Building with earthbags is essentially building with adobe bricks without going through the lengthy process of making them. You take polypropylene sandbags, fill them with a moist mix of sand and clay, tamp them down hard and connect the layers with 4 point barbed wire. Then, you cover them over with an earthen plaster.

In reality, I didn't use polypropylene bags. Some Brasilians started a type of construction they call hyperadobe which uses mesh bags, or continuous tubing, made from the same material as the onion or potato bags in the grocery store. They don't require barbed wire, though otherwise the process is just about the same.

As I talk about in the blog posts, my design has been guided by simplicity and efficiency. More than anything, what's been most important to me is to live in a house that I myself, with no building experience whatsoever, can design, build and maintain. A natural extension of that has been the desire to live in a peaceful space. For me that means a home that's in tune with nature, thus limiting the use of imported materials for construction, in addition to those that will be needed later on, such as for heating. Please enjoy reading, ask me any questions, get inspired, and come help and learn!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Gravel Progress

It's been hot! What a relief. 16 yards of gravel got delivered on Tuesday afternoon. Since then it has essentially been shoveling and leveling it. I needed a little more so went this morning to load my truck up (note: my car should not have a ton of weight in the back), and again this afternoon (3/4 ton is a bit better).

The excavation was both too deep--by 10"-12" in some spots--and uneven so...Thinking that I might use all that extra space to make rocket stove powered heated floors much much much later on when I have a roof and all that. Until then, this gravel will be the floor of the house and the surface to build on. Building can begin...hopefully it will be full and level by tomorrow afternoon.

Stars are beautiful and the hot springs is still hot. Morning work is much more beneficial than the afternoon because there is not pounding heat! Sacha and Johnny are here till Sunday and then I will learn what it is to sleep alone in the middle of nowhere.


  1. Looks like progress! What kind of flooring are you planning on using? NM is out for me, but I think I may have found a place in MO (no building codes). Keeping my fingers crossed right now. :)

  2. I'm loving reading about the beautiful adventure you've taken on! When I see your photos I picture you meditating in the beautiful surroundings your have the joy of living in.

    Sending to you loads of love and intentions that your building creates more happiness in this life you are living.

    In loving kindness~~~

  3. I'm planning on doing an earthen floor. And since it's so over-excavated and I have extra to build up thinking about doing a rocket-stove heated floor. Hopefully MO works out! Everyone should have a home!

  4. Thanks Susan!
    I've actually been slacking on meditating but am going to get back into it. Life is very different when you don't sit two hours a day. Much love beautiful!