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DayCreek Journal

June 22, 2002

Muddy Road Eats Automobiles

MREA's acronym was changed from Midwest Renewable Energy Association to Muddy Road Eats Automobiles after heavy rains on Friday and Saturday morning. Six inches of rain fell over the period making the grass field parking area into a slippery slope. Some areas not too far away got up to ten inches!

Needless to say, the rain put a "damper" on things, although there was quite a line waiting to get into the parking area on both Friday and Saturday. This year's event was held at the MREA headquarters in Custer, Wisconsin—not too far from Amherst where the fair had been held in previous years. There were a few more vendors and more land to move about making the fair seem a bit larger in size. (I'm not sure what the attendance figures were this year, but it probably would have surpassed all others if not for the rain.)

As usual, there was an eclectic mix of people at the fair ranging from ecology purists to those who just were curious about what the fair was all about.

Speaking of purists, I had the opportunity to discuss the use of spray foam with a few environmental purists and as expected got the "thumbs down" approval. Now, I understand why the ecology purist would not accept products that contain formaldehyde or other toxic substances, but how about a little leeway here? Both the Icynene and Sealection 500 products are sprayed on using water and do not outgas. They have received numerous approvals for an environmentally safe product. I truly believe their benefits outweigh their costs and make the best choice for sealing the inside outer wall of our double-cordwood house.

On to more important topics...There was a special meeting held Thursday evening related to the formation of a cordwood association. Attendees were Kris Dick and family, Cliff and Sylvie Shockey, Richard and Becky Flatau, Rob and Jackie Roy, James Juczak, Tom Huber, Ed McAllen, Rob and Shirley Pichelman, Catherine Wanek (The Last Straw), Mark Klein (Gimmeshelter Construction and MREA board member), Richard Freudenberger (Back Home Magazine) and myself.

The intent of the CBA (Cordwood Building Association) will be to assist those in need of obtaining building permits, insurance and possibly loans. Reference materials such as certified engineering documents, university studies and an on-line cordwood builder's directory were just a few of the ideas presented.

Considering this was the first meeting ever held on the subject, it went quite well with many action items to keep our heads spinning for a while. There's a lot of work in front of us, but it was a giant step in the right direction to help bring cordwood construction into the limelight.

Front Row (from left to right): Shirley Pichelman, Becky Flatau, Tom Huber, Kris Dick's daughter, Rob Roy

Back Row (from left to right): Rob Pichelman, Richard Flatau, Sylvie and Cliff Shockey, Ed McAllen, Alan Stankevitz, Jackie Roy, Kris Dick, James Juczak, Richard Freudenberger, Kris Dick's sons and wife.