within our power to do right now. And one day, the charitable arm of our business, yet to be created, will hopefully be able to help build straw bale and other buildings for those that need them in developing countries. I like the fact we've had social and charitable aims for the company in our business plan from day one, and every step we take is in the right direction.

Talking of work in developing countries, my next post will be about a rammed earth course I did last weekend, and the inspirational instructor we had - Rowland Keable - who has done great work with rammed earth building and standards, especially in Africa.