The Other Gingerbread – a Strawbale House

| 12/23/2009 2:59:25 PM

Tags: green gingerbread, strawbale,


strawbale gingerbread 1 





A few weeks ago, some of the MOTHER EARTH NEWS staff members were discussing gingerbread houses and how much fun it would be to decorate one some time. Being editors who work for a magazine that features alternative building styles, we thought it might be even more fun to create the kind of eco-friendly and sustainable homes we write about.

Our plan was to do four houses – log cabin, strawbale, SIPS and timberframe. We spent weeks discussing the kinds of food products we could use on the houses, such as mini-wheats for strawbales, pretzel logs for logs, halves of black licorice as gutters, etc. Four of us ended up doing only two houses – they were much more time consuming than we had counted on. You can see the SIPS (structural insulated panels) house, as well as the photos for the log cabin that Alison Rogers and I created.

Alison started out making the log fence that would go around two sides of the house. It only required frosting and stick pretzels. It was the royal frosting that caused us the most trouble with this whole project. None of us had used it before and weren’t sure what consistency to aim for. Eventually we settled on something that looked right and just dove into the construction process.

I started on the walls of our strawbale house, using the royal frosting and frosted mini-wheats. While the fence was setting up, Ali began work on the adobe mud to cover the strawbales: She crunched up the mini-wheats, creating “straw” to add to the frosting “mud” for a very authentic look. In reality we had bowls of adobe in all stages of wetness and color trying for just the right look – it really was a mess to clean up!

Veronica Vatter
12/10/2010 11:30:49 AM

I wonder if you could do cordwood with pretzel sticks? cut down to an 1nchand a half and they should work right?? Looks great and sounds like fun! Now who's going to eat that?

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