Friday, April 17, 2015

garden, feral edition

So, while I was in Ethiopia and Tanzania conducting research toward the next book (or two), the garden kind of went feral. It's been very hot and dry in Miami, which has stressed a lot of the plants. The greens have bolted and the sweet potatoes have wilted, but a few plants really thrived. This pile of tomatoes came from a volunteer plant (possibly a Roma hybrid) that plunked itself in just the right location.

Wednesday, April 1, 2015

introducing mud hut

We’re pleased to announce that, today, we’ve begun transitioning from tin box to mud hut. Our new venture is rooted in a concern for timeless methods of construction, which utilize materials and building technologies that are inherently sustainable and carbon neutral. We plan to build a new home utilizing locally-sourced bamboo for the framework, with a fiber-reinforced mud infill (hence the new moniker, mud hut). We will adapt the traditional Miccosukee palm thatch roof to fit the house, though we’ll need to reinforce it a bit to support our photovoltaic panels.

Because Miami is poor in clay resources, the mud infill will be made largely from cow manure, mixed with straw for reinforcement. The dung needs to be mixed while wet, which can be a smelly job; luckily, we have two teenagers who have yet to start earning their keep. We expect resistance from the municipal building authorities, of course, who are famous for their irrationally anti-telluric biases.