Dan alan

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since Feb 16, 2012
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forest garden greening the desert homestead solar tiny house
15 year homesteader, aquaponic, bioponic, 4 year permaculture, tiny home building, job resenting, peace loving dome builder.
Tyler Texas
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Recent posts by Dan alan

I would imagine it hard to find a "modern people" who would eliminate plastic or machines altogether.  Ther are the Amish, a few native American tribes. I know its possible to return to primitive simple living and live well if we can part from our modern way of thinking and reasoning and lust.

Not many people like hard work.  Machines can cut work my years if you work by your self.  I'm not sure if you are referring to only living without toxin-emitting machinery or building without out it...

I have lived a primitive life when I went to the campo in South America.  Every cup of water was precious because of the half mile walk to the spring. It was a very clean life close to nature and I actually enjoyed it immensely once I adapted. We constructed a brick tower and put a water tank on top and a small pump on the spring and piped the water up to the tank,  This gave them running water for the first time.  Their joy was so great and they immediately began wasting water.. The women spent so much time hauling water and believed they expressed many reasons why life was then better.  I would agree after living a primitive life for a while some technology is good for a quality life if you any desire beyond being in nature.  Every human invention comes with damaging effects to nature are always abused and used to live in unnatural ways.  I think machinery can definitely be constructed to be responsible and appropriate.  I guess that's the key. Using technology when its appropriate and add to the value of a life and does not take from another life. Using cordless tools charged with solar energy is very doable.  Of course, the pollution is just let loose upwind from someone else at a different location..

I could see building a large rain catchment and ferrocement storage tanks where you could dip your water out with a bucket or jar from a well inside a house made of raw earth.  There are quite a few communities who build natural houses. Im sure they will turn up for you.  I have never kept a list when I discovered one.

If you cannot find what you seek perhaps you should start a community?

I am going to be building a wattle and daub double wall structure with 18 inches of loose packed straw/weed insulation next spring.  It should be cheap, non-toxic, super efficient and beautiful as well as highly functional with thermal mass & insulation.  Using passive and active (machine) methods to keep it comfortable in a harsh climate.  I should hold a workshop..  I battle with going fully passive and using earth to moderate the temperatures my adjusting what I will tolerate, but then I love to wear comfortable clothes year around and feel good indoors.  In this climate, it's just not possible to stay comfortable without some machinery. I suppose I could live in a screen hut during the summer and jump in the pond every couple of hours.. Its a balance of personal choice, expectations, and how much of a purest we want to be. Most people are fine with pollution as long as its in someone else's air. Some feel there should be none.  As long as money is the measure of value in the world someone's poison is always going to be in our lives. I totally agree with you on eliminating every toxin we can.  I distill my drinking water because the groundwater tested as having poison from a golf course and a fracked oil well changed to water to acidic where it dissolves lead out of coal in the ground. Our water only touches glass after coming out of the machine. I want to build a detox retreat that operates on donations and gifts where people can vacation and detox from it all in a clean environment; magnetically, dietary, water, and breathe clean plant purified air, and healthy ideas.


5 months ago
I completely agree!  I have NEVER regretted spending the money on an electric saw!

I will say this a close second is a cordless sawzall with a tree cutting blade:

You have to get a good tool of course.
5 months ago
Its amazing how they manage to feed themselves in the past.  The mesa are a great source of water and minerals.  I actually planted hopi corn in east texas the same way the hopi do and I got great crops.  14 seeds to a mound, dig down until the soil is moist and plant.  It was 6 inches deep to moisture when I planted the black hopi corn seeds and in 5 days the corn was up!  I never had to water it and the bunch grass corn was amazing.. Then the deer and coons thought so too...  

I thought the Indians said one for the bird, one for the coon, one for the mouse and one for me... I thought they were kidding.  I got one ear in the green stage and they got the other 199 ears of corn...



5 months ago
I had hard soil that would not grow weeds. I ripped it as deep as  I could scratch the surface and broadcast planted a high diversity seed mix adding lots of winter rye.  Each year I saw major improvements.  Keep planting high diversity cover mixes, when mature broadcast more seed, and roll or lay them over when they get tall.  Keep the soil covered at all times!  I don't recommend tilling poor soil more than every other year.

The diversity of seed ensures that something will grow well.  Mixes can also be designed to mine minerals and provide nitrogen or carbon to the soil. I had to alternate.  High Carbon cover crop in the spring, nitrogen crop in summer, and carbon, tall carbon mix in the fall. The tall winter crop preserved nitrogen and carbon in the crop over winter instead of it leeching away all winter. There was not enough nitrogen to grow two high carbon crops at first.

In 3 years of spring, summer, & winter seeding cover crops we had actual soil!  Now we have a food forest with alley cropping and cover cropping in between.

I purchased my seed here : Green Cover Seed . Buy the 50-pound bags and get 5-gallon buckets with lids. save your extra seed for the next season.  I used sea salt  in the 50-pound bag to add back trace minerals, but you can get a soil test then add back specifically whats missing. Add amendments before you break up the soil.

I don't have my pictures of the transformation with me, but take a look at Farmers Under Cover

You know its ready for trees when trees start planting themselves!

This process was FAR FAR cheaper than buying  wood chips and adding nitrogen fertilizer..
5 months ago
In our area, the law actually exempts homeowners who build their own homes from needing an electric license.  In the city, it can be different.  However, I have been part of many projects where a friendly electrician will file the permit and take a look at what you did and for a couple hundred bucks call for inspection and not say a thing.  Sometimes these electricians are not even in the same county and never even look..  Try to make some connections..  Get a copy of the International Build Code IBC this is what most inspectors go by. Follow wire & breaker sizing rules and you will be good.
5 months ago
How very very exciting!  Congratulations!  Insulate, insulate, insulate!

5 months ago
It actually amazing how many roots a tree can grow inside a pipe on a dry spell.  Its kind of crazy, but they can completely plug the line.
5 months ago
I have actually studied this idea as well as build two test holes. Once caved in one spring when we had a freakishly log heavy downpour. We have super hard clay soil. The other got fleas and was unhealthy most of the year.

Will It work?  It depends... LOL

Fleas, Floods, and Muds..  Unless you live in a VERY dry area you will have moisture problems. Not to mention potential pest problems.  Digging into the side of a hill can work.
The best compromise I have found is a buried structure above ground.  You should still design it like a house with a roof that is sloped and moves water away.  A drain channel in the floor around the walls is a good idea too. You could build it earthShip style or "$50 and up underground house"' style.

As for comfort... That also depends.. On rain, average temperatures in your area, your comfort level. A rocket stove mass bed/bench heater can easily take care of winter by warming your body instead of air.  

You really have to decide what you are desiring here. If the price is the issue, I could show you how to build a darn-near-free house that is actually very warm in the winter and very cool in the summer.   If hiding is the issue a quonset hut burried is great IF you also insulate.  If living secretly on land you don't own is the issue, just fast claim some federal land or build the ultra-low cost house expecting it to be lost.  

Anyway, give some more details. What is our purpose, what are your short and long-term goals ect..
5 months ago
Hello everyone. I have been on the homestead path for 10 years now and I am starting to blog and vlog about the adventure. I could really use some help for content ideas. Please share as much as you can think to. I want to write some quality articles focused on common ground the majority of us might have. My ultimate goal is to someday to overcome the last obstacle for me which is income from the homestead. I hope to eventually have enough subscribers to draw in sponsors.

I would like to hear from everyone who is, was, and wants to homestead.

Please tell me about your problems, fears, worries, anxiety, fustrations, wants, aspirations, needs, and desires.


Thank you!
6 months ago
Acrylic stucco work very nicely for these structures that tend to flex and move just a little as they settle.
6 months ago