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She Sleeps in a Piano!?! Tour her Victorian TINY HOUSE


Shorty Robbins built a civil war themed Tiny House to use during reenactments and loved it so much, she sold her big house and moved in! This tiny house has lots of clever, concealed features as well as Victorian period charm and antiques. Rave reviews on YouTube.

YouTube
I love working with antiques. I’ve restored quite a few pieces. Consider paying a company to strip the finish so the dirty, hard work is done and then it’s joyful work. Finding affordable antiques is easier in rural areas. Often the value can be significantly increased with a few simple improvements. There’s a good video here on our blog that shows how to make a living doing simple repairs to antiques.

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Tiny cabins in VA’s woods to slow down & resync inner clock


Is the “simple cabin” the ideal vessel for disconnecting from modern life? Friends Jon Staff and Pete Davis have placed dozens of tiny houses on wheels in the woods within driving distance of Boston, New York City and Washington DC. “The cabin”, explains Staff, “reminds us of a time when we didn’t have to respond to something within an hour, let alone 24 hours, when we didn’t have to do conference calls on our vacations.”

Believing that context is everything, the Getaway founders don’t offer, and actively discourage, too much activity (there’s no kayaking, swimming, skiing). Instead, they offer a cell phone lockbox, acres of nature, tips for “forest bathing”, wildflower scouting and campfire making.

YouTube

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480sqft Floating Cottage For Sale on Norris Lake TN


This 480sqft Floating Cottage For Sale on Norris Lake Tennessee is equipped with a 3000 Watt Honda Generator and features a Master Bedroom with a Full Bath with Marine Head, Tiled Shower,a Loft Bedroom with 2 Twin Beds,a 2 Story Dock with Water Slide, Gazebo, Built-In Covered Boat Slip, Gas Grill, Firepit, & More!

Visit www.yournewboat.com for more info!
YouTube
This looks more livable than most tiny houses and typical house boats. I love all the outdoor living space, and of course the location is wonderful.

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73 Earthbag Clay Houses for Nepali Farmers

73 earthbag houses have built so far in Nepal by Ithaka Institute

73 earthbag houses have built so far in Nepal by Ithaka Institute

Thanks to the generous donations of the friends of Ithaka Institute and a building design as beautiful as it is simple, 20 farmer families that lost their homes in Nepal were able to move into new, safe earthbag houses only a few short months after the earthquake. The houses are made using 95% local, natural materials and were built without machines but with local craftsmanship and many helping hands.

Since the original 20 Ithaka houses, others have been built in the following areas:
1. Naya Gaon, Kabre (10)
2. Maina Pokhari, Dolakha(4)
3. Dhunkharka, Kabre (1)
4. Nalang, Dhading (3)
5. Lamjung (1)
6. Ratanpur, Tanahu (1)
7. Dhuseni, Dhading (57)- OHF

Ithaka Institute
http://www.ithaka-institut.org/en/ct/120-20-Earthbag-Clay-Houses-for-Nepali-Farmers
Guidelines for the construction of earthquake resistant clay buildings by Gernot Minke and Hans-Peter Schmidt
Guidelines for constructing houses using the earthbag method (not found)

Kelly: This is interesting. They seem to have grasped many of the essentials of building with earthbags, but I still have some concerns about what I saw in the document. While the bamboo nails are innovative and would certainly help stick the bags together, they would not provide tensile strength to the wall like barbed wire. This may be a factor in how robust the structure would be in an earthquake.
Owen: Wrapping strong stucco wire completely around the wall (under the gravel bags and up and over the bond beam) would be one easy way to make this design stronger. In addition, tie the stucco wire together periodically with twine ties placed between bags. No one in my network was able to inspect these houses because they’re in fairly remote areas. Recent flooding made it even more impractical. We often provide technical assistance for groups such as this, so if you work with Ithaka Institute feel free to email me any time. My email address is at the top of every page under About Us.

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Homemade Wood-Fired Pizza Oven Cost Nothing At All To Build (And Feeds Small Multitude)


An oil drum (barrel) and a bit of metal pipe is all you need to make a really simple but effective pizza oven. It may not look very fancy but it works well and it will cook a whole lot of pizza. Also, instead of waiting for days/weeks for your clay oven to dry enough to use, an earth bermed barrel oven can be made and used on the same day. Which is really handy if you have a few people coming round.

The soil/earth/stones are vital to keep the heat in – but you could use sand, clay or bricks too. (Don’t use bark mulch or anything similar as it will catch fire for sure.) On our oven the soil ended up being around 8” thick at the top – which was good but more than was really needed. (We would have built the whole thing into a bank, which would have saved a lot of work, but there wasn’t one handy.) I would suggest you aim for 6” minimum.

More details on YouTube
The most impressive thing to me was how fast they built this pizza oven and how much food they made. They fed a large group of about 20-30 people and did everything within a few hours.

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Off The Grid Cabin In New Zealand Paradise


Hidden amongst the spectacular mountain ranges of the Kahurangi National park of New Zealand, this beautiful off-the-grid cabin sits in paradise.

Affectionally titled the Honeywell Hut, after it’s builder Jack Honeywell. The off the grid cabin, although relatively new, looks as though it could have sat on the land for a hundred years.

YouTube

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Regenerative Forest Gardens by Ernst Gotsch


Ernst Gotsch spent years planting a giant 500 hectare (1,200 acre food forest) in Brazil to perfect his techniques. In this video, you can see the results of farmer’s who have trained with Gotsch and are now applying his methods. The results speak for themselves: truly outstanding, world class. In 18 months you can turn unproductive invasive grassland into a lush food forest. The rows of vegetables in between the tree rows pays for the cost and labor of planting the fruit and timber trees, which means the system pays for itself almost immediately.

This agroforestry farming system isn’t your normal “good idea”. This is rocking academia and industrial agriculture. How can you justify constant spraying and fertilizing, polluting the environment and depleting the soil with modern agriculture when clearly Gotsch’s food forest method is superior? Think about it: ***Forest gardens improve the soil and environment every year, while industrial agriculture depletes and eventually kills the environment. It’s time to change the world. Please share these videos with others.

What’s shown in this video is exactly what I’ve been trying to learn the last few years. See last week’s blog post where I describe my dream ‘retirement plan’ of making a giant food forest like this. Special thanks to Stephen who sent me this link.


“Life in Syntropy” is the new short film from Agenda Gotsch made specially to be presented at COP21 – Paris. This film put together some of the most remarkable experiences in Syntropic Agriculture, with brand new images and interviews. This video includes dramatic aerial footage of his climax forest.

Visit our channel on vimeo: Agenda Gotsch
YouTube
YouTube
Ernst is my hero now. He seems like the ultimate teacher for what I want to learn. My biggest surprise is he uses eucalyptus, which is very invasive. He’s learned to control eucalyptus to harvest tons of biomass, create shade and increase soil moisture. Eucalyptus serve as nurse trees for the other trees and plants.

Comment: How long before we see massive country-wide food forest projects? The presenters said this system will work in 80% of Brazil. They could reforest the Amazon in a few decades. Voters should demand change on a massive scale. There’s no excuse not to. Gotsch spent decades to prove the process works on a huge scale. Investors in big agra corporations might want to sell their shares and invest in regenerative forest gardens. This is the future.

Comment: This process will work almost anywhere. Just imagine turning barren areas of the southwestern US to lush regenerative farmlands that eventually become self sustaining. It could happen in a few decades with the right leadership. Who’s going to push this forward? If you don’t think this will work in degraded areas of the southwest, think again. Watch this video. One large farm has already been completed using similar techniques. The desert Texas ranch is now a lush haven of lakes, springs, trees and wildlife. Nature will regenerate itself if we take the right steps.
http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/50-years-ago-this-was-a-wasteland-he-changed-everything/

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Roswag Seiler and Pakistani Locals Hand-build a School from Cob, Bamboo and Mud

Cob, Bamboo and Mud school in Pakistan

Cob, Bamboo and Mud school in Pakistan

The Tipu Sultan Merkez School in Punjab, Pakistan has a new sustainable building that was designed by German architects Roswag Seiler and built by locals. Using locally sourced and low-impact materials, the shelter was fashioned from cob, bamboo and mud. Cob is widely used in Pakistan, and is a material made from clay, sand, water and straw. The concoction can easily be mixed by bulls, and once set, works as a natural insulator that keeps humidity at bay and interiors cool.

The new building has two floors — the lower one made from cob and bricks, and the top one with strong renewable bamboo and mud walls. Bamboo scaffolding and stairs connect ten rooms, service areas and the study zone. The flat roof was made using a classic Pakistani technique and consists of three bamboo layers and mud.

Inhabitat
Special thanks to Phillip for sending this link.

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Watch The SHED Tiny House Being Built Before Your Eyes


Robert and Samantha decided they want to build a tiny house. So…they got to work. And fortunately for us, they had their camera ready to go throughout the process. Sit back and enjoy while we watch this young married couple whose “combined construction experience is relatively minuscule” take their tiny house ambitions into their own hands. Thanks Robert and Samantha!

YouTube
Wow, over 3.3 million views. Obviously there’s growing demand for tiny houses. Their use of plywood interior paneling and recycled metal siding simplified construction and cut costs. It would be great to see timelapse videos of houses built with more sustainable materials.

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