Tag Archives: alternative housing

Episode-1131- Melanie Sorrentino on Tiny Houses

Melanie's Husband and their Tiny House

Melanie’s Husband and Their Tiny House

When Melanie Sorrentino and her husband was 26 & and 24 respectively they saved $24,000 in 18 months. This was while her husband was making $10 an hour and she was waitressing in Dallas. They went from spending 100% of our money to saving enough money to buy our tiny house and land.  Amazingly after all that they ended up having to help family with most of that savings.

Despite the set back, they pressed on.  They now own 4.7 acres in the Ozarks of Arkansas and live full time in their tine 150sqft home in the woods.  They are now establishing the homestead, adding livestock, creating a small business and live life in a truly free way.

Melanie joins us today to discuss  how they live comfortably in a tiny home with no plumbing and have transitioned from city live to life on a homestead.

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

Episode-1116- Gene “Evil Roy” Pearcey on Earth Sheltered Homes and Cowboy Action Shooting

A Performance Building Systems Earth Sheltered Home

A Performance Building Systems Earth Sheltered Home

After a heavy-hearted day yesterday this is a fun interview on two great subjects, one is a total bonus.

Gene Pearcey has built earth shelter homes for over 30 years.  His company, “Performance Building Systems, Inc” manufactures a patented structural system used to build earth shelter arches and domes used mainly for homes and some all out shelters.

They do this by producing steel structural systems that with concrete forms a shell rated in excess of 4000-psi. When sheltered with earth, the home benefits from the constancy of the earth’s temperature, greatly reducing heating and cooling expense. Additionally, the strength of the shell and the shelter provided by the earth combine to protect both the home and occupants from harm.

By designing for the advantages of thermal mass and passive solar, these homes benefit from energy that is clean, abundant, reliable, and free. In fact, their system received an Award of Energy Innovation from the Department of Energy. They have also been featured in Popular Science, U.S. News & World Report, Newsweek International, Entrepreneur, Better Homes and Gardens Building Ideas, and many other magazines and newspapers.

In his other life under the name of Evil Roy, Gene is an Overall World and National Champion shooter in both Cowboy action and Wild Bunch shooting.  He has his name on pistols holsters, targets.  Gene is also a regular firearms expert on The Outdoor Channel’s “Gun Stories” hosted by Joe Mantegna best known for his roll on the Criminal Minds TV show.  He was also inducted into the SASS Hall of Fame in 2006.

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

 

Episode-1089- Jacob Nielson on Energy Efficient Housing Options

Jacob Nielson is a home energy consultant.  He helps builders and homeowners build more efficient and effective homes along with improving the efficiency of existing housing.

He also consults on designs of Net Zero homes.  Jacob has been a certified HERS rater for more than 6 years.  He also holds several other certifications including NAHB Green Verifier, BPI Building Performance Analyst, BPI Building Shell, and Texas Hero Home Energy Auditor.

Jacob is originally from Utah but is now living in Lindale Texas with his wife and 3 kids.  One of their goals is to establish a small permaculture farm in East Texas, a goal they are only about a year away from achieving.

Jacob blogs about his families efforts to live a sustainable life at ourprovidentlife.blogspot.com and they also run a Mason Bee Partner Program.

Jacob joins us today to discuss various energy efficient housing options such as SIPs, ICFs and other “green technologies”.  We begin with a discussion on energy efficiencies and the importance of an “energy audit”.  We discuss common and also very expensive mistakes that often fail to provide any real results and how to avoid them.  This show will help those planning new construction and living in older homes equally.

Resources for Today’s Show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

Episode-1065- Mark Kirkwood on Hybrid Earthships and Building Community

Construction Begins on a New Hybrid Earthship

Construction Begins on a New Hybrid Earthship

Mark Kirkwood is the cofounder of Biotecture Training and a self proclaimed life long survivalist.  He teaches aquaponics, earthship construction, sustainable living and survival through community development.

He is 36 years old and his past careers have included working as a banker, health insurance professional, pest control specialist and as a construction worker.

Mark is currently married with 3 children. He and his business partner have invested a year and a half and several tens of thousands of dollars to build a foundation for people to come and learn how to live free of “the systems of man”.

Mark joins us today to discuss earthships and how they are the perfect survival vehicle. We discuss Biotecture Trainings new hybrid earthship that is mixed with Monolithic dome technology and brings the price down significantly.  We also discuss the training they offer to teach people how to build these new earthships in conjunction with aquaponics and permaculture.

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

Episode-981- Lessons in Sustainable Living Japan’s Edo Period

An Edo Period Farm House

An Edo Period Farm House Photo Credit to acreutz via Flickr

While I was traveling to and from North Carolina for the recent self reliance expo I wasn’t laying down on the job. I was in fact doing more research for more shows, one such piece was a complete reading of the book, “Just Enough – Lessons in Living Green from Traditional Japan” by Azby Brown.

The book was a fascinating look at life in Japan during the Edo Period (1603-1868) which was largely a stable period at the end of what could best be described as Japan’s feudal era along with the end of their isolationist period.

The period was characterized by economic growth, strict social orders, isolationist foreign policies, an increase in both environmental protection and the creation and popular enjoyment of arts and culture.

Japanese society during this period was controlled by the Tokugawa shogunate and the country’s 300 regional Daimyo (like Dukes and Lords in Europe). It was officially established in Edo on March 24, 1603 by Tokugawa Ieyasu. The period came to an end with the Meiji Restoration on May 3, 1868 after the fall of Edo.

Included in the social structure were several classes of people.  They were basically,

  • Peasant Farmers of Varying Degrees
  • Peasant Towns People of Varying Degrees
  • Samurai also of Varying Degrees
  • Daimyo again the “Nobles”

With in these primary groups were many additional layers, for instance some farmers owned sizable lands, say 2.5 Hectares (about 6 acres), though most land owners in this class were more likely to own about 1-2 acres.  Some were more accurately tenet farmers, having to lease land or work the land of others.

Samurai also had many ranks, some would own very large tracts of land, though in the Edo period most had given up their country lands and moved to special areas of the large cities and towns.  A mid ranking Samurai would own about 990 square meters of land, (about a quarter of an acre) and on it have a house that would average about 99 square meters, (just over 1,000 square feet), this was considered an absolute luxury by many peasant towns people who often lived in one room apartments that were on average 12 x 16 feet and would house an entire family.

Today we examine many of the ways these people lived a 100% self sufficient lifestyle as a nation.  Remember during this period Japan was almost a 100% closed society, having little to no trade or interaction with any nation outside of their own borders.  Yet cities like Edo with populations over 1 million had little incidence of plague or rampant disease, very few if any people (even the poorest starved) and much of the pressured environment was restored and protected.

Join us today as we discuss….

  • Lessons from a Peasant Farmer
    • The production possible from 2-6 acres
    • In some places livestock are not sustainable
    • Forests must be preserved
    • Irrigation can be accomplished with 90%+ gravity
    • A dirt floor may not be a sign of poverty in some parts of a house
    • High taxes are nothing new (25-50% on farmers)
  • Lessons from Peasant Town’s People
    • What you need is far less then you think it is
    • Rebuild our distinctive neighborhood communities
    • Put human waste to good use
    • Fix things, if they are truly broken recycle them
    • Design with reuse, recycle and return to earth in mind
    • Design cities and towns with walking in mind
    • Create common areas
  • Lessons from mid ranking Samurai
    • A quarter of an acre can make one largely self sufficient
    • Develop local and even micro economies for stability
    • Embrace cottage industries
    • Build edible fish ponds in back yards
    • Value education, meditation and relaxation
    • Plant trees for beauty and for production
    • Design home that can be “reconfigured”
    • Understand how much the average person really has today
    • Create what you long for, don’t just dream of it

Resources for today’s show…

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.

Episode-859- Jack Dody on Off Grid Homesteading

Jack Dody of christianhomesteaders.org

Jack Dody of ChristianHomesteaders.org

Jack and Marilou Dody live on a homestead on the plains of Colorado, within sight of Pikes Peak. Jack has been designing and building “alternative” housing since the late sixties.

His workbook entitled Abundaculture gives the details of his homestead construction, including solar and wind power, a rainwater catch system, indoor garden, passive solar, and a composting toilet.

Jack runs workshops to train missionaries, homesteaders and homeschoolers on the knowledge he has gain in his years of actually living the life of a truly off grid homesteader.   His work has prepared many for trips to remote ares of the world on aid missions along with helping others realize their own dream of homestead life.

Jack joins Jack today to discuss…

  • The challenges of true off grid living
  • Using a sawdust toilet
  • Using gray water for irrigation
  • Using SIP containers in dry climates
  • The value of kids growing up on the homestead
  • How you can  make solar and wind affordable
  • Why most homesteaders need at least some off homestead income
  • Common mistakes of new homesteaders
  • Why homesteaders are generally the first to know about threats to liberty

Additional Resources for Today’s Show

Remember to comment, chime in and tell us your thoughts, this podcast is one man’s opinion, not a lecture or sermon. Also please enter our listener appreciation contest and help spread the word about our show. Also remember you can call in your questions and comments to 866-65-THINK and you might hear yourself on the air.