Category Archives: Building Systems

Photo voltaic solar system

We’ll be using photo voltaic systems to generate the electricity we need to power our home.
a solar array mounted in a field.
Solar PV Array mounted in front of a bank of windows.

A photovoltaic system, also PV system or solar array, is an installation of several components, including solar panels to absorb and directly convert sunlight into electricity, a solar inverter to change the electrical current from DC to AC, as well as mounting, cabling and other electrical accessories to set-up a working system. Read more at:

Rocket Mass Heaters

April 2014 -Tony and I headed off to Coquille, Oregon to learn how to build a Rocket Mass Heater.  We have done the pre-reading, and we are full of questions, curious to find out if this simple system will be sufficient to heat the home we plan to build.

From the moment we arrived, and crossed over the small bridge from the parking lot to the school, the learning began…

Our hosts Ivanto Evans and Linda Smiley were warm and friendly – opening their home and their hearts to the handful of guests participating in the weekend workshop.  We were served up delicious, organic food – grown on site, along with large doses of experience and knowledge .  Our days were spending listening to Ivanto, Master Cob Builder and inventor of the Rocket Mass Heater sharing the history of cob building, rocket mass heaters and his passion for nature.

On the last day of the weekend, I woke early to join Ivanto and Linda on a educational stroll through part of the over 350 acres of watershed. The grandeur of the forest and the intelligence of the closed system that is Mother Nature moved me beyond words and re-affirmed for me that we are headed in the right direction – this journey back to the land.