“Kelly Hart has built all kinds of alternative housing including earthbag. This little shelter was built to test the temperature fluctuations in the New Mexico desert and to see if with such a small structure the usual strands of barbed wire were necessary between the layers of earthbags.”

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Earthbag Tiny House/Survival Shelter — 8 Comments

  1. Lots of people want to build below grade earthbag domes in rainy climates and I always warn of the risk of flooding/moisture problems.

    • We are in New Mexico about 20 minutes out of Farmington. Looks like underground may be possible, but as you said I want to make sure we not getting heavy rain.

      • Conditions can vary within a very short distance. In your area I suggest building on higher ground where 1. you’re well above the water table, 2. groundwater is not draining onto the site from uphill (one or more swales will help reduce this problem)

        • OK cool. The land is mostly flat, there are mountains behind us, but that’s like maybe 2,3 miles back. Let’s just say if we want to go camping, we can hit those mountains lol. Would you suggest the swales to go around the entire property (1 acre)?

          • Swales: It depends on what you want to do. Swales around the house direct water away from the house. But now it sounds like this may not be necessary. Read up on swales. Maybe you’ll want to use swales in a permaculture way to retain moisture on your land to help grow trees and other plants.

          • Loving that idea. I found on Google “build a greenhouse for $100”, I think it was mother news,I was going to try that out and build one, but I’ll read up sir, because that never crossed my mind using them to grow with.

          • Be sure to read the blog post about US gov swales in an Arizona desert. They used no water, no maintenance and I think they said no planting. Now the swales are full of trees and lush green meadows. You can obviously speed up the process a lot by planting the swales and helping things get started.

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