Dear Curiosity Journal,
We squeezed in another sauna workday on Sunday, and the highlight, for me, was definitely the “wool wall”. An overarching theme of farm building projects (what Rufus calls “barnyard construction”) is repurposed or homegrown materials. All of the construction we’ve done together has involved lumber we milled from fallen trees on the land and recovered components of former buildings – doors, windows, hardware, sinks, countertops, bricks – you name it, Rufus saved it, and it makes all of these projects possible. He’s currently deconstructing the old cabin in the valley, and it’s become sort of like a “parts car” for our sauna project. We scoped out some insulation we could reuse during a recon mission on Saturday but faced with the task of hiking down the hill and hauling it back up, my brain pitched me another plan. The idea of using the boxes of wool in the barn popped into my head. I’ve been sadly sitting on this wool, not knowing what to do with it, but unwilling to throw it away. To think of our first fleeces (as dirty as they may be) insulating the sauna wall is so satisfying. Those boxes of wool transitioned from trash to treasure in a twinkling shift of context. When Rufus agreed to my plan, I eagerly retrieved the wool and packed it into the wall. Does it have a little bit of a lanolin, barnyard aroma to it? Indeed, but it’s not unpleasant, and will likely be masked by the second layer of insulation and inner wall. It turns out wool makes wonderful insulating material. It’s natural, non-toxic, offers an R-13 to R-19 value, regulates humidity, is very durable, and resists fire and mold. It makes me such a proud sheep mom to have the wool of our flock become part of our sauna story.