Hillside Hugelkultur Revisited

Steep Slope Stabilization 6 Month Check Up So its been over 6 months since we started our first hillside hugelkultur test and I’m happy to report that the results look good. If you’re unfamiliar with the process take a look at this post here. Over the summer the hillside was clearly very damaged with little more than rocks left on …

Experimental Permaculture: Steep Slope Stabalization

Erosion Control What do you do if you’ve got a steep bank, one that is already eroding away, specifically one that’s in a tight space where you can’t change the angle very much, maybe one below a road bed or some other already built up area where you can’t loose any more soil without risking collapse? There are a few …

Land Owners

We’re now officially land owners Here is the latest lay-out of our landscape design (focusing on the plants and things more than the house). It’s hard to read the list of plants so they’re detailed below. This has not been presented to the township or the neighborhood so it’s subject to change but as soon as the weather breaks we …

Natural Building Progress

Just a quick update to say that the lot we have a contract on is buildable! This means as long as the title is clear and the price (which is based on back-taxes owed since the 1980s) is where we need it to be! Here is a look at the lot and where we want our house via an overhead …

Certified Permaculture Designer

Phipps Permaculture Design Course I did it – I’ve been certified through Phipps Permaculture Design Course. What is a Permaculture Design Course? In a nutshell permaculture design is a set of principals that apply ecological methodology to solve problems in a less energy intensive ways through finding and replicating natural patterns, creating feedback loops, reducing or eliminating waste, and by …

House update – Jan 2012

So Teresa and I have been shopping for a truck. There is one that I want to buy and I think we’re ready to do so but she needs a bit more convincing because of the width of the beast. We’ve also made a few design tweaks in the past few weeks so I wanted to post a a shot …

Pittsburgh Cob Home Building Update

Cob Home Design   So the wife and I found the land we want to build on inside of the city of Pittsburgh and we’ve got an email into BBI asking what information they will need to give us a building permit and ultimately an occupancy permit. We’ve also got an email into the local community group. As the land …

Designing a Low Cost Home Redux

So if you read my post about cob building I said that we are thinking about building a cob place to stay in for a few years well … it’s funny how things change so fast! The more than we’ve researched the more information we’re finding out about cob that tells us that a cob home is not only the …

Cob Building Missed-Adventures

First let me explain the title of the post. If you’re a regular reader you know that my wife Teresa and I are interested in building a cob house but don’t have any experience (yet). So over the weekend Teresa found a local group on MeetUp.com that was holding a cob building workshop today. We both tried to register but …

Underground Living

I’m a big admirer of interesting architecture. As a photographer I love to photograph buildings and as a designer I really appreciate well designed spaces. I’m also a fairly practical person so I like clean useful design. Pittsburgh, like most cities in the eastern US is full of different kinds of architecture from classic and somewhat boring homes to modern very odd looking …