Monday, May 7, 2012

Dying to Dig

Well, spring has sprung, and we all know what that means - time to get back to building!  I'm still renting in town and will be until May 15th, but I've been going out to the land once a week for about the past month to get things ready.

After spending the winter hibernating, I'm more than ready to get out there and continue digging the foundation trench.  I didn't make as much housebuilding progress as I'd hoped last summer for a variety of reasons, so I've been working on ways to move things a bit faster this time.

For one thing, I will not be involved in as many writing projects this time, so I won't need to come to town every day for Internet and electricity.  Also, there have been a couple of serendipitous developments recently in the green building networking department.

First, for an article I was writing, I had to interview architect/builder Mark Goldman, who teaches some of the classes in green building technology at UNM-Taos.  During that two-hour(!) conversation we also talked about my housebuilding project.  He had me come present to one of his classes about it, and he wants to bring his students out to help me build :) 

Mark Goldman and the adobe structure his students built in their classroom/workshop.
The other development came out of a contact I made when I coordinated the UNM-Taos Fall Harvest Festival last year.  Alice Ko, who did an adobe brickmaking workshop at the festival, suggested we form a women's natural building collective (so far we're calling ourselves Ladies of the Mud).  The idea is that we can do workshops and work parties together and invite other women.  Aly (of Building an Earthbag Home in Northern New Mexico) and I went out to Alice's land a couple of weeks ago for a mud party and made adobe bricks, which I had never done before.

Another issue that slowed things down last summer was how unbearably hot and sunny it got during the day out there, so I've been working on creating some shade; I'll describe what I've done and post a photo or two next time.


  1. Welcome back online. I've been off for quite awhile as well, but it's good to be back. Shade is essential as well as a liberal break policy.

  2. This all sounds so exciting, yet somehow tranquil. Good luck with this year's workload, you seem to be on top of it. X

  3. How exciting! Thanks for sharing with us :)

  4. Denese - Yes, shade is definitely essential. It seems crazy to me now that I did without it last summer.

    Eryl - exciting yet tranquil - exactly!

    ofmyloverthesea - Thanks for visiting!