Phil Cashman

October 29 visited Phil Cashman in Hayama (葉山) with Mio Saito, a senior college student in Dr. Itonaga's research studio. Phil was born and raised in Tokyo, attended college in the US, worked as a carpenter in Japan, studied permaculture in Australia, and now lives in Hayama with his wife and daughter.Phil is passionate about permaculture, seed saving, Japanese honey bees, natural building, etc. He's in the process of remodeling a timber-frame home with natural materials and ecological features.Walls insulated with discarded tatami mats and plastered with earth. Tatami mats, made of a straw core with reed finish, are a traditional flooring material in Japan.Russian Oven (ペチカ)
Phil is in the process of building a chicken tractor. Since Mio's senior project is to build a chicken tractor, I thought that the two should get together.


Square One's interior finish plaster

October 24-27 applied the finish interior plaster to "Square One", Toby and Maiko's straw bale home in Higashikawa, Hokkaido. Please see Toby's blog for photos. I also collected data from Square One, and appear briefly in this video that Toby shot:
video update
After finishing work on the 27th, Stefan and I celebrated by taking a short hike and then a long soak in a hot springs in Biei (美瑛). Stefan, alias "The Great Ballini", lead the straw bale building and earth plastering segment of the construction process.


Light Straw Clay Blocks

October 22 and 23 made sample light straw clay blocks with Noda-san and Jinnouchi-san in Higashikawa, Hokkaido. Noda-san is a professional plasterer from Urakawa, Hokkaido. Jinnouchi-san built and lives in a straw bale home and directs a forestry NPO call MoriNet Hokkaido. Last spring, the three of us renovated Cafe Bura Bura in Urakawa, Hokkaido using straw bales and earthen plasters. We're trying to develop a natural insulation consisting of local materials for a model ecological home planned to be built next year. Hanamoto Construction Company supplied the materials and space to produce and dry the blocks.


Tsukuba, Ibaraki Prefecture

October 1 traveled to Tsukuba in Ibaraki Prefecture to help the Japan Straw Bale House Association with a small straw bale project for a local resturant. A straw bale bench creating an outdoor dinning area with roof.