About Us

Good Bye, City Life

If you had told us in 2005 that five years hence we’d be living the simple life in the mountains of Montana in a house we built ourselves, I’m sure we would have all had a good laugh together at the absurdity of it and then gone out for a Café Americano afterward. Never-the-less, miracles do happen, and after living 20 odd years in large cities and abroad, we have settled in to what we hope will be our home for a long long time.

These Four Hands and Eight Eyes

A casual poll was taken on the day of our first building project on the homestead, and we discovered that between the two of us we had the following building experience: a lidless box, approximately, 1′ x 1′ x 1′, built in the 7th grade. Some topics are best left untouched, especially on the first day of building.

One short year later, we have built a 20′ garden hoop house, an 8′ x 12′ slant-roof storage shed, and a three-room Earthbag dome domicile. We have installed a well pump, started and maintained a garden, installed a wood-stove, and survived our first Montana winter. We have made it this far without any classes or courses or previous experience and with only the internet; our wits, four hands and bespectacled eyes; and God’s boundless determination to see us through.

Which is to say, if we can do all this, then, and we mean this sincerely, any one can.

In these pages we hope to chronicle our successes and unanticipated outcomes so that others can learn from and enjoy our adventures and mishaps in much the same way as our neighbors have — from a distance. Enjoy and please leave us a comment or two.

9 thoughts on “About Us

  1. I just wanted to let you know that I recently stumbled upon your blog, and absolutely love it. I hope that you continue to post updates regularly! My wife and I are very interested in moving off-grid, and have recently started looked into earthbags – your site has given us some great information! – Andrew

  2. Hello! My name is Ally Siegel and I work with the National Geographic Channel. I cam across your blog while doing research about living off grid in Montana. If you have a moment I would love to speak with you. I look forward to hearing from you. Thanks!

    Email: AlexandraNsiegel@gmail.com
    Phone: 818.521.6376

  3. I am endlessly fascinated by your house. Do you have any additional photos or comments to add to what you have provided? Where did you get the scoria? What problems did you encounter that you hadn’t anticipated? Do you think you keep warm because of its insulation value, or because it is a relatively small space? Inquiring minds want to know! Thanks!

    • Hi doglover1918… In hindsight… if we had to do it all over again with earthbag building… we’d go square, not round. We got our scoria from a company in Helena, who got it from a company in Wyoming. We had never built anything before so everything was unexpected. But we worked through it. The house stays warm because it is well insulated, and small. You can only take so many photos of sandbags… and once we complete the plastering… we’ll add more pix. Thanks for visiting and good luck.

  4. hello! what you have going is great! in fact, my wife and I are embarking on our own adventure very similar to yours, are you available to talk a little more in detail about the building process and your inspiration for the whole thing?

    thanks!

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