Monday, April 26, 2010

Cob Cottage on the Farm Tour


We visited the 14th Annual Piedmont Farm Tour last year and it was a huge hit. So we went again this year. The Farm Tour is a fund raiser for the Carolina Farm Stewardship Association  

Anyway this is the first posting about one of the farms. The Pickards Mountain Eco-Institute I was taken in by the Cob Cottage. Cob is something I read all about months back when I was thinking about building a huge bottle wall in our garden. I had met this guy named Greg in Durham who just happened to be working on his sisters garden across the street from where were were working.

Anyway Greg and many others built this Cob Cottage and here is a tour.

The front entrance, ok the only entrance.
The view from these windows is very breath taking, what a place to wake up to in the morning. That pole you see behind the cottage is a small wind turbine.
For those of you who do not know what cob is it is mud and straw that is made into a clay like consistency and piled and shaped to build walls and other items.

The roof has a herb garden growing on it, is case you were wondering.
A view of the inside the cottage, lovely and so cozy.

It took 10 months to build this cottage with1-10 people helping when they could. Sure wish we had one of these, I've read they can last for a very long time, some cob built buildings in Europe are said to be 600 years old if I remembered that correctly.

 Above is a look at the entrance to the garden. Note the girl on the horse, they were giving rides to the kids, one of the girls was in Meg's class a few years ago. Right under the sign you can see the back of the solar panels. The Cob Cottage is slightly down the hill on the left out of sight.

Now time for our first peony in our garden.
 We have two plants that were planted last year and this is the only bloom.
This bloom is about 6 inches across!
This Swallowtail Columbine is from Helga's Garden at Four Leaf  Farm which is with in walking distance from here. She delivered us some tomato plants tonight!


Curbstone Valley Farm said...

I have to say, that is a truly enchanting little cottage! I love the living roof, and the little creatures painted on the outside.

Congratulations on your first peony bloom! The columbine is beautiful too.

ryan said...

Great little building. I've always liked cob structures. Someday I want to do a cob and stone building.

Sarah Knight said...

very interesting : )

Anonymous said...

Oooh Randy, I just love those types of buildings and that one is spectacular! Love the painting on the exterior walls as well. Being able to make curves with the cob is the most appealing thing, like a storybook house, my dream house, with rounded windows and doorways and curving halls. Too cool.

sweet bay said...

The Cob Cottage is so charming and unique. I love the Swallowtail Columbine. That's a real beauty.

Southern Lady said...

I love the cottage. I am waiting for my first peony bloom. It is not far off! Carla

sweet bay said...

Randy yes I can send you a piece of the pink spiderwort. It was given to me by my MIL who got it from a friend. It's a clumper and very long-blooming. Send me your address at and I'll get it out to you.

Noelle said...

I have never heard of Cob Cottages before. They are just fascinating. Thank you for educating me :-)

I love your first Peony. I look forward to seeing more pictures as they continue to bloom.

Chandramouli S said...

That cottage seems a real cozy place to live in and with a herb garden on top! What a beauty!
The peony looks lovely and I assume it's fragrant? and so does the columbine.

eileeninmd said...

What a cool looking cottage, reminds me of the movie "Lord of the Rings". Love your pretty peony!

Cameron said...

Such a neat place! The tour looks like it was wonderful with so many interesting ideas.

Lovely peony.

Les said...

I am glad you defined "cob". I was fully expecting to read that house was made of corn cobs.

Gail said...

Randy, That is a fantastic building...I've seen something similar with exposed logs and stone...The yellow columbine is fantastic looking! Isn't nature grand! gail

Kim and Victoria said...

How fun would it be to have a Cob cottage??? I love it!

tina said...

How cool is that cottage? I bet it is nice and warm and soundproof. The roof is way neat too. Did you decide to build a bottle wall? That would be pretty cool too!

Andrea said...

Hi Randy, thank you for sharing the photos of the cottage, it is wonderful and looks really so cosy. But it might not work in the tropics, it will be too hot. But the shape is really suited for the farm esp the vegie and flower garden. How big is the area of the cottage, it sure entailed a lot of cost to build. Happy weekend.

Janet said...

What a fun whimsical cottage.

My peonies are just about to pop...sure love them.

Rebecca said...

I'm infatuated with unique shed/cottages/structures - and this one certainly fit the bill! I wonder if there are any around me (NE Indiana)???

Q said...

This is a charming cottage. Perfect as a studio....I must show my husband!
Thank you!

lkw said...

Geez, aren't cob cottages fun! That's a delightful one. And the peony is fabulous, too.

ConsciousGardener said...

Neato cottage! Congrats on your first peony, and I have to add you to my sidebar...your blog is awesome!

Oliver Swann said...


May I use one of your pictures of the little cob house on my facebook page:

Kind regards, Oliver