Learn to Build with Adobe

...es he’s teaching: Are you looking for college credit for your adobe construction coursework? I am teaching the following spring 2014 semester classes through Santa Fe Community College’s Adobe Construction Department: Class: ADOB 113 – Passive Solar Adobe Design Format: 8-Week Online Class Dates: January 21 to March 15, 2014 Credits: 2 Course #: 31660 Class: ADOB 111 – Adobe Construction Basics Format: 8-Week Online Clas...

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What the Internet Will Look Like After the Zombie Apocalypse

...open source software on to it, scatter them around town and you’ve got a wireless data network. Note that the routers in this configuration are communicating with each other. To hook your laptop into the network you have to connect it via an Ethernet cable to one of the nodes or set up a wi-fi network at a node. The routers can even be powered by small 12 volt batteries or solar panels. To be clear, this is a wireless network that is indep...

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The Elf and Ethics

The Elf is a kind of aerodynamic, electric assist tricycle with solar panels to charge the batteries. It’s a type of vehicle, somewhere between a bike and a car, that a number of inventors have tinkered with over the years. Good arguments exist for and against this type of transportation. On the one hand it uses far fewer resources than an automobile. But one could also argue, as does the owner of a bike shop in this video, that we̵...

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A Humanure Powered Prius!

...llon buckets–an ordinary dry toilet! The waste will be added to proprietary inflatable bladders located in the basement.  Photo by Nic Pepsi Waste will ferment in the bladders for a three week period. Pressure caused by the expansion of the bladder automatically forces the methane into a storage tank located in the garage. Methane is then pumped into a specially modified Prius during the evening hours using a pump powered by rooftop solar...

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Our New Straw Bale Garden–Part I

Straw bales–ready to prepare. Pot in the center will be a solar powered fountain. We’re going to experiment with a straw bale vegetable garden in our backyard, inspired by Michael Tortorello’s article in the New York Times. The plan is to grow in the bales and harvest the resulting compost for use in permanent raised beds (that have yet to be built). We’ll keep growing in bales until we have enough comp...

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Our Keyhole Vegetable Bed: What Worked and What Didn’t Work

This is what our keyhole bed looked like yesterday just before I fed the remaining vegetables to our chickens and the compost pile. Ignore the large pot–that’s a future solar powered fountain that will be incorporated in a new vegetable garden we’re working on. Here’s what the keyhole bed looked like just after I installed it back in October. Note the compost repository in the cente...

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Our Footprint

...bout us here. There’s some irony about this, in that Mr. Homegrown Evolution is, as you read this, busting the household carbon footprint on an unexpected CLUI related business trip to a remote Swedish mining town in the arctic. Arctic journeys aside, the way we won the Low Impact contest is simple. We live in a small house and don’t drive much. That’s just about it. We can’t afford solar panels, and everything else weR...

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Dome Building

...Conic Shelter™. Henderson has devised an attractive not-really-a-dome form that works with, rather than against the ubiquitous 4 x 8′ sheet of plywood. The Zome dome is a geometrical form that also works better with standard building materials. It’s most popular in rural France, but there are numerous examples in North America, as well as a children’s toy that looks like fun. Passive solar guru Steve Baer is responsible both f...

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Making It

...5294629 Buy it at:  Amazon • Abe Books • Barnes & Nobel • Powell’s Making It provides you with all of the tools you need to become a producer instead of a consumer and transform your home from the ground up. Projects range from the simple to the ambitious, and include activities done in the home, in the garden and out on the streets. Provides step-by-step instructions for a wide range of projects, from building a 99-cent solar oven to...

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Failed Experiment: Bermuda Buttercup or Sour Grass (Oxalis pes-caprae) as Dye

..., especially when the plant matter you’re working with floats. But I added water as best as I could judge. There were two steeping options–with heat on the stove or by a long sun steep. I opted for the long steep, put a bowl in the soaking pot to sink the plants beneath the water, and put the pot on the front porch. The day turned out to be cloudy and cool, so I don’t believe that solar energy aided my cause. Then, I ended up le...

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