It’s spring, once more, it’s COVID 19 spring, forever to be known as the spring of 2020. This spring represents an awakening! A coming back to what is truly important. Family, close friends, the land. We are in the midst of a back to the land movement, yearning for and taking long hikes, learning how to be still and enjoying, if not appreciating, the great slowdown, people are diggin and digging gardens, and people are planting Trees.
The Earth, Mother Earth, the Big Blue Ball, the Miracle of the Universe that without our existence would not, well….exist, she too is diggin the great slowdown of 2020. For my Wife Terri and I, life, for now, has not been that different aside from not traveling to see kids and grand kids, and not having our dinner parties with close friends, our life is not so different. We have always lived a “slower life”. We have always tried to “stop and smell the roses”. As a result our life has been quite rosy. Knock on wood! After all, life, like perfection, is in the eye of the beholder, isn't it.
So this, now, brings me to my story. Today we are going to plant a few trees. Our Mother Earth Day if you will. Not just any Tree, but a heirloom Whitney crab tree from Tooley’s Trees. I have known Gordon Tooley my entire adult life. We were roommates and climbing partners at Colorado Mountain College in Leadville Co. Even back then Gordon was an advanced being, a real soul-man, he had that twinkle, that spark, and he still does. To me he is an inspiration. A self taught naturalist, Botanist, who's mission in life is to take care of our planet, to be a good steward of the land and he does this with his trees, his stone fruits, Tooley's Trees.
Gordon is a natural teacher, he can’t help it. His enthusiasm for his vocation bubbles out of him like a spring, a spring of knowledge, and his love of the planet is infectious... Inspirational. To walk with Gordon is to saunter with a walking encyclopedia. Whether in his orchard or a saunter in the woods he can’t help but teach you something. What that plant is, it’s common and Latin names, what it’s uses are, whether it’s medicinal or not.
The main lesson that we got from him this last meeting, the lesson that stuck, was that ½ of the world is Bare Ground and consequently is the leading cause of our climate warming. I’d never heard that before, but, if you think about it, it makes sense.
No Bare Ground, be a steward of the land, plant something, plant a tree.
when a home dreams green it dreams strawBale
Sustainable living for a Sustainable future, for when a home dreams green it dreams strawbale.
From the beginning it was our intention to build ecologically friendly, structurally sound, naturally efficient homes, using a minimum amount of embodied energy. These methods resulted in a home that is comfortable, artistic, and modern while minimizing the monthly and ever increasing utility bill. To that end I believe we succeeded.
After a decade and 8 homes, my goal now, is to promote the continuance of the strawbale paradigm. I wish to use this blog as a vehicle to perpetuate the ideals that we can reduce our 'footprint’. That we do have options that don’t include following the path of oil. That sometimes the best solutions are the simplest ones.
In the end, the big bad wolf, he huffed and he puffed and he huffed and he puffed and.........The 3 little pigies sat comfortably in their home of straw, completely unaware of the danger out there. The wolf contemplated, totally in awe. Perhaps it weren’t so bad to have a home made of straw.
©gregory vroom walter 11/29/11
I believe that the most comfortable home I have ever been in is a Strawbale home.
It is not my intention to teach everything there is to know about strawbale, for there are plenty of books already written that do this quite well, of which I will recommend. Rather my intention is to share the knowledge I have gained from designing and building eight homes that have all performed beyond expectation. I hope you find my posts and pages informative, enjoyable and helpful.