|Had to Share This With You|
Building Homes for 1/4th the Price
of Traditional Housing
Old bottle caps, used wine corks, spiky glass shards, odd planks of wood and chunks of bone — things other people might consider worthless — become valuable building materials in the hands of Dan Phillips. During the last 12 years, the maverick homebuilder in Huntsville, TX has either built or supervised the building of a dozen houses made of materials that would otherwise have been thrown away.
To lower living costs, he believes in building sustainable houses with up to 90% recycled materials, tankless water heaters, rain water cisterns and plenty of insulation.
I don’t think Dan even mentions the word permaculture in this video or article, but in my book, it is urban permaculture all the way.
Our first freeze is soon to be here so it’s decision making time for Becky and me… what to protect, what to consolidate and possibly replant, and what to let go of.
|What a great surprise to have 4-National Guardsmen join us for our Michigan PDC Course. One of the officers had been exposed to permaculture years earlier while in the Peace Corp and instinctually knew it was the training needed before their deployment to Afghanistan. Part of the mission for these guardsmen will be to help the Afghans rebuild their farming infrastructures which have been largely destroyed by the war. These Guardsmen will bring the expertise and knowledge of their civilian jobs while remaining sensitive to traditional farming methods.In a country with little rainfall and few available resources, permaculture provides a design approach with small-scale intensive systems that will help conserve moisture while providing ample food, shelter and drinking water.|
The dust has settled following our full schedule of trainings in August. It feels good to be home and to be getting into the garden harvest while starting to think about the upcoming winter season.
Becky made some fresh salads from our gardens including pickled beans, tomatoes, nasturtium flowers and fresh sauerkraut.
Yesterday we had two cords of oak delivered for our winter heating needs. I have cut and split our wood many times and believe me, it is a real blessing (and a bargain) to purchase the finished product.
|Picture Summary of Michigan Speaking Tour|
As most of you are aware, I recently spent the better part of a week in S.E. Michigan on a speaking and consulting tour. Our events were well received and I learned much about grassroots initiatives that are pioneering the way into a more sustainable and compassionate world in Detroit, Flint, Ann Arbor and Ypsilanti. This picture summary will share some of the highlights and offer some good permaculture examples and ideas to most everyone.
Pictured: Raised Bed Made from Old Tires and Cob
Could we not take this excess carbon source, turn it into wood chips and with the use of these small gasification units, provide the energy we need? In effect we would be harvesting current sunlight and eliminating our need for oil, coal or gas while simultaneously sequestering excess CO2 from our atmosphere. Hummmm….
|This Spring, I’ve discovered a new plant growing in profusion in our garden. I noticed it last year, but it was just a small mound. This year, it quickly grew tall and flowered. Before I had a chance to look it up, Milton stopped by and said that it was Garlic Mustard, and it makes great pesto! Sure enough – it was wonderful, with both flavors in abundance. Use the leaves just as you would basil. We picked lots of it before it went to seed, as it can be quite invasive; and we’ve enjoyed it several weeks before our basil will make a showing. Let’s hear it for free food!|