Saturday, April 15, 2006

Good morning one and all, and happy easter!

Yesterday was a red-letter day for me. Freckles (my beagle) and I went for a walk in the morning, to allow him to "do his thing" before I went to work, and we were welcomed to the end of the street by a red fox! It stared at us for a couple of minutes before taking off across the cornfield, but it stopped half way. It became distracted by a couple of crows and it was interesting to watch it try to catch them. Of course, my grand hunting hound only stood there and watched. We watched it until it ran behind a house across the field. It was a little disappointing to it go. On the way back, I spotted some maple seedlings growing up between the sidewalk panels, so I just had to come home and go and relocate a couple. Now before you all start hollering at me for disturbing nature, you need to know that the landscapers are going to trim any and all greenery with a weedwacker next week. So I'm only prolonging the life of those seedlings. My folks and I used to do the same thing up north. We lined the front part of my parents property with cedar seedlings, and almost all of them grew quite nicely with a little TLC.

I'm still doing research into eco-friendly building methods. I've been doing some reading on earth bag building. Basically, the idea is that you fill bags with non-contaminated earth, and use this as the foundation for all walls. The sheer mass of the walls helps regulate temperature as the sun heats up and cools during the course of the day. This is also a wise way to build in earthquake regions because the walls are more flexible than those built with metal framework.
Adobe is also an ancient building technique that is enjoying a rebirth. There are adobe villages in the American Southwest that have lasted hundreds of years, and if that doesn't convince you that there is something to these methods, then nothing will. Another perk I didn't know about before is that earth shelters absorb sound, smells, moisture and moderate humidity. This means no mold, a more silent home, and a more comfortable environment. All at a fraction of the cost we would pay for a home like the Jones have down the street. And there is no reason for a owner built home (or even one partially owner built) to loo like something out of the seventies. With a little foreplanning and logic, a home could be designed and created that will be pleasing and envied instead of ridiculed. Did I mention the inexpensiveness of natural building?
If you'd like to know more, or know someone who would enjoy it, get a grip on a book called "The Art of Natural Building", edited by Kennedy, Smith, and Wanek.

Well, time to get a kidlet in the tub, talk to you later!