affordable summer cabin
Swamp Hut is a complex of four 8-by-12-foot huts surrounding a deck with a fireplace. This an off-the-grid, light-on-the-land summer getaway could easily be replicated in your favorite vacation spot.
When you're facing a tricky woodworking project, it's a good idea to build a mockup
Renovating a heritage log cabin DIY style isn't easy, but with some thought and attention to detail, it can be done - and cheaper than you might think.
Adzes and broad axes have been used for centuries in log cabin building. Learn a bit about what these tools do and how to use them.
Help us discover ways to achieve an affordable sustainable diet.
Our new log cabin roof is almost complete.
Noting the “firsts” and “lasts” occurring on the homestead at early summer.
Simran Sethi discusses the "wood" that makes up our kitchen cabinets, as well as more eco-friendly (and people-friendly) alternatives.
Sign up for classes at the John C. Campbell Folk School and relive your childhood-camp experiences.
Restoring a heritage log cabin is not something to embark on on a whim, but it can be one of the most rewarding things you'll ever do.
Cabin Fever: noun, ‘Boredom, restlessness, or irritability that results from a lack of environmental stimulation, as from a prolonged stay in a remote, sparsely populated region or a confined indoor area‘.
It's how solar energy is more affordable than we may realize.
Follow these five easy steps to create several weeks worth of meals in one afternoon.
Most people have at least heard of Habitat for Humanity. But when I dug a little deeper and sifted through the ol’ letters in the attic of the house (so to speak), I uncovered some interesting details.
Share your thoughts about natural building methods including straw bale building, cordwood construction, earth building and more.
Sweet, juicy and blissfully bite-sized, homegrown strawberries embody everything we love about eating from the summer garden. Get your fresh red beauties performing deliciously in these dishes both sweet and savory.
Things that come to mind while watching my husband and son work in this heat.
September is here and I'm expecting the weather to break!
This year is the first season I had the whole garden dug and ready and boy, it's easy to plant a garden when the garden is already there.
The importance of a good pickup truck for the modern homesteader.
Sheepskin rug keeps a childhood story alive.
Regular tasks that keep our cabin comfortable and welcoming.
Tightening up our log cabin with a mortar mix.
Dan Chiras discusses the differences between power purchase agreements and lease programs, and the benefits of taking advantage of either.
The Phoenix Commotion gives low-income people trade skills and shelter by teaching them to build their own homes--from garbage. You'd be amazed at what can be used to build a house when the desire and commitment exist.
When my former boss suggested we photograph my annual summer solstice party, I quietly panicked and then got busy. Borrow some of our ideas and gather your tribe to celebrate the longest day of the year--lavishly or lazily, traditionally or not.
Harvesting our potatoes is another family event where everyone gets their feet and hands a little dirty!
Watering 800 berry plants and 300 peach trees is essential in this oppressive heat!
Are we headed into another year of drought? Already, we are behind on precipitation for this year, and for the last two years. What strategies can we implement to utilize minimal rain and resources better?
Tips on wasps and ways to get rid of nests around your house or property.
If you’re a market gardener battling the heat, you’ll want to check out these great tips for keeping yourself and your crops cool.
Watermelon rind is this frugal pie's summery secret ingredient. Think of it as summer mincemeat.
Do you feel like the month of June left you gasping for air? You are not alone. I am hoping July will be slower paced and full of summertime fun!
In July and August, it’s time to start thinking about planting crops for fall. But how do you get good seed germination when the soil is so hot?
Use naturally cool nighttime air to provide summer comfort. It's a lot easier than you think and it can save you a fortune on cooling costs.
The process of evaluating needs for successful downsizing.
How we avoid cabin fever by doing volunteer work and enjoying the beautiful outdoors.
Robert Maxwell explains how to build your own limestone foundation for almost no money.
again, rushing to beat the weather as we close in our finishing our hand-built cabin
Noting the time and marking its passing, keeping us in the present.
Weekly user photo of a simple solar homestead. Don't forget to submit your photos to our CU photo-sharing website. Maybe one of your favorite moments will pop up on the homepage for all the world to see!
Jack gets a wallop of motivation for a fully enclosed cabin, and looks ahead to a future with inquisitive grandchildren.
Steve explains why building a scale model is such a good way to design homestead structures, and how to do it.
Using snowshoes to keep our paths and trails open as the snow piles up.
Living in possibly the best place in the USA.
The final in a 6 part series on Ft. Garland, Colorado
Leap Adaptive's 480-square-foot, energy-efficient Hummingbird kit house makes green living affordable.
Feeling overwhelmed with summer squash? Have you given it away, grilled it, fried it and baked it till you were blue in the face? Here are some of my favorite ways to use this prolific producer!
All things good accomplished with some old lumber and a nice summer day.
Cam describes a typical summer day at Sunflower Farm using tweets.
Many beauty products contain harmful chemicals, but figuring out which are the worst can be difficult. Natural Home editor-in-chief Robyn Griggs Lawrence clues you in to the top five chemical ingredients to avoid when buying summer skin care products, and helps you learn about a few natural alternatives.
This summer, the Gulf of Mexico's dead zone is estimated to be the largest yet since records began back in 1985.
Canning is a homesteader essential skill. Sometimes canning can simply be a way to create and spread love and kindness, rather than just putting by necessary foods. Try out this Peach Orange Marmalade recipe for a change of pace.
Going meatless is a breeze when corn is at its late-summer best and the garden is bursting with squashes. Southwestern calabacitas is a delicious, hearty summer stew that makes the most of this bountiful season.
Sangria is the perfect summertime libation for a thirsty crowd. Fresh fruits and herbs combine with wine and liqueur for a colorful, festive "punch" that packs a punch.
The thrill continues living in our handmade house.
Michael Johnathon is a folksinger, songwriter, author and playwright. He also created and hosts the weekly national broadcast of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour, heard on over 509 public radio stations, American Forces Radio network in 173 nations. In this blog, Michael muses on discovering the joys of folk music and songwriting.
A California architect gives a 1920s cabin more space and better views--without disturbing the riparian area it sits on.
A discussion of three power tools to prep your logs or timbers for building.
What does it take to build truly sustainable houses – the kind people really want and can afford? If you build small and use natural building materials, then most likely you’ll be able to build your own home in a reasonable amount of time for cash.
The thousands of families who have built affordable homes, cash up front, made of earthbags, straw bales, cordwood, cob and rammed tires are not in danger of losing their homes in the current mortgage crisis.
Find out which states and countries have the greatest number of LEED Platinum certified projects, and where the Platinum projects are located. Plus, a list of some LEED Platinum rated homes and residential buildings, with links to case studies.
Fusion Bread Salad makes use of the cherry tomatoes and basil that are prime right now--and you don't have to heat up the kitchen to make this hearty, nutritious main dish.
No party is complete without cake, and this delicious Sunshine Cake has been the crowning glory of every Summer Solstice party I’ve ever thrown. Sharon Kebschull Barrett, one of my favorite herbal chefs, developed this recipe for her 1999 book Desserts from an Herb Garden (one of my bibles). Lemony, with a surprising hint of rosemary, this cake just tastes like summer—and the bright yellow color celebrates the sun.
Celebrate all things beachy by making sand candles! Using paraffin, crayons and sand you can make a beautiful sand candle to commemorate a trip to the shore.
Ceiling fans help cool people naturally, and use a lot less energy than air conditioners. Use them to save on energy.
The newest member at Goat Song Farm: A 3 week old, purebred Nubian doeling named 'Rose Of Summer'.
Blogger Crystal Stevens discusses her time working at a nature-based summer camp for kids.
Chef Gordon Hamersley's Vegetable Tian makes use of tomatoes, squash and eggplant--all in their prime right now.
With the summer fast approaching, it’s time to make those last minute vacation plans! Plan your trip using SustainableTrip.org to find tourism businesses that conservce the environment and support local communities!
Bruschetta, the classic Italian appetizer, brings out the best of a few basic ingredients: tomatoes, garlic, olive oil, basil and fresh bread.
The Arctic is warming up faster than the overall global temperature. We will discuss the reason for the rapid warming of the Arctic.
Growing the three sisters (corn, beans, squash) in the same plot of land actually helps yield healthier crops of each.
If you live in an area with high summer temperatures try growing one of these greens to replace your spinach.
Ode to our hand saw...why we choose to live without power, and what we've accomplished by hand.
Victoria Gazely considers her revitalized 650-square-foot homesteader’s cabin on 7 acres of fertile earth--purchased for $150--a blessing. “I absolutely love living here,” she says.
This article describes an alternative roof design for those building in areas without building codes. A little extra effort working with poles will reward you with a stunningly beautiful wood ceiling and superinsulated roof at very reasonable cost.
This is a true account of an end of life journey. A beautiful backyard Burial and all the steps that were taken in order to do it. This story is written in two parts, part two will be posted next week.
The $300 House Project challenges student and professional designers to create housing that shelters the poorest of the poor with safety and dignity. Winners will receive cash prizes and the opportunity to see their $300 houses built and reproduced.
A listing of companies that offer green dwellings in the form of modular, prefab, manufactured, compact, or mobile structures. These days, many such options are available that are not only green, but also beautiful, well-made, and often low-cost.
Concrete rubble from collapsed buildings is a huge problem in Haiti. It is blocking roads and hindering reconstruction. Instead of spending millions of dollars trucking the rubble away and disposing of it, why not use it to build affordable housing?
In an era of increasing volatility of the weather and climate, we need new coping skills. Preparedness is an important factor in dealing with bad weather events.
Folksinger Michael Johnathon is on tour nationwide. Visit his homepage: www.MichaelJohnathon.com
We haul our water from the river - walking water!
Making the most of a winter walk to home.
Building housing projects in developing regions is extremely rewarding, but also quite challenging. It’s prudent to draw ideas from as many resources as possible to improve the process. The following guidelines have proven effective.
Check out this roundup of 10 favorite sustainable gifts for the gardeners on your list — all under $50!
Dog days of summer? Yes, but there is still a lot of the grwoing season left. Protect yourself from the late summer sun with these tried 'n true items ... tested by a gardener who knows more than she'd like to about skin cancer.
Sweet Iced Tea is a delicious Southern tradition, but store-bought concoctions are often full of high fructose corn syrup and other nasties. This recipe incorporates fresh herbs, which add natural sweetness and help knock down the sugar content.
Simran Sethi enjoys the fruits of late summer at a local farm dinner.