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Videos from The Natural Building Companion

The Natural Building Companion is a compendium of methods for earth-based construction ranging from straw bale to cob and applicable to a wide range of climates.

To put this encyclopedic book together, we partnered with Yestermorrow Design/Build School, fellow Vermonters from the Mad River valley. Authors Jacob Deva Racusin and Ace McArleton are frequent instructors at Yestermorrow, and also run New Frameworks Natural Building.

The book alone is packed with information on how to use traditional tools and low-technology materials to build energy-efficient and beautiful homes, but as an added bonus it also includes an instructional DVD that is cross-referenced with the text to help you learn from Racusin and McArleton’s examples as well.

Below you will find a handful of clips from the DVD to give you a sense of what it contains, and examples of the authors’ passion and skill at teaching these low-energy building techniques.

How to Evaluate Airtightness in a Natural Building Using a Blower Door Test – From Chapter 7

Timber Framing Techniques – From Chapter 13

How to Work with Straw Bales: Resizing, Reshaping, and Securing Bales – From Chapter 14

How to do a ‘Ribbon Test’ to Evaluate Site Soil for Natural Building – From Chapter 17

How to Make Paint from Milk Curds – From Chapter 20 


The Limits to Growth and Greece: Systemic or Financial Collapse?

Could it be that the ongoing Greek collapse is a symptom of the more general collapse that the Limits to Growth model generates for the first two decades of the 21st century? Author Ugo Bardi (Extracted: How the Quest for Mineral Wealth is Plundering the Planet) examines the correlation between what is unfolding between Greece […] Read More..

Permaculture Q&A: Mulching Options for Your Garden

As Permaculture Month continues, we are making our expert authors available to answer your burning permaculture questions. If you have a question to submit, fill out this form. This week, Lottie from Florida asked if there are other garden mulch options that are as effective as hay. Josh Trought, one of our soil building and garden management […] Read More..

Designing Your Own Solar Cooker & Dehydrator

In today’s world, nearly everything we use, from phones and computers to cars and kitchen appliances, requires energy derived from fossil fuels. Wouldn’t it be nice to offset some of that energy use by harnessing the renewable power of the sun? Josh Trought, founder of D Acres—an educational center in New Hampshire that researches, applies, […] Read More..

Building a Sustainable Community: The D Acres Model

If you were going to create a community-based homestead or farm from scratch, where would you start? What building materials would you use? What crops would you grow and what animals would you raise? How would you develop an organizational structure and connect with your community? And, how would you make sure all of this […] Read More..

A Man Apart: Remembering Bill Coperthwaite’s Radical Life

A Man Apart is the story—part family memoir and part biography—of Peter Forbes and Helen Whybrow’s longtime friendship with Bill Coperthwaite (A Handmade Life), whose unusual, and even radical, life and fierce ideals helped them examine and understand their own. Framed by Coperthwaite’s sudden death and brought alive through the month-long adventure of building with […] Read More..