This might not look particularly lush, but the photo doesn’t do it justice. For this land it’s astonishingly so. I actually became disoriented at one point when I was walking from one side to the other, because the grass has grown so high and it makes the contours appear different. It’s benefitted from the fact that the rancher has rotated his cattle off the land – which has been the case for around a year now.

And this is the site of the teensy strawbale – there’ll be a shady patio between the house and the juniper:



I’m planning a 9×15-foot (o.d., approx.) load-bearing structure, precompressed with straps, with a concreteless cinder-bag foundation, a sleeping loft, and a tiny greenhouse attached to the south side. Stay tuned.


I’m back on the land, and so happy to be. The weather is warm in the afternoons (mid 90s) – I lie down on the floor in the yurpee, the only place that’s comfortable – but it’s cool in the mornings, windless and peaceful. Some afternoons cloud up, and sometimes there’s rain. In fact, it took me three days to drive in last week, because an inch of rain had fallen in one storm. It rained three days in a row. This is El Nino, and it’s made the whole region greener than I’ve ever seen it.

After spending a day at the Canelo Project (Bill & Athena Steen) earlier this summer, I’m super excited to build a teensy straw house – just one small room, with a loft – a solid shelter where I can work (edit and write), and space to unpack some of my things that have been stored under tarps for the past year. Building it will also give me practice with the skills of building with straw.

Meanwhile, I’ve been writing. Dark Mountain 8, which is soon to appear, will include a little essay I wrote about building the yurpee, and I’ve written a short profile of Peter Bigfoot as “pioneer urban farmer” that I’m told will appear in Greg Peterson/Urban Farm‘s August newsletter.

I’m also writing online, and intend to do more so as my internet access allows. I’m going to focus this here blog on the natural building and permaculture work that I do at Somewhere. I’m posting items of another nature, such as little essays and book reviews, at – Toze Weaver being the name I’ve chosen to write under. (Weaver is my mother’s maiden name; Toze is a longer story.)

I’m having some tech trouble here at the St. Johns Public Library (I think they’ve blocked Dropbox!), but will post pictures, and further details, when I log on at the end of the week.