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Thread: Please Help: sustainable living on my own land

  1. #1
    Join Date
    May 2009
    Colorado, Elevation: 7900/5003 feet

    Default Please Help: sustainable living on my own land

    Hey FMB, I have been searching the net for a few weeks now, and because of my lack of knowledge in the area of sustainable living I am trying to seek help on the forums. So...

    I have a 15+ acre of land in Colorado. There is a wide open area with few trees and partially against a hill. I am trying to figure out a way to construct an alternative housing complex that will hold up for a very long time and can easily retain heat for our winters. I also need to figure out a way to generate most of my electricity sustainably (because I still need to use my kiln and a fan for glass blowing). I would like to be able to comfortable house 4 people including myself if needed.

    So far the only way I have been told to work efficiently would be to: (very basic explanation) buy old steel shipping containers or something similar and get 'em as close to that hill as possible and then cover them with all the free dirt around Colorado with the exceptions of some windows for natural light, air movement, and doors.

    What I'm looking for:
    Possible alternative housing suggestions
    Growing in a greenhouse as one source of food
    building a greenhouse
    what to use as a sustainable electricity generator for higher watts+volts
    solar energy?
    wind energy?
    Any other useful/creative ideas you might have?
    Anything I might be forgetting?
    Various information Resources: online, books, organizations, teachers, -recent graduates looking for relatively easy short job
    Eventually: What car that is 4 wheel drive would be best to use a veggie oil system or another alternative fuel type in for max power and mileage, and how to build my own.

    Finally, I am well prepared to work on this for the next few years and then some with almost all the time I have not glassblowing or at random events. And my family and friends are helping me out with this as well. I know how to use most heavy machinery and I worked in construction for a bit (if anyone wants to get their hands dirty with a bit of free time let me know and you can help out a bit heh).
    M.A.N. Glass Art

    “Only that in you, which is me, can hear what I'm saying.” ~ Ram Dass
    "Creativity tends to feed more creativity. Experiencing other people's work makes a better artist." ~ Jonathan
    "If it smells like trout, get the hell out. If it smells like cologne, leave it alone. If it doesn't smell at all, give me a call!" ~ Jebub

    Friends don't let friends use BHO.

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Dec 2010


    Huge questions you ask which aren't easily answerable on forums. Here are some things to research:

    - permaculture
    - earthships
    - cob/strawbale/adobe construction
    - rain catching (illegal in some parts of CO)
    - perennial food gardens/edible forst gardens

    As for cars, nearly any diesel can be converted. How are your mechanical skills? If not great, I would go for what hte locals have. If they all have Fords, you should look in that direction. Too bad we don't get diesel toyotas in this country... A Greasel Tacoma would be awesome.

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