In April, 2009, shortly before embarking on a month-long permaculture aid project in India, I designed a passive solar residence to serve as my home base. This first step on the road to true sustainability was just the start of a journey that has continued with the help of sheer stubbornness.
When most people build a house, they generally hire contractors to do the work. In my case, apart from a professional setting up the foundation’s form boards and pouring the concrete, and roofers installing the steel roof, the house has been entirely owner-built. There have been some most welcome volunteers out about a dozen times; but otherwise, it has been one die-hard DIYer and his long-suffering spouse putting muscle to wood and building a home.
Despite completion date setbacks and a thumbnail tragically whacked off in an accident, the process has been a joyous one. There is light at the end of the tunnel and we will finally get to move in and start concentrating on developing market gardens, earthworks, orchards and coppice cants. We are on our way to a sustainable future, and if we can do it, I believe anyone can!