cobbing the stove, making the yurt even more cozy

Yes we still live in the yurt! Its technically late summer/early fall and we are not near lighting a fire but im reminiscing about winter since the turn of seasons can be gloomy here. Nevertheless we’re up and out of bed because fall harvest is upon us and we’re looking forward to our 4th winter in the yurt coming up. Life before cob…



People who live in conventional houses walk in the yurt in the summer… and often ask.. is it cold in the winter?

but those that come in the winter, dont ask that… they say wow its surprisingly soooo cozy!

its warm and cozy, come on over…

We keep a big pot of water on the stove to do dishes with. Before bed wed notice it was pipping hot. By morning though it was warm or cold.

Year two we experimented with a cob bench picture below:

(the sun star reminds us: “its always sunny above the clouds”)

Cob bench was warm to sit on or dry your socks. But with our friends all being into cob structures Jed thought… can we do more cob? can we make the yurt even more heat efficient? aka cozy.

So even though

  • winters can be -20 degrees Celcius (-4 F) for weeks of the season we’ve never gotten up in the night to stoke the fire – feeling blessed!
  • in the last 3 winters we’ve only burned just a few cords of wood – wow.
  • = this is surely due to our 6” of wall wool, 6” of floor insulation, and 6” of roof styrofoam.


So last fall using sand from the sand hill, clay donated to us by a lovely artist who stopped firing with #10 clay, and … straw to bind it all together (oli calls it rebar!) the stove got cobbed with the help and guidance of cob house building friends!

then painted with  yellow and red iron oxide, clay and flour and yes, cattail fluff (binder). More colour will be added one day. There are some large cracks that could not be filled, even though it tried several times. They occur where the flange meets the main body and thats where there is the most cold/hot contrast, hence the cracking from contracting. This could have been avoided if we’d made spacers and/or included metal mesh.


Post cob building.. when we light a small fire in the winter evenings it takes about 20 minutes longer to warm the room up but the heat it retained longer… the cob warms up and stay warm till morning.

The best part is this…. we get up  in the morning and rather than the water in the pot on the stove be cold… is still HOT ! very very cool.



Cob it up!


Fall blessings to you,