Category Archives: Sustainability

First Ever Wood Stove Design Challenge

(Pictured here is) One of 14 finalists in the Wood Stove Design Challenge. The first ever Wood Stove Design Challenge and Decathlon is set to go down soon, hosted by the Alliance for Green Heat. The Decathlon will take place on the National Mall in D.C., and is open to the public Nov.” – Ziggy Read […]

National Straw Bale Building Code is a Go!

A historic day for straw bale construction! Thankfully, we’ve never had to worry ourselves about local building codes, but there are many, many more folks who regularly struggle with codes when attempting to build a natural home in their area. And so the following news is very welcome, not just for those folks, but for […]

Ziggy Shares Some Tips for Maintaining a Living Roof

Our living roof edge detail getting installed The hardest part of building a living roof, other than figuring out how to get all that monstrously heavy soil or sod up there, is designing a good edge detail that will contain the soil at the eaves and gable ends. A good living roof edge detail should […]

New Owner Needed for Gobcobatron Cob Home at Dancing Rabbit

The current Gobcobatron interior I promised some big news earlier, and here it is! Gobcobatron, one of the most recognized homes at Dancing Rabbit Ecovillage in Missouri, is for sale. It is a cob house that’s been featured in Yes! magazine, Popular Mechanics, Parade Magazine, Treehugger, Lloyd Kahn’s Tiny Homes, overseas magazines, and other media. […]

Our Inaugural Cob Oven Workshop: Mud, Fire, and Fun!

Baked bread fresh from the cob oven A few short days ago, our first Cob Oven Workshop came to an end. The workshop was filled with mud, fire, and a whole lot of fun. Thankfully, our participants agreed! Folks got down and dirty as we built an oven from the hearth upwards. We learned all […]

Roundwood Timber Framers Unite: More Timber Frame Workshop Photos

The fearless band of roundwood timber framers Our most excellent group of students have disbanded for now, as our 2013 Timber Frame Workshop has come to an end. The group took on the challenge of working with roundwood to construct a traditional mortise and tenon style timber frame, and I must say — they did […]

If Some One Offers You a Drill, Take It (Timber Frame Photo Update)

Recently, one of the timber frame participants wisely said: ‘if some one offers you a drill, take it.’ I think this quote has wide application, and plan on remembering it. Our instructor Tom Cundiff says he prefers to teach students with minimal or no experience with working wood or timber framing. In his view, those […]

2013 Timber Frame Workshop – The Calm Before the (Framing) Storm

Calm before the storm… Our batch of students for the 2013 Timber Frame Workshop arrive this afternoon, and we are in that interesting moment in time right before a lot of activity, anticipating, getting the last few things in order, and looking forward to the 10 days ahead. This year’s workshop feels vastly different than […]

The Return of the Outdoor Cob Oven

Building another and better outdoor cob oven It’s been several years since we have been without an outdoor cob oven at our disposal, and I have dearly missed having it around! The original “$20 pizza oven” that we built back in 2009 had to be “moved” since it was in the way of drainage work […]