My thoughts on rebuilding

So I am not a country rebuilding guru or anything related to that. And I do not know the political ins and outs of Haiti and all of the nuances that go with the Haitian culture. Of Haiti I know Bercy the best, and kind of understand its nuances. I have given some thought to Haiti for 2 years now, before the earth quake ever hit. Researching and talking with my guys about how to help them and Bercy. And using things that I already use on our homestead.

Last summer I worked with Edens and Herode on researching earth bag homes. They were not very keen on this idea at first then became more excited. Though both were worried about what their fellow villagers would think. I was planning on helping them build one when I visited Haiti winter of 2010, but plans changed.

When I was in Bercy I visited Herode’s garden, I learned how very different their gardens are from our. I carried 20 lbs of seeds into Haiti on that trip along with instruction on the planting and use of these seeds. The seeds provided were Heirloom variety and I thought the guys about seed saving. They have successfully done this. We talked a lot about how to better set up the garden to accommodate the banana and papaya trees as well as tomatoes, peppers and other vegetables.

This summer we (my family & the guys) are going to build a natural food dehydrator, a reflector over and an earth oven. We might even make a small earth bag storage shed. This is all so that they guys can go home and make these things for themselves and their neighbors, helping them all become more self sufficient.

I strongly feel that teaching people sustainability and self sufficiency is of vital importance. I do not think we should try and move them into the electronic age in the way that we are here in the USA currently, but rather teach them how to be like American in the early years were people could do for themselves.

Isn’t this the perfect time to introduce wind farms and solar power to Haiti? There is a company in Georgia that is making foam insulation. There is a forever product to consider for Haiti. How about Yurts, I think they might be a good building substitute for concrete block buildings. Earth bags are perfect for Haiti, let’s introduce them.

Water, I do not have an answer for this yet. Maybe helping with the cost of bringing in large well drillers for around the country.

How about introducing mini breeds of cattle, that eat less feed and take up less space. Certainly working on animal husbandry skills is important. When I was visiting Herode and I talked about the other food sources for his pig, such as weeds from the garden that he was throwing away. 

 I would love to purchase land in Bercy and set up a place to teach people about these things and how they can better improve their own lives. Call me nuts but I would love to try!


Earth bag home in Haiti

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The Practical Yurt
The yurt is probably the most practical temporary dwelling available, being:
Portable, a nine foot yurt will fit in the back of the smallest car, and can be carried in a wheelbarrow. A sixteen footer will fit in an average car with the uni on a roof-rack.
Secure, the yurt can be fitted with a lockable wooden door. Entry cannot be gained even if the canvas is cut.
Weather proof, the yurt has proven itself in the harsh climate of central Asia for centuries.
Warm in winter, being circular, with a relatively low roof it is easy to heat. Insulating layers can be sandwiched between the frame and the cover.
Cool in summer, the sides can be rolled up, or removed to admit a cooling breeze. Hot air rises out through the open tono, and cool air is drawn in.
Inconspicuous, despite having ample headroom, the overall height of the structure is low, allowing it to be easily screened from unwanted attention.
Easy to erect, with a little practice the yurt can be erected or taken down in less than thirty minutes, even by one person.
Easy to move, if you have pitched your ger in the wrong place, you can, with the help of a few friends, pick up the entire yurt and move it without any need to take it down and re-erect it.
Environmentally friendly, coppicing of hazel, ash and willow, to provide poles is good for the tree and woodland wildlife. All timber is from the local community forest. The yurt is a low impact dwelling, causing no permanent damage to the land on which it is pitched. It can even be moved every few days to prevent the grass from being killed.
Long lasting, the yurt can stand outside for several years without harm, if used occasionally it should last indefinitely. In Mongolia the frame is expected to last a lifetime.
Fun!, for children and adults alike yurt camping is a real break from the usual holiday accommodation.


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