Our Tropical Forest Garden and Homestead Update: One Year+ Later


Tour of our finished homestead. The forest garden is now a lush haven for humans and native wildlife. Our banana plants are around 9’-16’ high and producing nicely.

After a long delay, I’m posting another video about our homestead and forest garden. Everything is pretty much finished except small odds and ends. In summary, the project is a major success on many levels – personally, affordability goals, improved health from working in the garden and eating better, and just plain fun and rewarding. It’s great being in nature. It’s definitely been one of the best projects of my life. Read more from > Our Tropical Forest Garden and Homestead Update: One Year+ Later

Altai Straw Bale Project

Strawbale construction gains popularity in the frozen north.

Strawbale construction gains popularity in the frozen north.


“In August 2008 we saw ourselves back on the plane to Siberia. This was our second trip as a group of builders and teachers to this far and exotic place we now consider our most remote home away from home. Paul Koppana (Crestone, CO), Cindy Smith (Durango, CO) and myself, Jeff Ruppert (McKinleyville, CA) were much more comfortable this time traveling half-way around the globe having made a trip for the same reasons back in the summer of 2005. Read more from > Altai Straw Bale Project

Basalt Reinforced Domes


I’m not a fan of concrete monolithic domes, but the use of basalt roving reinforcement is an interesting technique that could be used with other building methods. It’s very strong and doesn’t rust. Consider using it in hurricane and earthquake zones. Read more from > Basalt Reinforced Domes