Picture Sunday: Baldassare Forestiere’s Underground Paradise

underground

Sicilian immigrant Baldassare Forestiere spent 40 years, until his death in 1946, digging an underground house to escape the unforgiving heat of Fresno, California. He hoped that his underground abode would someday become a hotel. That never happened, but he did manage to create, in my opinion, one of the most striking residences in the United States. We’ll do a longer post about it, but in the meantime, here’s two photos of one of the many citrus trees he planted in a maze of underground atriums.

undergroundorange

See the website of Forestiere’s underground gardens for more information.

Picture Sunday: Images of Detroit

Fox Run by Jill Nienhuis

Fox Run by Jill Nienhuis

Root Simple readers are talented people. This week I discovered that regular reader Jill Nienhuis is not only an urban homesteader, but a talented artist, too. Her paintings and other projects are wonderful – -you can see more at her website : Jill Nienhuis

Jill lives in a neighborhood in NW Detroit called Brightmoor. It’s a neighborhood which has fallen on hard times, but is being revitalized, largely through gardening. She and her boyfriend, Michael, are growing a large garden on several vacant lots, and are looking to buy a house near their garden at auction. Land in Brightmoor is inexpensive. (One of the lots she gardens on cost $210.)  She also says that there’s a 170 acre forest at the edge of her neighborhood, which makes it feel more like the country than the city.

Looking at Google images of the Brightmoor areas, I agree. It does have a country feel. There’s lots of open space, lots of green lushness — along with the blighted houses and other signs of urban decay. You can also see this in her work, of course. It looks like a place waiting to wake up and blossom. It just needs caring hands, and people with vision. And as you can tell by their work, Jill and Michael have plenty of vision.

Thanks for letting us share your work, Jill!

hubbard farms

Hubbard Farms by Jill Nienhuis