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, July 30, 2015

Beyond Laundry: Taos' Sustainable Laundromat

It's been almost a year since I last posted, and I have so much to tell you about--the gorgeous attached greenhouse, the beautifully vibrant red earthen floors and so much more. And I will soon. I promise. In the meantime, however, I have to post about a totally inspiring project that *one day* I hope and plan to be a part of. My dear friend Susan of Home Sweet Hive just launched her Indiegogo campaign for a laundromat utilizing rainwater catchment and greywater reuse right here in Taos. If you have any interest in sustainability projects, which I'm guessing you do since you're on this blog, please check out her campaign here and get inspired! I am!

Monday, August 11, 2014

The Baby Has a Bedroom and I Am Still Alive

You may have noticed that I don't post much these days. The honest truth is that the last time I posted was eight months ago. Wow. I used to post like four times a week. But that was before I had a baby, a dog, two (living) cats, chickens, a boyfriend and a job.

Thursday, December 5, 2013

Of Mice and Chickens

Baby and I went out of town for a month. Coming home at 9pm I discovered that my french doors, toward which I have developed a vehement hatred, blew open while we were gone. It seems that the fixed side wasn't really in the locked position. Thankfully, they were chained shut so they didn't blow open more than an inch or so, but it was plenty of room for some mice to come on in and make themselves at home.

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Goodbye Summer!

Winter is here...or at least came in last week's frost and is coming again soon. I have been at the house, loving the quiet, solitude and new neighbors. Getting work done with the baby is a completely different experience though; what would have once taken me a good day of work drags on for a month or so.

Friday, August 9, 2013

Moving Back Home

I've been meaning to write for a while. By a while I mean months, of course, or even a year if I mean a juicy posting that's actually conveying what I'm doing. As you may have noted early last fall, I was a little behind because I was just too busy trying to get done everything I needed to get done before the baby came, which was a bit early anyways.

Thursday, November 22, 2012

The New Addition

When doing anything it's best to be prepared for the unexpected. That was true of building and held even more true for pregnancy. I had just entered the third trimester, was about to go on vacation, and was trying to figure out how to get the last few things I needed done on the house when boom! Xiomara Nightingale popped out at 24 weeks, on November 13th. Three months early! Could never have prepared myself for that. Luckily we were in California and got transferred to amazing Stanford--which is now my new home for the next 2-3 months as I wait for her to grow. Tiny, tiny, tiny but healthy, beautiful and strong.