Sunday 25, Feb 2018


Header - Social Media


Fermented Green Tomatoes


My polish Mimi always had a batch of fermented green tomatoes going on her kitchen counter.  Full of probiotics and bio available nutrition it’s a fast and easy thing to do while you wait for all those tomatoes to ripen in your garden.  





20 mins


20 mins


Sealing Natural Plasters

When sealing our walls we really wanted something breathable to allow any moisture or water vapor to pass through the walls.  We experimented with soaking nopal cactus that we had planted on the land for 2 days mixing this with clay and using this a paint/sealer.  We only used this for internal walls that would not directly get wet.  Nopal Cactus is also a delicious superfood that we LOVE!  We also used a silicone based sealer that leaves the walls natural looking and breathable.  On the exterior we used an acrylic sealer called 5X1 this is very watery and goes on thin.

Walls of Earth

With the slab finished the walls are going up and up.  We are doing a mix of 80% earth, 10% clay and 10% cement in our bags.  We did a number of tests on our soil and this mix came up the strongest.  It's interesting that in our soil tests that adding more cement (20%) actually made the dried material weaker.  So with cement in earth bags more does not always mean stronger and better.  We are going for a good stabilized earth mixture that is strong but will still provide good breathability for the walls.

Natural Insect Deterrent


Insect Ring


Living out int he jungle we are certainly surrounded by many many species of animal life.  We are committed to finding alternative ways to keep some species outside the house without the use of toxic chemicals.  


Natural Plasters

When it came time to plaster our home we knew we wanted a breathable earth plaster to cover our superadobe walls.  We did some experimentation with clay that we excavated from behind our house. Earth plasters are beautiful but not at strong as cement plasters for this reason it is important to consider your house design before chosing a natural plaster.  We designed our house to have large 1 to 1.5 meter eaves over every wall to ensure that the walls would no get hit directly from rain.  We also decided to use mortar which is a lime and cement mix to stabilze our earth.

Thermal Mass vs. Insulation in the Wet/Dry Tropics

At first we were hesitant to build a super adobe structure in the tropics.  Not only are there concerns for humidity and rainfall but with the summertime heat you don’t want to create an oven to live in.  In colder to moderate climates you use the thick earth walls of a super adobe structure as a thermal mass that collects heat during the day and then radiates it back into the house during the colder night hours.  You do this by exposing certain walls and windows to direct sunlight during the winter months and with proper placement of eaves.  

Back to the jungle

Atticus and I made it back to the jungle and have been soaking in being back with our Jess and the beauty that surrounds us.  I particularly love Atticus running out the door naked in the morning down to the job site to help Daddy and the workers dig, hammer, plaster and build.  The other day he was standing in the house and looking around and said “ So it looks like we need to pour a few more columns, then the beam, and then we’ll be ready for the roof.”  He is right on with that. As you can see the wall are going up and up.