Posts Tagged ‘sustainable living’

On April 10th the Dacha hosted it’s very first workshop led by Danila on inoculating logs with oyster mushrooms! The event proved what a group of 15-20 novice naturalists can accomplish with a little knowledge, 750 spore infested dowels, and several drill guns. Although many of the attendees were new to mushroom growing, almost thirty logs were successfully inoculated.

To maximize efficiency (and to let everyone try their hand at each aspect of the process) the students formed a loose assembly line: drilling holes on all sides of each log (the hardcore part), whack-a-moling the dowels into the holes (the fun, anger management, part), and painting the holes with wax to keep them moist (the messy part).

To witness this feet of fungal mastery, check out the little wooded patch at the dacha, where the logs are casually leaning in a patch of dappled sunlight preparing to pop little white oyster heads.


Striking a pose with your inoculated mushroom log is said to encourage mycelium growth.

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Before we forget how awesome the Dacha Haus Part One preformed in Winter ’10 here are a couple of photos of February.   They are also to remind this summer’s building crew that as we build  Dacha Haus Part Deux  a winter in the Southern Tier is no joke, but that we got it on lock down!


All photos by Joe Fisher.


The key to solar passive is full frontage windows facing the south. They are placed at such a height that the house gets direct sunlight in the winter and indirect sunlight in the summer. This technique works around the sun's busy but well-established and much preferred primordial travel schedule- that is low in the sky during winter and high as a pie in the summer. The placement and size of the windows optimizes for maximum comfort, while minimizing energy use.

Danila and I are in shock that the Common House is so warm (see below) when outside it is like 18 degrees F! The snowbank behind us is caused by snowmagedden falling off the hell roof and onto the front field. I'm just back from Mexico, and feeling like this is warm enuf but where's the coconut tree?


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Dear Friends, Family and Patrons of the The Dacha Project’s Blog,

It is hard to believe that spring is right around the corner, especially when it is five degrees outside as we’re writing this. Still, experience tells us that grasses will bloom and the birds will come home, and that not all is lost to the ruthless ravages of winter.

How about this one is it a fruit or nut tree?  I'm afraid its neither a fruit or nut. Moving Photo by Liz K, 2008

How about this one is it a fruit or nut tree? I'm afraid neither. Moving Photo by Liz K, 2008

Here, at the Dacha Project in downstate, NY there is nothing more we look forward to than the coming of the May sun. This spring, after the earth thaws, the Dacha Six will break ground on the building of a large common house. We know that we will be busy bees with the sustainable building and all, and that every last cent of our funds will go to buttoning up the building before winter comes again, but we hate to miss the earliest opportunity we have to plant an orchard of fruit and nut trees.

We’re writing you with a special request and offer: SPONSOR A FRUIT OR NUT TREE OF YOUR CHOICE FOR JUST $20 (or as much as you can contribute), AND REAP THE HARVEST….in only four to six years.


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Filmed in September 2008, edited some time later by Lily G, and myself. Please enjoy, “Frame by Frame” the framing of our straw bale cottage. This short film is a moving after school special about some folk who engage on a journey of building a stick frame only to find themselves doing just that.

Next to come: Winter Palace Pt 5- Stacking Straw Bricks and Goofing Around, a thrilling drama showing the real life context around the building of straw bale walls.

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