Monday, August 17, 2009

Dreams going up

It was pretty interesting to see several dreamers get their hands dirty to start Mariposa ecoVillage on Friday.

Linda Lloyd, the project manager, Larry Williamson and Gary Hames, of EarthCo Building Systems, and several volunteers were like a tribe with a mission. The sun and wind were typical Panhandle - strong. But the group got started laying columns of compressed earth like giant Lincoln logs to create the hospitality and marketing building for the development devoted to a different lifestyle.

It was messy work - sweat, dust, mud - and then it showered a couple of times just to goo things up. But everyone was smiling and joking, happy to be where they were.

Building the earthen structure is as primitive as any native hut of mud, but they cut the 18-inch-wide columns with electric chisels that work like jackhammers with blades. Then comes the mud, a slurry of water and dirt used to fill cracks, smooth seams and make one column stick to another.

Kind of a humble beginning for a big dream that could include live/work spaces, homes of compressed recycled plastic, car-free zones and people capturing rainwater and the sun's rays. Not far from the day's of half-dugouts in the Panhandle, but miles from today.

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