Starting to build the horno

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Today we started building the actual horno!  First we made a big ‘X’ from corner to corner of the mesa, or base, of the horno to identify the middle.  Then we used two big nails and a length of string like a compass to make a circle on the mesa.  Then we laid out our adobe bricks in a circle to adjust them in the way they will be set, taking care to leave a gap for the door of the horno.

After this first row was made, we moved the bricks aside one or two at a time to put down mud to anchor the bricks to the base and to each other.  When we started the second row, we cut an adobe in half so that the adobes could be staggered and tie it all together better.  Once we got to the third row, the adobes started sagging inwards so we had to keep encouraging them to stay put while we waited for the mud to cure and dry some more.  After a while we were able to construct the fourth and final row for the horno for the day.  We placed a bridge of metal pieces across the door so that when we come next time we can make a row all the way around the horno and over the door.

The part I am most excited about is to see how and where we will put the chimney hole in the horno and especially the way the last adobe will go in the top!

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About Miguel

Miguel Santistevan is a researcher, educator, and advocate for traditional agriculture crops and systems.
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