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Update 6: PDC, Roof design, & Laying Earthbags

Update 6: PDC, Roof design, & Laying Earthbags

The locals declared this winter a ‘mild experience.’ To our Texas bones, though, -5˚F is uncomfortably cold! Though we mostly stayed indoors we still managed to make lots of progress and have some fun. One of our indoor activities has been to earn a PDC. (Permaculture Design Certificate) We’ve been taking Geoff Lawton’s online class while […]

Interview by Girl vs Grid

Interview by Girl vs Grid

Our good friends over at Girl vs Grid have published an interview about our journey so far! We hope you enjoy it. While you’re there, please take a minute to sign up for the newsletter; they have wonderful content on sustainability and some delicious recipes! [Interview] Building an Earthbag home with Lake of the Ozarks Permaculture Full […]

Update 5: Rough-in Plumbing, French Drain Rubble Trench, & Camper

Update 5: Rough-in Plumbing, French Drain Rubble Trench, & Camper

Last month we finished leveling the land, digging new trenches, and buying a bunch of supplies. Our next step was a big one: the rough-in plumbing. It was a HUGE task, especially since Neal and I had zero plumbing experience previously and he had to do most of the work by himself. Luckily we had […]

Update 4: New Home Design, Supplies, and Test Earthbags

Update 4: New Home Design, Supplies, and Test Earthbags

We’ve been making steady progress on the land these past few months! In the last update, the foundation trenches for 3 circles were dug and ready to be filled with gravel. Unfortunately, July had heavy rainstorms – TONS of them – which caused our trenches to cave in before they could be filled. 🙁 Yet another lesson learned for us homesteading […]

How To Heat & Cool Your Home Without Electricity

How To Heat & Cool Your Home Without Electricity

Electricity carried through an immense web of copper eventually makes its way into our homes, providing the endless supply we need for temperature control. It’s expensive, and in some places the air conditioning can easily account for half the electricity bill. Paying this upkeep could even make the difference between life and death in extreme […]

Update 3: Leveling Land and Foundational Trenches

Update 3: Leveling Land and Foundational Trenches

June was full of some amazing progress, as well as a difficult setback. Some of the exciting news is that the Permaculture Research Institute republished two of Neal’s blogs! He’ll now be contributing work directly to their organization, check out www.permaculturenews.org for some great knowledge. Also, we found out today that one of his articles was featured by one of […]

Update 2: Clearing Trees and Mapping Contour Lines

Update 2: Clearing Trees and Mapping Contour Lines

May was a busy and exciting month for us! We finished up some projects and sited where the home will be built. Neal’s brother stayed with us for a full week to lend a hand and we couldn’t of accomplished what we did without him. So, a BIG shout out and thank you to Tyler!! […]

Bunyip Water Level: Measure Contour Lines & Swales

Bunyip Water Level: Measure Contour Lines & Swales

To have professional surveyors map our contour lines was going to cost thousands of dollars and many we spoke to outright refused because of the number of trees and acreage. The estimates we did receive were not frequent in elevational increments – one even came in at “every 60 feet!” So we ended up hiring a company only for […]

Top 10 Green Building Techniques for Affordable Housing and Sustainability

Top 10 Green Building Techniques for Affordable Housing and Sustainability

The traditional timber “stick house” in America is one of the most significant investments we can make. If sustainability is your goal, there are much more affordable housing options to explore before you build your own house. Homes that not only shelter us, but provide for our basic needs or at least circumvent the rent/mortgage trap. People have been […]