One of the living structures at the Dacha is a canvas tent that is designed to withstand a real winter with snow flakes, snow cones, snowmen and women.
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Allow me to back up to mid April when some of us finally moved out to live at the Dacha. It wasn’t the easiest move since the interior of our home was still very warehouse-like: dusty, bare and full of tools. With a very minimal amount of energy and water, we soon had to get our priorities straight. The basics being: food, water and heat.
For a while, me and my sis literally camped out in front of the wood stove, our tents the only “clean” space to sleep in.
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The Dacha Project recreates The Gates at Central Park in an attempt to bring big city culture to the stix. You can see a visitor, Joe, enjoying the site and the magnificence.
Also we discovered that The Gates- luckily- serve a further function of marking where our footers will be dug. Thx Gates.
Also enjoy this photo of Gals Digging Footers, to prove that we don’t just make art installations but also dig footers. Thx Gals.
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If you check for the previous photo of the week you will see almost the same view, but some things have changed. For one the wing wall has been knocked out to make room for the addition. The berm, which is the earth piled up behind the wing wall, has been removed. The area next o the house has been leveled, and graveled. The back and side footers have been poured, and what we see Danila and Joe doing in the corner is stacking block. The pipes you see by Danila and Joe are for septic. They are currently working right by the bathroom. I will try to remember that one day when I’m brushing my teeth in that bathroom with some herby toothpaste or something else that makes brushing teeth more fun. Yey.
The foam on the ground is for insulation, and eventually the entire area will be covered with it.
The front footer has not been poured with the rest, b/c it will be poured with the slab (floor) itself to ensure extra strength. The foam on the side of the building is to insulate the wall where bermed earth used to fulfill that function.
More updates soon!
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After mulling for weeks about how to finish the ceiling on our straw bale cottage, we still couldn’t decide what to do. Should we go with drywall, the (cheap) material of choice for nearly everything built these days? Or tongue and groove wood, which would definitely look amazing, but would cost at least 4-5 times more.
As we wrestled back and forth, an opportunity fell into our lap. While hunting for a bathroom vanity at the Finger Lakes Reuse Center, we noticed that they had reclaimed barn boards for sale at a very reasonable price. Before long, we were driving back to the Dacha with a truckload of miscellaneous planks, most of them oak from 60-80 years ago. The boards were a dull gray on the outside, with a thick layer of dust and the occasional worm hole. They looked dingy, about what you’d expect for a plank that’s been in use inside a barn for the larger part of a century. You could still see deep saw marks from now-antiquated milling equipment.
So here we are again. The summer is giving in to the spring and we are finding ourselves with some sunshine on our backs and tools in our belts. We can shed the insulated jumpers and slip into something a little bit more comfortable like a straw hat.
We can take breaks outside. More
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Visitors beware when you step inside the Dacha Haus you’ll see colors and glowing orbs. While not quite the illumination of the divine, all hail the awesome sun as it catches the diffused color of all-dry-now wine bottles.
Yes, after seeing many pictures on homestead blogs and in straw bale building books, we have joined a movement of people using recycled wine bottle as passive energy light fixtures.
We’re just at the beginning stages of this, but these photos are cool! For more visit my flickr Dacha Project set.
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Before we forget how awesome the Dacha Haus Part One preformed in Winter ’10 here are a couple of photos of February. They are also to remind this summer’s building crew that as we build Dacha Haus Part Deux a winter in the Southern Tier is no joke, but that we got it on lock down!
All photos by Joe Fisher.