This past year has been a hallmark year for the advancement of Light Straw-Clay building. The publication of our new book The EcoNest Home and the latest edition of Franz Volhard’s book Light Earth Building translated into English, and the inclusion of Light Straw-Clay Building in the International Residential Code has made this beautiful form of construction accessible to more people than ever before in modern times.
Strawberries are a core component of our annual diet, as they’re one of the easiest fruits to grow and preserve. Many guidelines for strawberry preservation call for extraordinary amounts of added sugar, which we’ve found quite unnecessary for the fresh, sweet, high-quality berries we grow. Here are the three main ways we handle our fresh berries.
Earthbag, cob and straw bale are three very popular natural building techniques, but which should you choose, and why? Here’s a checklist for every new natural builder.
There are many ways to manage your garden beds and weeds. Read about my own relaxed way of mulching plants this year that becomes amended soil next year as I rotate my crops from bed to bed.
There is wild fruit nearly everywhere, free for the picking. This spring, as soon as leaf buds swell in your area, go looking for blooms. Take a ride, get somebody to drive for you, so you can search roadsides and fields, along railroad tracks, in power line right of ways, and maybe even an abandoned homesite, looking for brushy shrubs, brambles, vines and trees with white flowers.
This is a perfect time for reflection and planning, because the 2016 gardening season is peeking around the corner. Seed catalogs are arriving. I am sure that all of us are really missing freshly picked tomatoes. Here are 5 ideas to use in planning your 2016 tomato garden.
Estimating the work load and minimizing re-work is the key to happy owner-builders of small homes. The basic steps are similar wither you build a straw-bale, stick-frame, or masonry structure, all must be completed within the relatively short building season.
Strawberry jam just tastes like summer. I look forward to preserving that summer sweetness so I can enjoy it on a cold winter day or next month on a piece of warm bread. And there is an added bonus when you can give strawberry jam away as a gift and put a smile on someone's face.
Preserve those tasty homegrown and local strawberries by drying them with zingy black pepper.
Tips for growing an assortment of berries in the high-desert climate, including blueberries, strawberries, blackberries, raspberries, kiwi berries, goji berries and honeyberries.
We're using earthbags and straw bales to construct an efficient, cost-effective, and roomy earthbag root cellar.
How to go from buying everything at Wally World to growing organic vegetables, raising livestock, building an efficient home, and a Do-It-Yourself, self-sufficient lifestyle.
Learn how to build a straw bale home by downloading this free guide.
Your route to heaven can be paved with strawberries.
Picking the best strawberries is easy with these gardening tips.
Straw bale and timber frames are highly compatible, beautiful, and the efficiency and longevity of using these natural building techniques is superior in a cold climate setting.
Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, beginning with rewiring a home, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.
Though he didn’t know exactly how, Cadmon Whitty decided to substantially retrofit his older home with straw bales, making it more energy-efficient, more valuable, and more aesthetically attractive in the process — all on a shoestring budget.
Protecting against fires has long been important to code officials, builders and homeowners alike. None of us want to see our homes go up in flames or experience the loss and grief associated with fire.
Making strawberry preserves from just-picked berries is a very good thing.
Springtime happiness can be measured by the sweetness of your strawberry patch.
Day-neutral strawberries are smaller and easier to manage than June-bearing strawberries. Learn more about the requirements of day-neutral strawberry varieties.
For super-smooth sorbet, churn this sorrel recipe in an ice cream maker. For a treat just as refreshing but studded with icy crystals, simply stick the mixture in your freezer. Got kids? Freeze this sorbet in freezer pop forms instead.
A brief description of Manuel and Mary Ann's straw bale home and its efficiency.
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.
I’m curious about building a straw bale house. What are some good resources to consult?
One of our most common grasses is limiting the bobwhite quail population, killing broodmares and their foals, rotting cow hooves, and cutting milk production.
Do you love strawberries? It is hard to decide on the best way to manage them if attempting to grow them. I want strawberries bad enough to try to figure out what method works best for me.
An amazing, off-the-grid Welsh hobbit house was built in less than four months and for less than $5,000.
The search for the long lost apples of Isaac Bowen Essex, the Fulton County Apple.
Traditional, Country Style Strawberry Shortcake.
The Evergreen Institute's application to provide continuing education for LEED accredited professionals has been approved by the U.S. Green Building Council. A variety of workshops meeting required standards are now available for those interested in anything from solar electricity to straw bale construction.
Enjoy this alternative "green" building strawbale gingerbread-style house made with graham crackers, mini-wheats and pretzels.
Check out this interesting video showing the construction of the Builders without Borders Straw Bale Eco-House.
Concrete block columns aren't typically used in straw bale buildings, but here's how you can make it work.
Watch this video to learn how a straw bale house goes together from start to finish.
Share your thoughts about natural building methods including straw bale building, cordwood construction, earth building and more.
Here are some resources to help you get started learning about straw bale building.
Use freezer-damaged fruit to make tasty fruit sauces.
Abundant moisture and soil acidity are major factors in the growth of moss. There's nothing wrong with moss in your strawberry beds, but here's a tip on how to get more flavorful fruit.
With the right constuction techniques, the straw bales in a straw bale home will last as long as the building does. Check out this expert advice on how to build durable straw bale houses.