Building
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Mini Cordwood House Plans: Build into the Landscape

One of the many benefits of natural building is that they are highly customizable.  You can build any shape or size home that you could possibly want.  Since you can build any shape or size, this allows you to stick a house in any old awkward place you have on …

Food Forest

11. Use Edges and Value the Marginal

Think about two different eco systems: a forest and a meadow. The forest is full of larger trees an d larger animals, while the meadow is full of smaller plants and animals. The two habitats provide very different needs for the different animals. Now think about where the meadow meets …

Building
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Mini Cordwood House Build: Preparing Stained Glass Windows

I just can take waiting any longer.  I need to start working on my house, but we have too much snow on the ground to do anything outside yet.  How can I possibly build my house inside while waiting around…. Prepare the stained glass windows.  My current plan (subject to …

Food Forest

10. Use and Value Diversity

Principle number 10…Use and value diversity.  I find this principle to very closely related to number 8, integrate rather than segregate.  In order to integrate, you need to have diversity.  Integrating has more to do with building systems and diversity is more about having many different options for your needs …

Building

Mini Cordwood House Plans: Kids Building

One of the most important reasons we changed our lives so drastically was that we felt living off grid out in the woods would be better for our children than living in town.  One of the ways it is better is that it provides opportunities  for children to learn hands …

Food Forest
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9. Use Small and Slow Solutions

Slow Down!….is permaculture principle number 9.  Everything going on in the world seems to have to be so big and so fast.  I moved out of town to slow down, why not apply that to my homestead building? My biggest example of small and slow solutions are my hugelkultur beds.  …

Building
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Mini Cordwood House Plans: The Layout

Here it is, my favorite part of planning a house, the floorplans!  I coudn’t get it all in one piece.  It hasn’t been sunny enough to charge my laptop that has the photo editing software on it. Here is the quick breakdown:  We will be off grid completely.  Up is …

Food Forest
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8. Integrate Rather than Segregate

Much of modern agriculture is large, monoculture farms.  Monoculture means that the farms produce one crop in mass quantities, like corn or wheat.  Permaculture focuses more on polyculture.  This means to grow many crops all together as one big happy family. There are a few reasons why polyculture works so …

Planning and Goals
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Mini Cordwood House Plans: Design Process

Happy Spring! Our house was designed quite differently than houses are often designed.  Many people look at a cape or a split level and some fancy floor plans.  You look at what color roof you want and what color shutters.  How much can we get financed for? tends to be …

Food Forest
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7. Design from Pattern to Details

Permaculture principle number 7 is design from patterns to details.  A huge part of permaculture is following the patterns of nature.  Nature does things in a way that runs smoothly and efficiently.  It does not produce unusable waste or take in excess, usually.  Following the patterns of nature should help …