Cob: Big Stomps and Open Minds


In spring last year we did one of our first bits of volunteering together. IMG00904-20130426-1117 Along with a group of mainly adults, we made ‘cob’ – a mixture of mud, sand and straw – to insulate and ballast a narrow boat for a permaculture project.  Looking back, it still stands in my memory as one of our best experiences.  Why?

We went with others. 

I had just met another parent and we had been chatting for other reasons, and happily our interests in the project, and our /days free happened to collide.  IMG00899-20130426-1113Our kids didn’t know each other well, and neither did we, but our shared experience helped us to come up with more ideas to keep them interested, and they were happier to muddle along together than separately.

It was geared towards adults – we made the kid connections ourselves.

We were at a cob-making session – usually encountered in the making of pizza ovens – this time, to insulate and ballast a narrow boat.  All were welcome but we had quite an adult ‘what do you want to get from this session’ chat at first… this was actually welcome as I felt a)treated like an adult myself and b) that I wasn’t bringing anyone else’s day down to the level of a toddler.

They were FRIENDLY.IMG00909-20130426-1142

It always felt like we were meant to be there, like we could tweak tasks to suit us, and that we were – in some way, useful.  The ease with which everything was arranged was so welcoming.

It involved ACTION.IMG00894-20130426-1059

Stomping on mud.  Sprinkling straw.  Stomping again.  Marching down the towpath to get more water.  What’s not to like for a toddler?!

Such a lot of fun, and very inspiring.  Thank you Cob in the Community!


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