Pounding tires at the Martin Earthship

Seeing as we have copious amounts of free time (that was sarcasm, if you missed it), Kat and I decided to go join a bunch of other volunteers last weekend (Aug 20th, to be exact) down in Mallorytown, ON to do some tire pounding.

Erin and Jean-Francois Martin have started working on their Earthship and put out the call for a volunteer day. Kat and I having experience with this sort of thing decided it would be good to go out and stretch our sledge hammer skills, as it were.

We hopped in our truck and drove the 2.5 hours from Maynooth to Mallorytown, which is down on the St. Lawrence seaway near Brockville. The event was supposed to start at 9am, but we got there at 9:30. We were also the first ones to arrive.

This is what the site looked like when we got there.

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They’re not too far along, only two courses of tires along the back and three on the front.

Erin and “J”, as everyone called him, were extremely lucky to find a fully functional bobcat for only $6k and Kat and I are really jealous 😛

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Unfortunately, even if that deal were to fall in our lap right now, we don’t have the cash available for it at the moment.

But I digress.

It wasn’t long before others showed up. Several families and their kids arrived and the fun began.

They had this interesting idea to put open tents over the wall so you’d be out of the sun while you’re working, which is a good thing, but the tent also got in the way when you’re standing on the wall swinging the sledge hammer, so it was a bit of give and take.

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They also had a fancy laser level, which you can see on the right side of this next picture.

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That little doohickey makes leveling your tires really nice, though you do have to contend with constant beeping. It’s great because it lets you level everything along an entire course the same, and it doesn’t matter if you’re working from both ends, or somewhere in the middle.

Otherwise, you have to establish the level of your first tire, and then level everything according to that first one as you move along working on each tire. Here you can see me doing just that, as the laser level was otherwise occupied at that moment.

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There were a slew of volunteers and the kids did their best to help out as well.

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Some of the volunteers have land and are working on getting their build going (like us) and others are fairly new to the concept and just wanted to experience what it would be like if they decided to go down the Earthship journey, as it were.

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At the end of the day, I think Erin said the count was 54 tires had been pounded.

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That’s not quite a full course over the back wall, but it is a major portion of it.

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With so many people, we had different groups working in different sections so there will only be a minimum number of tires to fill in the rest of that course.

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The cooling tubes will be put on top of the second course, so gaps were left where those will be placed.

At the end of the day, most of us took a short drive out for a quick swim to rinse off (it was really hot that day) and when we got back, Erin and J fed us fresh veggies and fruit and fajitas.

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That’s Erin and J standing up. They were great hosts and many ideas were shared. Tires were pounded, progress was made and we all shared some laughs.

Great times for all.

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