Pine Ridge home building project – apprentices needed!

March 23, 2011 by Koreen  
Filed under Grads in Action, Pine Ridge Grads

Shannon Freed, graduate of our Pine Ridge PDC did not waste any time applying her permaculture knowledge. Last year, she held a 10 week apprenticeship at Pine Ridge which resulted in a beautiful cob home being built for a Lakota on the reservation (sustainablehomesteaddesigns.org)

312This year, she wants to repeat that feat, this time building a 30X30 foot pallet home for another family in need of better shelter.  Pro-builder David Reed will be overseeing the project (www.newjurabuilding.info). This is a wonderful opportunity to learn natural building techniques from a top professional while building a home for someone who really needs one.  And also to experience life on the Pine Ridge Oglala-Lakota reservation.   Please let your friends know about this event, it is one not to miss! Shannon runs a great apprenticeship (we checked it out personally last year) and it is for a very worthy cause. This type of building could work well on the rez, and it is badly needed in a place where many people live in really poorly insulated mobile homes and federal housing.

http://nbnetwork.org/events/active/pine-ridge-oglala-sioux-reservation-pallet-house-build/

New Jura Natural Building in collaboration with Sustainable Homestead Designs is proud to announce another Pine Ridge Project, the last Pine Ridge Project was led by Coenraad Rogmans of House Alive and a beautiful cob/strawbale home was built, on this build we are going to build a 30′x30′ pallet house!!

Pallets are a huge waste material in the US and abroad, their use as design structures has exploded among the “green” and architectural communities.

Our goal is to show the practicality of pallets as more than a design and incorporate them into a real living structure!!

Other groups have taken to building these very inexpensive homes in areas such as Mexico and South America and have put together some very beautiful homes.

We will be building this home on the Oglala-Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation, an area where homelessness, violence, alcholism and abject poverty is extremly high!!

From WikiPedia:

“The Oglala Lakota or Oglala Sioux (pronounced [oɡəˈlala], meaning “to scatter one’s own” in Lakota language) live in the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota bordering Nebraska and 50 miles east of Wyoming, the second-largest Indian reservation in the United States. The reservation has broadly three parts, pine covered hills and ridges, grassy plains and a desert area. The Oglala are one of seven Lakota sub-tribes, and they are federally recognized as the Oglala Sioux Tribe of the Pine Ridge Reservation.”

I will be offering an 8 person apprenticeship on this build where I will take you through the complete build, foundation to finished home and teach you how to build your own.

More information will be available on our website http://newjurabuilding.info/

Haiti update

January 26, 2010 by Koreen  
Filed under Sustainable solutions in Haiti

haiti kidsWe now have two low tech water specialists (from naturehealingnature.org) and three sanitation experts on the ground in Haiti. They came from Texas, Utah, Austria and Portugal and flew out of planes leaving from NY and LA, provided by Church of Scientology Volunteer Ministers (disaster first responders, who chartered planes to send volunteer ministers, medical personnel and water and sanitation experts to Haiti).  The sanitation experts took enough materials with them to build a demonstration sustainable latrine which will service 1000 people per day.  The human waste will be safely and securely composted and will eventually become fertilizer for food and fuel crops.    The water experts specialize in filtering water with found materials, like sand, plastic bottles, etc.  They’ve done this in villages in Senegal, Peru and other countries and are very resourceful.  We haven’t heard from them yet but we will update again as soon as we do. Your donations helped make this occur – thank you!

Twelve more permaculturists are interested in traveling to Haiti as soon as another plane becomes available.    We’ve also been contacted by a couple of midwives who would like to go as well as other medical personnel.  Some of our permaculturists also have medical training – they are very much needed there.  The city of Jacmel was wiped out 80% and they badly need sanitiation, water, and medical treatment there.

We are currently in negotiations to send equipment on several possible boats leaving from Florida for Haiti over the next 3-4 weeks. We’d like to stock the boats with equipment to build more compost latrines, water catchment systems, seeds for crops, and even possibly earthmoving equipment to create swale systems in badly eroded farmland.  Hundreds of thousands of people are leaving Port Au Prince to return to the country.  This is a good thing, because they can become self-sufficient via farming in the country (which is how things used to be), but because farmland has been strip mined and otherwise abused, it is essential that permaculture techniques such as keyline and swale systems be implemented, if reforestation and rehabilitation of farmland is to be successful.

Eventually, the people of Haiti will want to rebuild, and we hope they will use more sustainable building techniques, like quincha mejorada homes in Central and South America, which have withstood earthquakes well in Chile. These houses are made mainly from bamboo and earth, things that are readily available or could grow very quickly in Haiti (bamboo can grow up to 24 inches per day in some cases).

Quincha mejorada:

http://www.solucionespracticas.org.pe/publicaciones/pdf/CONSTRUYAMOSCONQUINCHAMEJORADA.pdf

Bamboo in Haiti:

http://www.oreworld.org/bamboo.htm

We are creating a number of partnerships with organizations already working in Haiti and have contacted an official in the Haitian government and briefed him on what we are doing.  Our long term plan is to provide education via already existing organizations that will assist in sustainable rebuilding efforts.

We are now partnering with non-profit Permaculture Guild in New Mexico so your donations will be tax deductible.  All donations are going directly to getting people on the ground in Haiti, we are all volunteering our time to make this happen.  More info soon!

Cory