Inspiring Site Visit: Cordwood and More
Host Rick Nation at The Handmade House
Juniper logs with caliche chinking
On a beautiful sunny Saturday of January 20, about twenty of us were treated to a cordwood and more site visit in the Texas Hill Country. Hosted by craftsman/builder/designer/musician Rick Nation, the tour started at “The Handmade House”, a log and cordwood structure that Rick designed and built over 30 years ago. We saw how well our local juniper wood has endured, and how solid that little building was after decades of exposure to several decades of Texas weather. We witnessed first hand how cement mortar “repairs” by the uninformed do not compare to the original traditional caliche/lime/bermuda hay chinking between logs that Rick used originally.
Entry to deer-proof garden
The occupants of this cordwood chicken coop have their own rainwater harvesting system
Reclaimed wood abounds in this green home
Our second stop was the off-grid homestead of Heather Carter and Marc Gitterle. Not only did we get to see the delightful “Coop de Ville” cordwood chicken coop that Rick built, but we were treated to a tour of the gardens, house, creek and grounds. Heather, who acted as the general contractor for the building of their home, described the many sustainable features of their comfortable and beautiful home, including the generous use of reclaimed wood and metal. And Doctor Mark proudly showed off the long-lived battery system that stores the energy generated by their solar array.
It was wonderful to see what one motivated couple has done to create a homestead geared towards minimizing the human impact on the environment. But Heather and Marc don’t stop there. They are both active in spreading the word on sustainable living, with emphasis on their community – the Wimberley, Texas area. Heather’s educational/informational/ inspirational website, www.greenguru.org, is a great resource for local parents and people of all types, anywhere; dealing with topics from green building and green cleaning to toxins in kid’s toys and lead paint on reclaimed wood.
Heather is also the president of The Bountiful Sprout, a web-based, local food co-op that links farmers and producers directly to customers, allowing members to shop from home.
Marc, an emergency room physician, recently launched a website called Natural Health Informer, which presents some great information on living healthful, fit, long lives.
For more information on Rick Nations and his work, visit our “Guest Presenters” page.