The History of the Yurt - Chapter 4
During the winter months several trees had fallen down during storms and when early spring arrived I started peeling the logs and hewing the sides of the logs that needed hewing. These timbers would become the frame of the post and beam framework for our bedroom and bathroom addition. The spring was extremely busy as the land in back of the house had to be excavated. This was done by hand with a pick and shovel and the soil was used to build our hoogles (refer to Holistic Gardening and Landscaping) situated throughout the gardens. We had plenty of marble left to build a retaining wall along with the foundation. Once the timbers were cut David helped me assemble the frame.
In the spring Mary organized a two week session with the Volunteers for Peace, an international organization working towards peace by volunteering labor. Mary and I wanted to emphasize education and skill building rather than labor. The volunteers would help clay plaster the straw bale walls, install straw bales in the back addition, build marble steps into the house, and, oh yes, pour a concrete foundation for a masonry stove, our latest project since David had learned how to build a Russian Bell Stove and we wanted to have one in our home. The advantage to this form of heating, besides a beautiful appearance, is that the wood is completely burned cutting down on the pollutants released into the atmosphere. Also, since most of the heat is absorbed into the brick before existing out the stove pipe the heated brick continues to heat the house for many hours after the fire is out, and we would use the stove to heat our water. At first I was adamant that we did not have the time to build such a stove but David said it only takes “four days to build”. Mary looked at me and said, “Come on, we have four days”, and I realized that I was out voted and relented.