Last time I toured this strawbale house at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage, it was half done, and it was pretty impressive then. Now I’m back again with a tour of the finished house and there’s a new owner, Cat, to tell us about what it’s like to live in the house. Cat’s Cradle, as the house is known, provides examples of just about every method of natural building imaginable: cob, strawbale, earthen plaster, wattle and daub, cordwood walls, earthen plaster mosaics, bottle walls, lime plaster, passive solar design, and earthen floors. It’s a work of art with many artistic and aesthetic flares. As well, its passive solar design and round shape make it efficient as well as practical for its semiretired owner, Cat.
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This is a tour of 5 of my favorite natural buildings at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage. DR has nearly 40 natural buildings, making it one of the largest collections of natural buildings in one place in all of north America. There’s strawbale buildings, cob, earthen and lime plaster, earthen floors, timberframing, cordwood masonry, rocket mass heaters, wattle and daub, and light clay straw. And some of these are pretty swanky houses.
Some vegetables can be baffling when we think about where their seeds come from because we only see the part we eat. Sometimes that part is a seed and but most of the time it’s a completely different part of the plant. But the seeds are the key to the existence of the vegetable we are eating, so every vegetable must have seeds somewhere. But where are the seeds on a head of lettuce?
This video will not only show where the seeds are, but how to grow them and save them so you can grow your own lettuce year to year without buying seed.
While in Florida this time I started some jackfruit from seed and planted a few trees before I left. In this video, I demonstrate the super simple process and reveal some tidbits about this delicious tropical fruit. In only 2-3 years you can have a jackfruit tree that produces fruit if conditions are right.
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.
Last year I made a video about planting comfrey in my vineyard as a living mulch between the grape vines. Well, the plants have had some time to get established. So what were the results? Will it work to keep down grass and eliminate the need to scythe around the grape vines.