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A cozy Minecraft cabin crafted out of packed mud

Block of the Month: Packed mud

Packed with healthy fiber

Back in 2022, we wrote about mud, the “soggier cousin of dirt” as we put it at the time. But we know some Minecraft players are discerning types (like my Editor, for example) and that sometimes they get a hankerin’ for some mud-like substance that isn’t quite as soggy as actual mud, but isn’t as dry as dirt. That’s why we created packed mud, and why we’re making it our block of the month!

Packed mud was added to the game in the Wild Update in June 2022, alongside wardens, tadpoles and mangrove swamp biomes. It represents mud that’s been reinforced with some fiber to make it stronger. The fiber, in this case, is wheat – and that’s what you’ll need to farm up if you want to make a lot of packed mud.

So yeah – the recipe. One mud, gathered in a mangrove swamp biome or created by dribbling a water bottle over a dirt block. One wheat, farmed over many days in the sunshine of the Overworld. Combine them in a crafting grid, and you’ve got yourself some packed mud.

Packed mud is primarily a building material – its texture is reminiscent of both dirt and mud, giving it a place in many naturalistic constructions. But if you want to get super fancy you can cut it up into bricks too – four packed mud in a crafting grid will get you four mud bricks, which can then be crafted onward into slabs, stairs and walls.

In the real world, specifically planet Earth, buildings have been made out of mud for more than 10,000 years. I'm not sure I can count that high! Just like in Minecraft, this construction material is made of mud and a binding material like rice husks or straw. Usually just whatever is left over after the harvest. Originally they were air dried, but today they tend to be fired in a kiln to increase their strength and durability.

One particularly famous type of packed mud construction is known as “adobe”. This process, which has been in use by indigenous peoples of the Southwestern US and the Andes for thousands of years, is very simple but very effective – creating structures that insulate people inside from hot or cold temperatures outside.

Sometimes the packed mud is cut into bricks, but just as effective is to grow the structure slowly by building up layers of packed mud over time. Some of the oldest buildings in the world were made this way. So don’t be ashamed to build your Minecraft home out of packed mud – you’re just following an architectural tradition that dates back to the earliest days of human history.

Duncan Geere
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Duncan Geere
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