San Francisco Bay Area, California 94301

There is something for everyone to get excited about on this tour day, ?cuz we?ll see everything from permitted load-bearing straw bale construction to front yard edible landscaping!

This lovely day begins near downtown Cotati at Jenny Blaker and Neil Hancock?s backyard creation. In need of workspace and storage for their tools and bicycles, and inspired by naturally built structures, they built a 300 sq. ft load-bearing straw bale building. To share the goodness and skills, over 25 volunteers learned the art of straw bale building and applying stucco and lime wall plasters. This lovely building is surrounded by gardens that grow food, medicine, herbs, berries, and fruit trees. All this abundance was a result of diverting excess water from their lawn into a small pond, which provided rich soil while creating habitat for water plants, birds, butterflies, dragonflies and even a turtle!

Our next stop is in Penngrove where we join New College staff and students working on a developing eco-village model, known as Project Home Free. This project is designed by architect, Steve Beck, Eco-Dwelling Coordinator at New College of California in Santa Rosa. We?ll have an opportunity to meet and hear from Steve as well as other New College staff who will share their expertise in natural building and earthen plasters. Learn more about simple living, energy self-reliance, and food growing. Tour this site every year with us to watch the eco-village grow and develop.

Right around the corner, we travel to Troy Silveira and Tina Wilder?s home, which is always a tour favorite. Spurred by high costs, a strong desire to be creative and sustainable, these two innovators extraordinaire have transformed their urban landscape. Being ardent recyclers, it was natural to use recycled materials for all construction and maintenance purposes. We?ll see reclaimed timber framing, a living roof, urbanite (broken concrete) & stone walls, outdoor shower, edible landscaping, light straw clay meditation hut, cob and much more!

Official Website: http://www.daily-acts.org/tours_06/tour_060604.htm

Added by raines on May 14, 2006

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