I have been a fan of yours for a long time. I remember reading an article about your building methods in Mother Earth news, probably in the early 80's. As an adult in the early 90's I found the $50 underground house book in the Louisiana Tech university library and checked it out many times, and made a ton of notes.
I purchased a backhoe (for $700!) in 2003 with the express idea of building an underground house. In 2004 I purchased 8 acres of land in Louisiana with the intention of building an underground house. Unfortunately, my business crashed and I ended up with no income for 1 1/2 years and sold the place.
In 2005 I moved to the big city of Austin, TX. No more country life for me!! I sold the backhoe and prepared to be a city boy. That lasted about 6 months and I moved to the country again, but now no backhoe! I purchased a used copy of your $50 and Up Underground House book at Half Price books in Austin and started back dreaming again. Over a few years there, I purchased tools to use for building a house.
In 2011 I moved to North Idaho. Being an avid reader, I went to the Bonner County library and imagine my delight to see the underground greenhouse book written by you! I have checked it out a couple of times and read it. For some reason it had totally escaped me that you live in North Idaho until I read the greenhouse book.
I am currently renting, but I'm trying to make a deal on 5 acres of property here in Bonner County. It is not the ideal piece, it is on the north side of a mountain with the slope facing north, but it will work.
Since I have moved here, I have been watching craigslist and picking up materials. I picked up a trailer load of insulated windows for free when someone wanted different color window frames so they changed out all the windows in their house. I recently purchased 34 sheets of tempered glass from someone else that had abandoned a greenhouse project. I got another trailer load of lumber from someone remodeling a basement and had my kids remove all the nails.
I also recently purchased a backhoe attachment for my little 16 horse diesel mitsubishi tractor and hope to get it mounted soon. This past year I also purchased a used Alaskan chainsaw mill and a Husky chainsaw with a 32" bar and ripping chain.
If everything comes together with the land purchase, perhaps I can get a greenhouse in the ground before winter and start on a house in the spring.
I am limited on money and have a extremely strong aversion to debt, so I intend to pay as I go. However, I do have time since I work 3 weeks away from home, then off for 2 weeks, and I occaisionally do really well at work and have a surplus of income that I can use to purchase what I need.
I bought the "$50 dollar and up book" about 2 years ago and have been fascinated by it... I have been contemplating what our new-home-build-style will be for 3 years... cob, earthbag, Oehler-style underground, straw-bale, timberframe.... etc. I have been studying each for several years and am a huge fan of alt.building.
Having said that, we were surrounded by wild fire here in California all last week. 3 helicopters were flying from our property for 3 days to fight the blaze. There were evacuation orders and one home burned and many outbuildings lost to fire. It was contained when it reached the ridge line facing us...
NOW... the choice seems pretty clear... I am set on going underground!! Thanks Mike for your pioneering work in this style and making it so much easier for all of us to envision and design our homes based on your research and experience!
I just recently received your greenhouse book and am enjoying it so far. I am planning a 4 foot deep greenhouse with a North earth wall and a rocket mass stove bench for heating spring starts. Your information has already been extremely helpful. So, thanks and looking forward to asking you some questions.
These DVD's have been at the top of my want list since I discovered them two months ago. (I was waiting 'til I got back to the states 'cause Int'l shipping is so expensive)
I'd love love love to win them! I'm hoping to figure out a way to one day turn your ideas into a jurisdiction-acceptable permit set. One approval could pave the way for others...(though I realize you're probably anti-establishment)
I am currently reading the Hippy Survival Guide to Y2K. I purchased it at a used book store a week ago. (Before I joined here!) I find it to be very relative to today! Y2K was a disaster with a known future date, and a lot of resources were pulled together in a massive effort to avert it. We have many known future disasters, but unfortunately we have no definitive date, so it breeds complacency. Everyone wants to pad their pockets while they can, and running around saying unpopular things usually doesn't do that, so things that need to be said are left unsaid.
A couple years ago at a talk I gave, I was told before hand to only say things that are uplifting and make people feel good. I did not do that, so that was the last time I spoke on that forum, but I felt the truth is the most important.
Fortunately, I have no TV, at least not connected to anything, so I am not fed the constant misinformation most of the masses are. When I want to know something, I go on the internet and dig it up myself.
I highly recommend Mike's Hippy survival guide book. Overlook some of the proofs that Y2K will happen and look at the meat of what he gives you about prepardness. Without some lighting a fire under people, it probably would have crashed everything.
Mike, I think that you are a pioneer, a man ahead of your time. 100 years from now you will be eulogized as being a visionary, but I am sure you have had to endure your share of rejections in the here and now.
Mike's been having a few technical difficulties, but don't worry - he'll be here soon!
I've split a few posts off - posts in this thread don't count towards the competition. Don't forget you also need to be signed up for Paul's dailyish email, be using a real-sounding name, and reply within 24 hours to claim your prize, so make sure you're signed up with an email address that you actually check!
I ran the program to see ten random posts since monday night. Out of those posts, three were quite good and I finally narrowed it down to two. And .... BOTH of them are signed up for the daily-ish email!
You both have 24 hours to send me your snail mail address and to tell me who referred you to permies.com (and then the referrers get a DVD set too).
Location: Off grid in the central Rockies of Montana (at 6300') zone 3-4ish
posted 6 years ago
Hello Mike , I live just north of Butte Montana (Basin) at 6300' and would like you opinion. Is 17' x 12' with at least 12' high ceiling to small to be an efficient greenhouse (buried 6 feet) ?I will be insulated from the Earth and will be adding earth bag walls and rain water storage tank to the inside for mass. I also plan on using twinwall solexx greenhouse covering. It will be connected to the lower south side of my house so that I may use some of the generated heat for my living space. I have read 2 of your books and love your ideas. If any one else has an opinion let me know. Thanks much