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215 An Earthen House Built by Hand

Sunday, July 8th, 2012

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“I think it’s very very important to know you can provide things for yourself… build your own house… grow your own food… make your own medicine.” Walking his talk, Greg Crawford shows the magical wattle-and-cob house he built with hand tools using local materials: alder trees in the surrounding forest, and clay from what later became the house floor. Building his house was an “experiment in intuitive architecture … using common sense while “letting the building evolve, change and grow on its own.”

 

Watch the high-quality video. Listen to  Audio. Download video on iTunes. Read Janaia’s journal A Tiny House for Middle Earth.

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111: We Make the Road by Walking - White Oak Farm CSA

Tuesday, May 27th, 2008

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pm111_150.jpgAmidst cob-wall plastering in the background, co-director Stacey Denton relays the story of the first years at White Oak Farm and Educational Center in Oregon: Acquiring the 62 acres of food and pasture and protecting it through conservation easements, and creating a non-profit organization. See food baskets for their CSA (community supported agriculture) program, visit their abundant permaculture-based farm; attend a workshop in natural building; and delight with kids in an educational program “down on the farm.” [www.whiteoakfarmcsa.org]

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103: Building An Ecologically Sensible Home

Saturday, March 29th, 2008

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pm103_150.jpgWanting to live a “reasonable, comfortable life” in tune with nature, Ann and Gord Baird are building a near “net zero energy” home on
Vancouver Island. Their plans: the first load bearing, seismically engineered, two story, insulated, cob residence in North America. Solar PV panels for electricity with grid tie. (Wind power will come later.) Passive solar design with solar thermal for hydronic heating and domestic hot water. Composting toilets to enrich the earth for gardens along with grey water recovery for orchard irrigation. Rainwater catchment from a living roof tops off this sustainable, affordable, natural home for their three-generation family of six. Follow their progress at www.eco-sense.ca.

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86: A Cutting-Edge Architect’s Eco-Friendly Home

Tuesday, November 27th, 2007

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pm86_150.jpgAs an organizer in the American Institute of Architects, Chris Stafford has long promoted sustainable design. As a natural builder, he worked with straw bale and clay in Greece and Saudi Arabia. For his Port Townsend home, he considered site, size, materials and energy. The 1500 sq. ft home uses mostly non-toxic materials (and fewer of them), foam insulation, metal roofing, solar hot water for space heating, photovoltaics for electricity, and an innovative rainwater collector for landscape irrigation. [www.building-green.net]

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38: A Natural Builder Creates an Ecovillage

Thursday, December 21st, 2006

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pm38_150.jpgTour an urban ecovillage on less than two acres only five minutes by bicycle from the center of Eugene, Oregon. Builder Robert Bolman uses natural materials like sensitively-harvested wood, earth and straw in the several beautiful, well-insulated, non-toxic structures surrounding the central shared gardens. [www.maitreyaecovillage.org]

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