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Matt Gordon (2010)

SchoolWWOOF (World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms) Intern

Primary Project: Intern Straw Bale Composting Privy

"I came to Blue Rock Station to learn skills related to carpentry, natural building (esp. straw bale), design & basic systems. It was refreshing to be granted the freedom, encouragement, tools, time and space to simply learn through doing.

My primary contribution to the Station was the “Half-Assed Privy”, a 30 square-foot straw bale privy with a rammed earth tire foundation, commercial composting toilet, rainwater collection, hand-washing station, earthen and lime plastered walls and a cozy bench for goats and humans alike. Much of the structural lumber was salvaged from old barns, as was the tin roof. I also added a stone path to help tie in the privy with the surrounding space. The name was inspired by one response to Jay’s “infamous” 20-minute tire; the point of contention being that he could ram a tire full of earth and level it in 20 minutes. After much disbelief on my part once I’d done a few 90 minute tires of my own, Jay came down to prove himself. When he finished in under 20 minutes, Annie arrived to inform him that the results were “half-assed”.

(EDITORIAL COMMENT from JAY:  In my defense - it was as good as it had to be and was really more like "3/4 assed.")

Some of the other projects I was involved in include the installation of the sun porch ceiling, construction of a display shelf for BRS “how-to” booklets (now on display at JoAd’s market), construction of the Dogwood Chalet, various carpentry projects and the ongoing management and care of the goats, llamas and chickens. This was a rare opportunity to learn first-hand about natural building and to gain practical skills, an opportunity that I am certainly glad to have taken advantage of."