Amazing Timberframe Strawbale House with Castle-like Interior

This amazing strawbale house located at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage is one of my favorites in the village. There is so much to it and the design is so unique. It features beautiful timberframe with strawbale for wall structure and insulation. Lime plaster exterior and earthen interior makes for a pleasant aesthetic and some natural organic shapes. The earthen plaster interior and framing have been designed in places to create an almost castle-like look in some of the rooms. The earthen plaster interior walls are inlaid in places with glass shard mosaics.

But not only does the house have a unique beauty, it has many sustainable systems for providing for basic needs like running hot water from a cook stove or evacuated solar tubes, radiant floor heating, rainwater catchment, wood and passive solar heating.

#StrawbaleBuilding #NaturalBuilding #SustainableLiving

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How Sustainable Living Prepared Me for a Pandemic

I return to Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage for this video to talk about what awaited me on my return and how I was appreciating sustainable living systems I have set up because they have also prepared me in many ways for a pandemic. I have rainwater catchment, solar power, perennial fruit plants, seed supplies, renewable fuels, lots of food stores, some I grew myself and some purchased, and of course TP.

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An EARTHSHIP Like None You’ve Ever Seen

Last winter I had the chance to visit an earthship like none I’d ever seen before. Earthships are living buildings that are adapted to their environment to make use of climate, water, and waste products. When people think of earthships, they usually think of the desert southwest of the US, because that’s where they originated and where many of them are built. In this video we visit an unusual version of an earthship, still off grid, still adapted to its environment, but very different from what you normally envision when you think of an earthship.

Rebuilding and Improving a Rocket Mass Heater

The rocket mass heater in Skyhouse at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage was in need of some repairs and improvements. It was at least 15 years old and had always had some issues with efficiency in heating the space it was supposed to. Mark Mazziotti, of nearby Red Earth Farms, was hired to do a total rebuild of the stove because of his experience in building rocket stoves and mass heaters. I happened to find out he was doing the rebuild and asked him if he would help me make a video about the project. It’s a little longer than some of my usual videos, but it’s interesting to hear the thought and planning Mark put into the rebuild.

Mark wants me to add that he miscalculated his estimate of his experience in natural building. It’s more like 15, not 20 years of experience he has.

How I Keep My Tiny House Cool (With Almost No AC) In the Heat of Summer

It gets pretty hot in Missouri during the summertime. And living entirely off renewable energy it doesn’t have to be a challenge to stay comfortable on those 90°F+ dog days. There are simple things you can do to minimize your use of air conditioning–one of the biggest contributors to climate change. Nature has provided us with many options to keep ourselves cool. We just have to make the connections and implement the systems.

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