and Patrick came for several weekends to help pour and smooth
the earthen floor. I used a grid of redwood to level the floor
and we smoothed it in 1/2" layers, to prevent cracking.
The mixture is mortar sand with just enough clay to bind it
together. Too much clay makes too much cracking. Chopped straw
was used only in the very top layer for decoration. In the
floor, sand is needed for strength and drainage. Straw is