New Video of Lloyd Kahn's Homestead by Kirsten Dirksen, Fair Companies

Kirsten Dirksen
Photo by Nicolás Boullosa

Kirsten Dirksen is a filmmaker with Fair Companies, a bilingual media operation that she and her husband Nicolás Boullosa run out of Barcelona. Kirsten is a former TV producer for MTV and the Travel Channel who now focuses on “…community and access to tools on sustainable culture.” She has produced almost 600 videos, an amazing body of work when you consider that it’s the editing, not the shooting, that is so time-consuming. I don’t know how she does it.

We’ve had a bunch of people shoot film (OK, OK, video) around here and they generally take a long time to get set up, then follow a preconceived series of shots and questions.

Kirsten walked in the first time and within 5 minutes, was shooting. We were comfortable with her. She winged it, seeing what we were doing, following us around. On one of her visits, her two little long-haired girls explored the garden and chickens and Nicolás shot photos.

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One thing I love about this video is that she recognized what Lesley is doing in her life and with her garden, her art, and her attitude towards a home. Often that gets missed in people coming here to see me.

The last part of this cracked me up. Kirsten posted it earlier today.

Kristen’s commentary to the video from the article:

At 80 years old, Lloyd Kahn is an icon of alternative housing. In the seventies he was a poster child of the geodesic dome (he published Domebook One and Two and he and his dome home were featured in Life magazine).

He got his start in publishing when Stewart Brand made him the shelter editor for The Whole Earth Catalog. The book that put him on the map as a publisher was Shelter, an international survey of alternative housing that he continues to sell over 4 decades later.

Kahn’s enthusiasm for shelter extends to “building every place I’ve ever lived”, including his current home which started as a dome and is now a more traditional shelter capped by a 30-foot-tall hexagonal tower (the only remnant of the dome).

His home is only a small part of his half-acre homestead where he and his wife Lesley Creed believe in doing things for yourself, when possible. Besides tending the organic gardens (and dozens of free-range chickens), Creed is a natural dyer, quilter, sourdough bread-maker and believer in the “value of actually working, not just trying to figure out how not to work”.

On our visit to the homestead, Kahn showed us his wild-caught pigeons, his seaweed harvest, well-fermented sauerkraut, home-cured olives, oatmeal grinder and workshop (where he still keeps his father’s “nuts and bolts box”). We caught Creed baking her sourdough bread (from her kitchen-harvested starter) and drying “bread seed” poppies.

Years ago the couple were pushing the boundaries of self-sufficiency to include goats and harvests of wheat, but Kahn found his limits. “With self-sufficiency you never get there, you never become self-sufficient. I mean we tried back in the seventies. We had goats and chickens and bees and I was trying to raise grain. Pretty soon I realized that if I want to raise enough wheat for the bread for a year here, it’s better left to a specialist, like I can’t be my own dentist. So you do, it’s a direction, self-sufficiency: you do what you can do, as much of it as you can.”

Check through the other films at Fair Companies.

6 Responses to New Video of Lloyd Kahn's Homestead by Kirsten Dirksen, Fair Companies

  1. Anon says:

    wonderful. Thank you. Great to see more of the “homestead”.

  2. Shell says:

    That was so enjoyable to watch. I agree with the clothes line. Someday, it would be nice to follow with other things as well.:)

  3. Hayden says:

    Really enjoyed this , thanks for letting us into your home and gardens

  4. It was great hearing from both of you! I wish more information like this is out there! Thanks!

  5. C.C. says:

    a pleasure to see your all’s handiwork and abode, as well as to hear your gleanings.
    Thanks to the maker as well as the subjects!!!

  6. C.C. says:

    compelled to say more – even tho I am 20 yrs younger, you all feel like my generation and I am inspired by your ethics.

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