Walipini (n): a place of warmth

Earth-sheltered greenhouse construction in northern Colorado.

In case you’re wondering…

I just realized that I’ve never posted a follow-up to this project.  Douchey of me, I know.  

When we were building the earthbag wall, we discovered that we had dug our hole too close to the septic tank leach field.  We decided to re-bury the whole excavation.  In the process, we installed a network of tubing for underground heat storage, similar to a CRMPI-style climate battery.  What exists on the site now is a hoop house that is heated by this system, as well as a kick-ass cheese/root cellar.  I’ll snap a picture next time I’m in the area for those of you who are curious.  I’m now living with my fiancee on the other side of town, so I don’t really ever make it over there anymore.  I just thought I’d leave this update for the many people who are messaging me asking about the results.  I’ll leave you with a few of my takeaways:

1. Always call before you dig.

2. After you call the county/city, and your digger calls again to insure the dig, you may still have lines that you don’t know about, including septic lines.  If you have a septic tank, find out where the lines run.  If you would rather play a game of mines with your leach field, know that your $300 dig will likely become a $1500 dig. 

3. Earthbag/rammed earth is a totally viable means of building, but not so much if you have expansive clay or bad soil texture.  University soil labs test soil texture and expansive clay content for like fifteen bucks.  It’s worth it.

4. Poly bags are $200 for a huge roll, or free from breweries.  If it’s worth the trouble to save the money, do it.  Just don’t feel like you’re saving the planet rolling around town picking up a dozen bags at each and every microbrewery.  The glow will fade when you fill your gas tank and the punchline sinks in.  

5. Climate batteries seem to have better success in the Rockies than walipinis.  I wish I had taken that money that I put into the walipini and spent it (or more like half of it) at CRMPI on permaculture courses.

6. Any agreements that are of consequence to your livelihood should be put into writing.

7. Listen to the professional excavator that comes to dig.  They know more than you.  If I didn’t listen, you might be touring my walipini right now and getting a staph infection from effluent runoff.

8.  No matter what you go through in the process, it really is worth it.  Really.  I learned serious life shit that facebook and Tumblr will never give you.

That’s all.  Thanks.

livingwind:

Geoff Lawton’s Zaytuna Farm Video Tour – Part II

This new video, above, shot 11-12 months after the original video, is twice as long and covers several aspects of the farm — some we hadn’t covered before, and some we had, but now with additional aspects and details. You’ll see Geoff talking about natural buildings, cattle laneways, and how to keep goats parasite free. Geoff will take you through the entire plant nursery process at Zaytuna Farm, from seeds and potting through to actually planting a tree. You’ll see food forests at various stages of development, a new purpose-built fish pond that will soon be in production, and much more.

Beautiful

(via fuckyeahpermaculture)

natureconservancy:

“Nature is full of infinite causes that have never occurred in experience.” Leonardo Da Vinci

natureconservancy:

“Nature is full of infinite causes that have never occurred in experience.” Leonardo Da Vinci

Did you know that more than half of our time is currently spent dancing on dirt?  Do you live in the Fort Collins area and want to join in on all our twisting fun?  Well, I’ve got good news!  We’re currently looking for experienced and novice twisters to help us stomp and grind up all of this dirt!
Come play with us!

Did you know that more than half of our time is currently spent dancing on dirt?  Do you live in the Fort Collins area and want to join in on all our twisting fun?  Well, I’ve got good news!  We’re currently looking for experienced and novice twisters to help us stomp and grind up all of this dirt!

Come play with us!

Hey it’s Milo, the official mascot of the FoCo Walipini Project (FoCoWaPro)!

Hey it’s Milo, the official mascot of the FoCo Walipini Project (FoCoWaPro)!

If you’ve been on the edge of your seat about this walipini thing for the past two weeks, I’m sorry.  Between the holidays, the snow, and the big move (I live out here now!), there have been many extenuating circumstances.  Here is a picture of the progress, with Maura and Julia demonstrating how we mix the earth.
Come play with us!

If you’ve been on the edge of your seat about this walipini thing for the past two weeks, I’m sorry.  Between the holidays, the snow, and the big move (I live out here now!), there have been many extenuating circumstances.  Here is a picture of the progress, with Maura and Julia demonstrating how we mix the earth.

Come play with us!

PVC roof layout, including angles calculated for inverse relationship of solar penetration to solar altitude.  (Yes, I know it looks like a kid drew it in MSPaint.)

PVC roof layout, including angles calculated for inverse relationship of solar penetration to solar altitude.  (Yes, I know it looks like a kid drew it in MSPaint.)