Thursday, July 5, 2012

Building shade in the hot NM sun

Richard and Simone make trusses
We have been working hard on building our shade structure out on our land. The hot desert sun is brutal when you spend so many hours in it. Luckily we have some volunteers that have come all the way from Maryland to help us build some sustainable buildings on our land. David and Simone have set up camp out at our place, and on the days we get out there, they have been an enormous help with our projects. They are looking for volunteer opportunities in the area, projects they can learn earth building techniques. They are former Wwoofers and even taught English in Korea for a while. We are lucky they came out to visit us in New Mexico.

putting the trusses up on the shade structure

trusses up

While everyone else was working on the trusses, I was building a lattilla fence out of recycled Christmas trees we got from Native Scents, who also gave us pallets and earthbags. Simone helped me lay out the fence and measure where it should go, and we all spent time cutting the nubs off the lattillas so they would fit closer together. This is my first attempt at a Coyote fence, and I think it turned out rather well. It should serve its purpose of blocking the wind from our shade structure. Hopefully the kids will be able to eat lunch without their sandwiches blowing away!
David, trimming lattillas
Coyote Fence/windblock
Busy days indeed. The pallet shed was also started and I am hopeful it will turn out well. We are planning on putting one of the free windows we picked up in the south wall of the shed. This building will serve as a makeshift bathroom and storage for materials for projects. After we get the walls up and the roof on, we are planning to cob the outside. Should be fun!
The beginning of the pallet shed.
That wall is almost done.

And since the shade structure is about done, no time was lost on beginning the trench for the Earthbag Cistern project. We should have metal roof on the shade structure this weekend, which means...we can catch rain! So, the Earthbag Cistern project is underway. Richard plans on having folks come out on Saturdays to help out and learn the skills of Earthbag building.

Digging the Earthbag cistern trench.

Also on our fun filled fourth of July, the kids found a new "bug" on our land. "Is this bug okay Mom?" No, definitely not okay.

Scorpion crawling
Didn't know New Mexico had scorpions. This high? At 7500 feet? Scary. This is the first scorpion I have ever seen. Welcome to the desert!

Inside Taos Mesa Brewing Co.
We also had a fun filled previous two weeks. We attended the opening of Taos Mesa Brewing, which was awkward because we didn't know a single person there, but the building was very cool. They used many recycled materials in the construction of this wonderful space. Should be a great place to have live music.  They even have a labyrinth in front, and I may have to go back when there isn't a crowd or kids to chase after and try it again. Another road to the inner self.

Quonset hut style building. Taos Mesa Brewing Co.
labyrinth at Taos Meas Brewing Co
My son, climbing into the dome/greenhouse.
We also attended a Thrive Taos meeting at a member's house, which was more fun than I expected to have. We brought dirt/compost in our trailer from a ranch another member is living on, and with other Thrive members, we began construction of a greenhouse inside of a small geodesic dome. It was a potluck with great food and awesome company, and I can't wait to do it again...Richard called off work so we could go to this one and take our out of town volunteers to meet some of the locals.

Bo, teaching the kids some archery.
We also attended a barbeque out on the mesa at our friend and fellow Earthbagger, Susan's bus. Another piece of the local Taos scene. Gotta love it.  If you open yourself to the experiences, life is never dull, especially in the wonderful, wacky world that is Taos.

On a side note, and also a very important part of the past two hometown of Colorado Springs was in danger of burning in the Waldo Canyon Fire. Very bad. 346 houses lost on the westside of town. Friends and family were evacuated, but thankfully no one close to me was hurt or lost their home. Unfortunately, many families did lose their homes, and my heart goes out to them. So, while I was running about in my desert, mountain town, I was spending every free moment monitoring the fire and checking in with my daughter and mother and friends who were way to close to the fire for comfort. The West is burning. The Waldo Canyon Fire is 90% contained as I write this, but numerous other fires are still burning in the west, including in NM. The temperatures are above normal, setting new records. We are in the beginnings of a new world environment...welcome to global warming. Are we going to be able to make it through this? As I cried over the mountains in my hometown burning, I thought...we aren't ready for this yet. So many people are still unaware, in denial and completely unprepared for the changes that are coming.

At least here in Taos, we have found a community that practices survival and is learning to become more sustainable. Everywhere, around the world, we must come together and teach each other what we know and how to get by, as the world becomes more chaotic and frightening. We can still turn this thing around...if we believe we can. 100 monkeys. Get on the path to enlightenment...find your inner self, connect with the Universe and be the change.

1 comment:

  1. Man... you're making me want to move out there! Please keep up the posts. Very inspirational, and very motivational!
    What's land going for in your area?