A 24'x18' straw bale lodge

Started by Drew, December 09, 2007, 06:58:50 PM

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Oh, for sure there's a book in that experience, maybe two or three, considering everything. I'd read it.


Hey Drew good to see you guys back.  I have been wondering how you guys were doing.  When the subject of straw bales came up a while back I thought of you guys and was going to look up your thread.  I wanted to try and direct this certain person to your thread.  I really liked the way you put that together.  Great use of materials and your time.  However things on the other topic sort of went south.  Nuff said there.

Not to get to far off topic but how are the trees going?
Proverbs 24:3-5 Through wisdom is an house builded; an by understanding it is established.  4 And by knowledge shall the chambers be filled with all precious and pleasant riches.  5 A wise man is strong; yea, a man of knowledge increaseth strength.


Wow.  Over a year since the last post, huh?  Well, we haven't been on vacation...

I just did our taxes and saw 44 trips to the farm for 2010.  We're killing the planet in exhaust fumes to build our organic farm.  There's a high irony content in our soil.

Anyway, here are some pictures from what we've done.  We just finished the interior painting last weekend, and I count that as a finishing milestone.  Making the guests use coasters does not.

Here's the east wall and where we have our morning coffee and tool sharpening jags.

Just to the right is what most people call the south wall, which hosts the kitchen and Hole Where the Solar Panel Wire Comes In.  Let me know if I get too technical for you.

This is the other side of the south wall, which hosts our redneck solar array.  Dan and I built those panels ourselves using cells from eBay, Lexan, plywood, masonite, a blocking diode, and deck paint to block the UV from the wood.  Each one puts our 60 watts.

Here's pour power station.  Aside from the trusty 20 and 60 amp hour portables we have a pair of Trojan T-105 6 volt batteries.  They are wired in series to give us 225 amp hours at 12 volts.

Continuing our tour we come to the south west corner just to prove we have it.

This is the boudoir area.  Dave and I built the queen size loft bed last year, and it works like a charm.  When Dave's not around we store stuff up there out of the way.

The place is not without amenities.  In addition to electricity and water at 35 psi (outside) we have music, a G3 internet connection, and wifi for the geeks who hang out here to get on the internet.  It is very cool to listen to Pandora.com while working.

There's a shower outside and a weather station to let us know when it's raining.  "Yep.  It's raining."  We have three hoop houses in the veggie rows to keep the deer and rabbits out and a total of 55 fruit trees in the ground now.  David is going to school up in Fairbanks, Alaska, but plans to spend the coming semester at Chico State and taking care of the farm.  While the trees will take more time to produce, we plan to build on last year's experience and produce tomatoes in saleable quantity this summer.

All in all life is good.  We can still do this even though I  am working full time(plus) again.  I was worried about that.  But now I can even do a work at home day or three from this place.


Nice to hear from you Drew.  Glad everything is working out OK.  Was worried that you might have got struck wearing your spandex and cowboy boots riding your bike. ;D


Spent the better part of today reading your whole thread beginning to end and I must say it was a great read. Glad to see some other people from the Bay on here, though your slice of heaven is more North East and I am straight North. Can't wait for your project to continue and watch your organic farm grow, literally.


looks great drew!  I should get you in touch with my mom up in Orland, she'd love to come out and see your place...you probably wouldn't be able to keep her from helping too!
just spent a few days building a website, and didn't know that it could be so physically taxing to sit and do nothing all day!


John, you know it!  But here's some advice:  Don't wear your spurs when you ride your bike.  They don't like the chain.

Pmichelsen, you're north of the Bay?  What part?  Almost anywhere out thaty way is too expensive to grow.  :)

Jens, she'd love our tomato crop this year!  Too bad the trees are just gearing up.

We're getting ready for the annual war with the wabbits and deer.  I bought a Scarecrow, which is an automatic sprinkler with an infrared sensor.  It's good to about 30 feet and will go off when the deer and the antelope play a little too close to my radishes.  Anyone have any experience with these?

It's starting to green up a bit out here now.  I'll get some pictures up.  And maybe some comedy of me usticking my truck.

2 wheel drive trucks.  Who thought of that?  Then again, 4 wheel drive just lets you get tuck out further...

glenn kangiser

Ahhhh yes... the sprinkler.  [idea]

Sassy and I bought one of those for here several years ago. We didn't have fence around the garden and the deer were dropping in whenever they wanted to eat vegetables, bushes and flowers at their leisure.

I saw the sprinkler and knew that was the answer to our problems.  No need for us to be around.  Deer get hungry... deer walk up... deer go to eat....sensor sees deer....turns on self contained sprinkler.... deer get scared...drop mouthful of whatever they are currently munching on.... run away nearly having a heart attack on the way out....truly an invention made in heaven....... [scared]

Reality..... [noidea'

Hook up sprinkler....

Go to town.....

Come back a few hours later.....

Garden is eaten.... [frus]

Car sets off sprinkler sensor....

Wakes up deer sleeping under sprinkler in the garden....

They run off with full bellies and a good after dinner nap in the refreshing mist of the sprinkler in the hot sun..... [waiting]

Actually sad but true...and only slightly embellished..... :(

"Always work from the general to the specific." J. Raabe

Glenn's Underground Cabin  http://countryplans.com/smf/index.php?topic=151.0

Please put your area in your sig line so we can assist with location specific answers.


if you're looking for goats, I think my mom has about 40 kids right now...just saying.
just spent a few days building a website, and didn't know that it could be so physically taxing to sit and do nothing all day!


If we were there full time I'd consider goats, Jen.  Even we can't use all that wild grass we grow.  Then again, I'd also like to keep some chickens for the eggs.  Pastrued eggs are a thing of culinary beauty.

Our neighbor inherited 8 or so llamas from another neighbor who lost his place in the downturn.  I really like those guys.  I hear they keep the coyotes away too.  Their manure is in beans (llama beans!), so it dries and spreads really well.  It even has more N, P, and K than steer and horse manure.  Yep, I am a gourmet now.   :)