A hole in the land by the river, from which the ground is gone.
We were told that it was good to grow in this soil. It is 'terra fina' they said. Which means that it is soil without stones. Because sometimes, here you can find land so full of stones, that even a tractor can have trouble working it.
So our land by the river contains no stones... "fine soil for growing wine' we were told. But nevertheless we wondered how it could be, that one could grow crops so well in this ground. We ourselves had not have this experience. We try to understand this soil. Soil with which one can lay bricks. Soil, that but very slowly weathers and not loses its shape, in all kinds of weather... is that a top soil?
We did a trial: Some 'terra fina' in a jar. Then some water and a seed in it. The seed came up, but languished. So we forgot the experiment. Then it dried out. We were left with soil in a block shape.
Hendrik builds his walls with large hollow red bricks and plasters it with sand cement mortar... like here today, everyone does. Nice to built a raised bed... but for a house? We like our house of mud.
Here a picture of the interior of our barn, where the original pockets of the mud walls can be seen. Each part is built between wooden partitions. When a layer is done a new layer of pockets follows on top, making it seem as if the wall is build with complete blocks. The 'blocks' are in fact 'boxes' of mud.