Wednesday, July 8, 2009

Sun baked

.
Remember those mysterious stacks of straw bales across the street that we all surmised about in last month's post?
And remember the garden spiral my neighbors' nice young volunteer created a year ago?
Well, he came back again for a few days--to use some of the straw!
A new mystery! Why are they making mud bricks??

On the huge bale of clay is written Mamshit. That's a place down in the Negev desert. I know it as an ancient Nabatean city, but apparently there is some clay mining going on too.
The neighbor's sons were having fun packing mud into the wooden frames.

Do enlarge this photo to imagine the squishy feeling of the mixture.
Apparently the only thing lacking was donkey manure, the best for giving the bricks added strength.
The mud bricks will have to dry in the sun for several weeks now.
. . . then what ?

20 comments:

Eki Qushay Akhwan said...

Nice story, Dina. I didn't know that donkey manure could add strength to mud bricks.

Doesn't it smell though?

Eki

Erin said...

ahh hah...bricks. maybe they are going to make a terraced garden area?
great photos that you took capturing the process.
enjoyed the post very much.

Cloudia said...

Follow the mudbrick spiral road!!

Aloha-

Comfort Spiral

Sara said...

Hmmmm, it makes me think of the adobe bricks of the American Southwest!

Katie said...

Most interesting post. Thank you

jeannette stgermain said...

Reminds me of the bricks the Israelites were forced to make for the Egyptians once upon a time!

Ann said...

Fascinating.

An environmentally sound building or wouldn't it be strong enough without the donkey manure.

Pietro said...

Curious story indeed. It would be interesting to know what they will build.

mire said...

Beautiful Dina shalom

Wow there is always something historical and simply complicating and exalting going on around here.

Have another beautiful day filled with magic light and love.

Nazzareno said...

the history is beautiful and is beautiful, to see those boys in a useful and intelligent job.

Robin said...

No idea what they might be doing or why, but you can certainly enjoy the view while they're there - both of the work and of the workers. That guy in the blue headwrap is awfully easy on the eyes ;-).

Mediterranean kiwi said...

honestly, it looks as though they are reviving some kind of ancient trade

great photography today dina

jerusalemgypsy said...

What are they building? A lot of communities in Israel (especially in the Negev) are building these eco-homes. Some of the huts have become guest houses. Lovely photos, thanks

jerusalemgypsy said...

Some communities in the Negev have built guest "huts" - perhaps using this method? I don't know - I haven't yet checked it out.

Lovely blog.

JM said...

I've seen Samburu and Masai women in Africa building their houses with cow manure over a 'skeleton' of twisted sticks. Looking at your photos I remembered them.

Hilda said...

Mud and hay! Of course that makes sense now. I wonder what they're going to build…

Dave King said...

Fascinating, absolutely fascinating! Thanks for the post.

mommanator said...

when I was a child we had a brick factory near my home and as children we visited it. Was nothing like the process you depict, but I bet the bricks are as enduring! In this area the bricks turn to be red and ddark colored due to the iron in the soil.
As always a nice post!

pasadenaadjacent said...

The chemistry involved in clay deposits is something I'm just beginning to explore. Maybe he's using a low fire earthenware in the mix....I'm thinking he's making adobe bricks. Funny with building structures. You can build them with old tires or stacks of baled straw. People are very inventive

Kay said...

Hmmmm.... it'll be interesting to find out what they do with it.