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Cob on Wood

Today we visited the site of a West Oakland camp under the highway. This particular spot is being developed by Cob on Wood to provide community buildings like a kitchen, restroom, free store, raised garden beds and a cob oven. The buildings are constructed with free wood pallets and covered inside and out with cob. All the work is done by community volunteers. Today they were finishing up a cob bench that encircled a fire pit.

Emma and I took the bus all the way down Grand and walked over. We had collected items from arond the house they needed like old clothes, shoes and toys. We really wanted to help out and were given paint brushes and a bucket of lime wash to paint one of the buildings with its final protective layer. Emma loved the experience and asked if she could help out every day. The lead builder said they would soon begin building a workshop so there was still work to be done.

Housing insecurity is one of Oakland’s biggest struggles and everyone knows the pandemic is only exacerbating the problem. This year I have really enjoyed reading more about permaculture and eco friendly housing. The idea to utilize cob in this way is so brilliant and I was eager to see it in person. It is beautiful and cheaply done. I am so glad to have shared the experience with Emma! To learn more visit their instagram and donate here.