Welcome to the Shelter Blog

How does this differ from other blogs and websites on the subject of homes and shelter? It’s not all recycled web content. Much of what appears below is original material — feedback from people who have been inspired to build homes from our books over the past 40 years. You’ll see it first here.

Real Estate Guy Trashes Tiny Houses

An article written by Trey Richards disparaging tiny houses appeared yesterday in Housingwire. Turns out Trey is a real estate editor and that Housingwire was founded by Richard Bitner, who was in the thick of high-risk loans in 2008. At the top of Housingwire are two headlines for articles on the Mortgage Banking Association.

Screen shot 2014-10-21 at 6.56.21 AMwww.housingwire.com/… (Check out the hip subtitle.)

A bunch of people responded, as did I: Read More …

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The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener

Country faire posterIn the mid-70s, I took a break from publishing, and we tried to make a go of it with small-scale organic farming. But first of all, we didn’t have enough land and secondly, people just wouldn’t pay for organic food in those days. We were getting a dollar a dozen for eggs, a dollar a quart for goat’s milk, and a dollar a pound for honey. We sold stuff at the local farmers market: Lesley’s English muffins for 25 cents, my fresh apple juice for two dollars per half-gallon. Even in those years, we couldn’t make it with those prices.

I loved the work. Learning all the things that had been dropped by my parents’ generation. Balancing soil, water, and sun to produce food with no chemicals and no insecticides. Composting, planting, harvesting, managing chickens, milking goats, restoring depleted soil the biodynamic way. There were four or five other couples in our town that were doing the same thing. It was all fascinating, and gratifying.

The other day, Mike W. sent me a copy of The Maine Organic Farmer & Gardener, and it reminded me of those much simpler days. Read More …

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New CDFA Pesticide Mandate Threatens Public Safety and Organic Farming

Organic Farm - No PesticidesThis is serious, folks. The California Dept. of Food and Agriculture is trying to push through a bill where the State has the permanent authority to spray pesticides anywhere, anytime, without warning — even on organic farms — which would invalidate their certification.

It also would allow them to further expand the program without public notice or input. This will be death to organic farming, which is something that many in Big Ag have wanted for a long time.

The public comment period ends this Friday, October 31. Please read, share, and comment at http://bit.ly/pest-peir-comments.

Stop CDFA’s Plan for Unlimited Future Pesticide Spraying

The California Department of Food & Agriculture (CDFA) Draft Statewide Pest Programmatic Environmental Impact Report (Pest PEIR) authorizes the state to spray pesticides anywhere, any time, for any pest, into the infinite future. If the Pest PEIR is approved, there will be nothing that we can do to stop state pesticide spraying in our communities. Read More …

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Off-the-Grid Shipping Container Tiny Home

Container home

Interior shot“Brenda Kelly has been passionate about shipping container homes for as long as she can remember, and has been drawing designs for most of her life. Her passion and eye for great design can be seen throughout the fantastic features of this tiny home. From the outside, you can see she has used only 4 of the 6 meters of the shipping container, allowing her to keep it under 10 square meters (107 sq. ft.) and thus not requiring council consent…”

www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com:off-the-grid-container-house:4For more info on the home, go to www.livingbiginatinyhouse.com/…

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Tiny Homes as Big Answer for Solving Homeless Issues


www.al.com:news:huntsville:index.ssf:2014:10:tiny_homes_pitched_as_big_answ.html1“A tiny idea could be a big solution for helping Huntsville solve its homeless problem. During a Huntsville City Council work session on Wednesday, Nicki Beale, founder of Foundations for Tomorrow, gave a proposal for building small homes, less than 500 square feet, that could provide a safe, dry community for homeless people to replace tent cities, while also costing 68 percent less than building conventional housing shelters. A tiny home, usually built on a trailer, can be built for $5,000 to $10,000, she said, noting she has seen one tiny home community of 30 units built for $100,000. Foundations for Tomorrow will have a 3D model provided by Mind Gear ready next week and hopes to have its first tiny house built by Christmas…”

Check out the article at www.al.com/…

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The Tiny House Movement Is Growing


www.ralphdeeds.hubpages.com:hub:Tiny-House-Movement-Growing“As a result of the bursting of the housing bubble, subprime mortgage crisis, world recession and growing concern about our national and personal debts, America is downsizing its houses, cars and lifestyles… Tiny houses on a nice lot may have greater appeal to many than manufactured house trailers or double wides located in trailer parks. While they’re at it, Americans need to downsize themselves. I read recently that the U.S.A. ranks number one in obesity, ahead of Mexico and Argentina. Tiny houses can help if the owners use the extra space in their yards to grow their own healthful food…”

Check out the article at ralphdeeds.hubpages.com/hub/Tiny-House-Movement-Growing

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House Truck for English Artists

Trailer home

In Tiny Homes, we did two pages (pp. 190-191) on Rima Staines and her partner traveling all over the UK in a converted Bedford horse truck. This week we received the below email from Rima about her new project:

Dear Lloyd, I hope all is well and bubbling in the Shelter cauldron!

I loved the latest Tiny Homes book, and was glad to see some friends in there, great stuff!

I’m writing to let you know that after a few years living in a cottage, I am returning to life on wheels! This time my partner Tom and I are doing a big project launch to make HEDGESPOKEN – A Vehicle for the Imagination — a traveling off-grid theatre/home built on the back of a 1960s Bedford RL auxiliary fire-service truck. I think you’d love it and would be so grateful if you wouldn’t mind sharing the link to our crowdfunder with your followers — there’s a great little film — http://youtu.be/ET4k04joURM — describing our vision, and lots more at the crowdfunding page here: www.indiegogo.com/…

With thanks and warmest wishes across the seas,

Read More …

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