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Monday, 13 August


Can a midsummer forest trail bike ride compare to Hawaii? (with video) "IndyWatch Feed Diy"

bike on the Vedder River rotary trail during summerTheres this advertised app that comes up every so often when I scroll my Instagram feed called Calm. It always has these super soothing sounds such as a heavy rainfall where you can hear each raindrop hit leaves, along with washed out toned dreamy photos that really are lovely. And yes, calm. Every time I []

The post Can a midsummer forest trail bike ride compare to Hawaii? (with video) appeared first on Funky Junk Interiors.


The Art of Collecting: Plant Lover Deanna Jennings "IndyWatch Feed Diy"

For some, collecting certain objects brings a feeling of pride; for others, continuity. For Deanna Jennings, its tranquility. That feeling of deep calm is what drew Deanna to grow her collection of living things plants. Raised in rural Oregon in a time before video games and computers, Deanna says her childhood was spent playing outside in the forest. Thinking back, she is so grateful for those magical days roaming free among the majestic trees and tip-toeing on the soft, mossy ground. Her appreciation for nature was born under a canopy of green.

Now, as a working mother, her time is spent mostly indoors. The days of roaming the forest may be a fond memory, but Deanna has created her own special place filled with a collection of indoor plants that bring her back to those cherished days. Recently Deanna realized that as her collection grew and more plants filled her home, she felt more relaxed with each addition. While she leads a minimal lifestyle and doesnt accumulate a lot of stuff, she notes that there is always room for another plant in her home.

Deanna jokes that shes not sure if its the nost...


The Prairie House, a Dazzling Spectacle of 1960s Organic Modernism "IndyWatch Feed Diy"

On the prairie grasses of Norman, Oklahoma sits an utterly unique and curious structure appearing to some as a large bird or creature; to others as perhaps the result of tornado devastation. This gamut of puzzling wonder over first sights of The Prairie House also known as the Prairie Chicken House for its resemblance to the bird was fully intended by architect Herb Greene when he built the dazzling home in 1961.

However strange the 2,100-square-foot, two-story home might appear from the outside is quickly forgotten upon stepping through the doorway; a swirling feast for the eyes of rough sawn cedar boards and unfinished cedar shingles swirl and unfold, a fantastic display of Greenes freestyle interpretation of his learnings and influence from both Frank Lloyd Wright and Bruce Goff. Greenes Prairie House, built for himself and his family, was considered to be an early symbol of Organic Modernism.

Some 60 years later, The Prairie House was in need of some love and maintenance, and Austin Hacker and Bryan Bloom, owners of design/build firm OXBloom, came along and purchased the property in March. Austin and Bryan, whose firm focuses on residential architecture and academic partnersh...


Messages from Mesa Verde "IndyWatch Feed Diy"

I visited Mesa Verde in Colorado near the Four Corners. This was my first encounter with the ruins of the ancestral Puebloan people, progenitors of the Pueblo and Hopi nations. I had heard about Mesa Verde since I was a kid, but nothing could prepare me for the awesome reality. Despite the influx of tourists, there is a peaceful and spiritual quality that persists.

The most famous aspect of what was left behind there are the cliff dwellings, which are certainly magnificent. These finely crafted rock structures emerge from huge alcoves within the cliff faces, and from a distance resemble swallows nests, fitting into the surrounding rock just as naturally. Actually the cliff houses represent the culmination of about seven centuries of habitation at Mesa Verde. Then around 1300 AD the people abruptly abandoned their homes and moved south and southeast to establish other communities. There is much speculation about why they moved, but the most likely cause was a prolonged period of at least 12 years of drought.

The cliffs were only occupied for the last two centuries at Mesa Verde; before that, all habitation was on the mesa above. At first the people made rectangular pit houses that were dug partially into the ground and then built up with poles and sticks plastered with mud. The entrance was via a hole in the roof with a ladder descending to the floor below. Archeologists believe that from this simple pit house both the freestanding masonry pueblo and the underground circular kiva evolved. The cliff dwellings combined both interconnected pueblo apartments and kivas, which were used for ceremonial and community functions. Some of the larger cliff dwellings may have housed over a hundred people. Most of the Mesa Verdeans lived in this communal way, but there were also many smaller housing units scattered throughout the area. It is obvious that they were a very cooperative society.

Little did they know that their style of architecture would become so enormously popular many centuries later. Pueblo or Santa Fe style building can be linked directly to them. The Spanish introduced modular adobe blocks that make the construction go faster, but the simple stacked rectangular shapes with protruding vigas is native American.

These people were primarily farmers, growing squash, corn...

Sunday, 12 August


Permaculture Forum "IndyWatch Feed Diy"

As part of publicizing my new Essential Earthbag Construction book I spent some time answering questions about earthbag building in general at where they gave away several copies of the book to those who participated. As I spent more time at this site I realized that it is one of the most informative and valuable forums I have ever seen. It is enormously popular with permaculture enthusiasts from around the world. Topics covered include: gardening, farming, building, homesteading, energy, life styles, community, wilderness, resources, education, artisans and publishing. In other words, they cover a lot of the same topics that we do here at Natural Building Blog, so you might check them out. The folks who hang out on this forum are very knowledgeable and  helpful.

The post Permaculture Forum appeared first on Natural Building Blog.

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