Natural Building: Repairing and Refinishing Earthen Plaster Part 1

One of the great things about natural buildings is that they are recyclable. The earthen plaster in Wisteria Lodge has been around for nearly 10 years and it’s gotten a lot of wear and tear, so this season before a new tenant moved in I took some time to repair it and finish it with a natural clay alis paint. Earthen plaster is all organic and so malleable that you can chip it off, add some water, and it comes back to life for reuse in the same repair project. This little project transformed the house from kind of a junky looking quaint tiny house inside, to a beautiful, warm, and inspiring little space.

Gorgeous Straw Bale Tiny House You’ve Gotta See to Believe

April and Ziggy built this gorgeous, yet simple straw bale house in Berea, KY for a friend of theirs. It features many different natural building materials, most of which were found locally. Conventional house construction these days has a huge impact on the planet. Mostly the materials aren’t sustainably sourced, the houses are cookie cutter, and although they may be more efficient in some ways than their predecessors, they cancel out all benefit by taking up an enormous square footage. The house you build largely determines the footprint your lifestyle will have, and this kind of naturally built small house can go a long way toward reducing impact, not only in the materials it consumes in being built, but in impact of the people living in it. Most naturally built houses apply permaculture principles to ensure they are practical, efficient, and sustainable. Aesthetic beauty is often a natural result of employing sustainable techniques.

Check out April and Ziggy’s natural building workshops and sign up way ahead of time because the spots go fast. If you’re not too far from them, they may be able to build a house for you too.

Living, Learning, Teaching

My quaint passive solar tiny house: Wisteria Lodge Pt 2

In this video I take you on a tour of the interior of this tiny house and explain a little bit more about its background and the design.  Wisteria has a passive solar design, and incorporates natural and reclaimed material.  It’s a quaint little rental at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage.

My Other Tiny House: Wisteria Lodge Pt 1

When I first moved to Dancing Rabbit I lived in a different tiny house, an even tinier house.  Wisteria Lodge is only 240 sq ft, but it’s a nice little two story space and its passive solar design makes it easier to heat.  Keeping with its name it does feature a wisteria vine growing on a trellis halfway up the south side. Check out this video to find out more interesting tidbits about the house and to hear the story of how it ended up at Dancing Rabbit.

 

How does my house perform in a polar vortex?

 

It’s a good thing I have plans to get out of the cold if being swooped down on by the polar vortex is going to become a regular thing thanks to climate change. I’m getting the mudroom finished up and preparing to leave Dancing Rabbit for the winter, so maybe I don’t have to worry about how my house performs.  But even so, it’s nice to know it does pretty well on a sunny day when it’s 5 degrees F.  The problem is that we don’t get very many sunny days in winter, so I think I’m better living somewhere during wintertime where I don’t have to heat my house.