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    Half-Acre Homestead

Treating Allergies With Pills or Drops Instead of Shots

"A Stallergenes machine acts as a pollen vacuum cleaner. The pollen is used in the drug company’s immunotheraphy treatments."
Photo by Vincent Arbelet/Stallergenes

This photo caught my eye in yesterday's NYTimes.


Miguel Elliot's Cob Gingerbread House

"Cob gingerbread House
September, 2013

This House was built out of pallets filled with straw and then covered in cob. It has LED lights running through the stained glass."

Rowboat With Beautiful Lines

From Godfrey Stephens.
It's at Oak Bay, Victoria, BC, Canada

Podcast of My Talk at Commonweal on "The Half Acre Homestead"

From a few weeks ago. The 1st part is mostly about local homebuilding, gardening, and farming in our town in the '70s. Also domes, building advice, discussion of the '60s and the Whole Earth Catalog, tiny homes and more. The last part, where I show slides of maybe 100 tools, doesn't work for an audio broadcast, but we're working on a a slide show with brief voiceover that we'll post, probably in a few weeks.

Here is a list of the tools, with links to the manufacturers: http://www.shelterpub.com/_homestead/tools.html

UK Farmer Builds $250 Hobbit House With Used Materials

"It looks like something straight out of Middle Earth – and the story behind it is almost as fantastical.

This cottage cost just £150 to build, using only natural or reclaimed materials, and is now rented out for a fee of fresh milk and cream.
   And with no mains electricity, gas or water, the bills don’t come to much either.…"
More photos and a video here.
From David Wills

A Really Nice Dome

November 15, 2013

have you seen this?"

Ladia (Ladislav Blaha)

Insecticides in Marijuana

Organic growers have been saying this for years. One grower told me (somewhat facetiously) years ago, "People are smoking Paraquat." Now the scientists are catching up. Lesson here: know your grower.
"…On the pesticide issue, Raber said it's important to remember that smoking a marijuana bud that's been sprayed with chemicals is far different than eating a non-organic tomato. First and foremost, he said, there are no controls over what's sprayed on marijuana crops. And, while most people would rinse off a tomato before eating it, they can't wash a bud before putting it in their pipe. The body also has filters in place for things that are ingested, he said, but not for what's inhaled.
   'You don't have the first pass metabolism of the liver,” he said. “You don't have the lack of absorptivity going through the stomach or the gut lining. It's a very different equation when you're inhaling.'

Austin to Shelter Homeless in a Tiny House Village

"In Austin, Texas, a project to offer affordable housing to some 200 chronically homeless citizens is on the move. Community First! Village, which has been in the planning stages for nearly 10 years, is set to soon break ground on a 27-acre property sprinkled with tiny houses, mobile homes, teepees, refurbished RVs, a three-acre community garden, a chapel, a medical facility, a workshop, a bed and breakfast, and an Alamo Drafthouse outdoor movie theater.…"
Click here.

Food From the Sea

I'm the dunce fisherman of my family. My grandfather had a bait and tackle shop in San Francisco in the early 1900s (and made bamboo fishing rods), my dad was a fresh and salt water fisherman, my brother Bob has for years had a Double-ended Monterey, my brother Carl fished commercially for a while. And me -- I guess I just don't have the patience -- if they're not biting, I'm outta there.
 BUT I'm trying to increase my seafood intake. Saturday went on long beach walk with my buddy Jack Fulton, picked up some mussels (had for dinner last night). Jack shot this pic of me heading out to the mussels.
   Then last night I managed to catch 4 eels and now I'm gonna prepare them to be smoked tomorrow.
   It's, um,  possible I've said all this before -- ah, me.

Inspiration To Build in California From Shelter Books

"Hi Lloyd,
I'm writing for a couple of reasons.  First is to say thanks for all the inspiration and information.
   In 2007 a friend gave us a copy of Homework. Thus began our quest to find our own little piece of the earth to create our idealized "artist playground."  Sometimes we would lose faith and moan "Why can't it still be the 1970s so we could just go out and find an old farm that no one wants anymore. If only we had a time machine!" Along the way we picked up a copy of Shelter and then things really kicked in. Our senses of belief, freedom and possibility where bolstered and we plowed on through the seemingly endless array of realty jargon, money questions and what-the-hell-are-we-doing moments.

Shellstar Pavilion by Architect Andrew Kudless

"…The form emerged out of a digital form-finding process based on the classic techniques developed by Antonio Guadi and Frei Otto, among others. Using Grasshopper and the physics engine Kangaroo, the form self-organizes into the catenary-like thrust surfaces that are aligned with the structural vectors and allow for minimal structural depths.…"
Click here.