Built From The Earth

Couple to build their first earthbag shelter in Rockvale, Colorado
Couple to build their first earthbag shelter in Rockvale, Colorado

It’s going to be just like an old fashioned barn raisin’ at the Green Desert Eco Farm in Rockvale.

But instead of using planks, hammers and nails, builders will use lots of feed bags, earth and barbed wire.

Richard Hubler and his wife, Kerry, are preparing to build their first earthbag shelter, and they invite anyone interested in the process to stop by and lend a hand.

Hubler first saw the idea in Mother Earth magazine a couple of years ago and decided it would make a practical, environmental friendly shelter for the family’s two llamas.

The adobe style walls are made with woven poly animal-feed bags filled with earth to make building blocks, similar to adobe blocks. The project will require about 400 bags.

After digging a trench, Hubler adds gravel then a layer of the bags filled with gravel. The remaining bags are filled with earth and stacked like bricks and tamped together to make a custom formed mortar-less earthen wall. Barbed wire placed between the layers of bags keeps them from sliding.

You can read the full article by Carie Canterbury at the
Canon City Daily Record

You can learn more from the One Little Farm blog.

7 thoughts on “Built From The Earth”

  1. Hi Owen,

    Thanks for the great info on earthbag building, the informative blog site and the traffic to my blog from all of this. You can use any of the photos I have posted or, I can e-mail some to you if you like.

  2. Hi Owen. I’ll just jump in here and let you know that Richard’s wife has three consecutive posts about this event at her blog: onelittlefarm.blogspot.com. I took photos too and will be posting them at my own blog in the near future.

    • Looks great. I’ll probably reuse one of those photos soon in my blog post unless I see a better one.

      Maybe you don’t know, but I lived in Pueblo about 20 years and know that area fairly well.

  3. Thanks Owen for posting the article.
    Our build went really well, just as easy as you make it seem with all the blogs and websites and instructables.
    The one thing that consistently amazed me was the ability to teach someone the basics, and have them be part of a “three-person team” within just a few minutes. And considering that many folks who came to help had zero prior building experience or exposure to earthbags, this was astonishing. This is definitely one of the simplest and most direct building methods to teach a “laborer”.
    We had loads of fun and the barn is coming along nicely. Working about 7 hours per day, rotating new people in each of the three days of the workshop, and running out of delivered dirt and digging more of our own, we still managed to get about 8 courses or 70% of the structure up.
    Now we just have to start work on the stucco to protect the bags, and figure out a roof.
    Thanks again for all the help and info in advance.
    Now I want to build more of these!


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