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They oppose chicken wire in SB construction.

COUNTRYSIDE: As a past contributor to COUNTRYSIDE (who still gets letters about straw bale construction even several years after my first article appeared) and a workshop leader who has participated in raising about 25 straw bale buildings, I must take exception to the editor's comment which appeared in a photo caption on page 102 of the July/August issue.

We (the large majority of SBers) do not recommend chicken wire as SB lath in most instances and we do not recommend overall lath of any kind in post and beam buildings. That was the recommendation five or six years ago, but we've learned a lot since then. In load bearing (or Nebraska style) construction, some folks still like to use a lath, securely fastened to the footer and the bond beam, asserting that the strength of the wall is then in the stucco. However, an increasing number of us are not even using lath on load bearing. I would hate to see your readers spend an inordinate amount of time or money unnecessarily following a chance comment such as yours.

As always, we welcome questions and comments, even those opposing our views, and especially visitors. We have had 900 (+ or -) folks come to see us in the "not quite" five years we have been here, from all over the country. We helped form the Straw Bale Association of Texas and travel quite a bit, speaking about SB as well as leading bale raisings.

Tours, workshops, seminars and speakers are all available from The Home Place, a sustainable living demonstration center in the hill country of central Texas.

Thanks for a great magazine--we all look forward to each issue! -- Jo Wilhelm, ph. (830)868-7077; e-mail:;
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Author:Wilhelm, Jo
Publication:Countryside & Small Stock Journal
Date:Sep 1, 2000
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