sustainable architecture

THE NOT-SO-HOT PASSIVE-SOLAR GREENHOUSE

GUEST POST BY DOUG HANSMANN This month marks the first plantings in the greenhouse Denise and I built on the south wall of our barn.  The first, we hope, of many productive growing seasons. The concrete footings for the greenhouse were poured in the summer of 2007 when the barn […]

WATERING THE GREENHOUSE WITH A SHOVEL

Our greenhouse growing boxes are almost complete.  Seed is ordered, and temperatures of soil and air are getting into the growing range.  In our completely passive solar greenhouse, the thermometer 8 inches below the soil surface never registered freezing once all winter long. The inside air temperature once got down […]

OCA: ONE TINY PIECE OF OUR BIG PUZZLE

This week UW-Madison ethnobotanist Eve Emshwiller taught me to care deeply about oca, a funky little tuber that I will probably never see. Botany seems like a conflicted field to me.  Some researchers are working to develop “perfect” varieties of plants that can be grown in vast monocultures, while other […]

Conversational Prairie 101

Because our little barn is a timber frame structure covered with slabs of oak weathering to a silvery patina, I like to think it looks like it belongs where it is.  (See my post, Building our Timberframe Barn here .  But when it was being built, the site looked like […]

Why Whole Trees?

GUEST POST BY DELLA HANSMANN If you’ve been following this blog for a while, you’ve seen the term “whole trees” a number of times.  Doug and Denise have decided that they want their new home to be a whole tree house.  They won’t be living in the air, however.  Here’s […]