On Wednesday, volunteers and members of the Kalisher community garden gathered to reinforce the walls of our godjo, a traditional Ethiopian hut. We had lots of fun in the mud, getting our hands – and feet! – dirty as we mixed the mud and applied it to the walls by hand.

The Godjo at Earth's Promise community garden

The Godjo at Kalisher community garden

For the mud building, we made casco, which is the material traditionally used to make pueblos. For a good, strong structure you need three layers. The first is a mixture of pure clay, sand, and straw. The second layer includes clay, sand, and mulched straw. The final coat consists of just clay and sand, which provides for a nice, smooth finish.

Mixing Mud for the Godjo

Mixing Mud for the Godjo – by hand and foot!

We first mixed the clay by hand to get it as smooth as possible, then stomped on it to get out any remaining lumps and air bubbles. The straw helps to hold it all together and create a stable cement.

Mud Building at Earth's Promise community garden

Applying the mud to the walls of the godjo

Everyone chipped in to help get the mud on the walls of the godjo. Now we’re just hoping we don’t get any unexpected rain so it can dry properly!

Fun in the Mud at the Kalisher community garden

Fun in the mud

We loved our day of fun in the mud! For more photos of the whole process of building our godjo, check out our album on Facebook!