Alternative Homes

*This post was one of my most read posts of 2010. If you enjoy reading about off the grid living, voluntary simplicity and alternative homes and energy, you should be reading my other blog, “Three Blackbirds”. We bought 5 acres of beautiful land in Deming, NM in 2010 and will be sloooooowly developing it as we work toward building our retirement home (straw bale?) in around 3 years.

New Mexico is famous for it’s free-thinking people and that includes the homes we live in. Earthship homes are frequently seen, rammed earth homes, Tire Earth Homes, and there are quite a few illegally crafted homes built out where the permit people might not catch up to you, ever. Sustainable green buildings-I adore them and off-the-grid living is my dream way to live.

We were out looking at an EnviorDome home yesterday and I took some pictures so I thought I’d share and talk about adventurous things that I love. I am an adventurer. As long as it isn’t dangerous, just hard, I’m your girl. If you were to tell me that I’d have to live in Las Cruces, NM on a piece of land with no electricity and water that we’d have to truck in, an outhouse and a yurt as my home, I’d be all…”WHERE DO I SIGN UP AND WHEN CAN I GO?”

I’ve loved Mother Earth News magazine since way back in the 70’s when they first came out-you know, back when they actually were an alternative mind-blowing bunch of publishers. My Mom and Dad bought the first three years of the magazine and now I have them, bound, in my home in New Mexico where I spend weeks every year reading the whole mess of those magazines, front to back. Recently I just bought all of the magazines back issues on disk, so now I have something like 30 years of everything they’ve ever printed at my fingertips. It’s probably the most precious thing I own.

So let’s talk about alternative housing today. Our house in Albuquerque is just a normal, new, two story home. In about 2-5 years we’ll be selling it (When the market improves) and will be buying a plot of land in sunny Las Cruces, where we’ll live in a yurt for a couple of years while we build a straw bale house. Both are things that I CAN HARDLY WAIT FOR.


This is a straw bale house:

Straw bale houses are covered with a thick adobe mud and are more fireproof than a regular house. They require very little in the way of heating and cooling because they’re so highly insulated by the hay bales. They stay toasty warm in the winter and crisply cool even in the desert. Plus, they’re lovely.

I took some pictures of the inside of the 400 square foot EnvioDome yesterday because I was so impressed with how much they were able to pack into such a small temporary home.

This is a shot of the Livingroom area:

My pretty Mama and pretty husband and the front door/window area:

Kitchen area with storage pantry to back-leading in to a quite spacious bathroom with shower

Heated by a pellet stove: (but as in all yurts, small cabins, it’s actually too much heat and you end up having to leave the door open!)

The queen sized bed is perched on a platform over the kitchen:

I know that a lot of people just want a nice big house and that’s great. I love living small and I love doing things with my own hands. I’ve loved baking my own bread, making my own soap from actual lye, making my own butter years ago, sewing by hand, all sorts of crazy pioneer stuff. My biggest sense of unfairness in the universe is that I wasn’t born about 2 generations ago, which is where I think I really belong!

If you live in an alternative home, please drop me a line so I can be your new best friend.


About Fit Living Daily

I love healthy living! I've been married for 35 years and have 2 grown children, one in Albuquerque, NM and one in Washington state. We are currently living in Washington for my husband's job---until he FINALLY retires, but our house is in Albuquerque.
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3 Responses to Alternative Homes

  1. Thank you so much for sharing these photos. I had never even heard of such a thing! I love the bed above the kitchen – what an amazing use of space.

  2. I think I am going to move out west. I love the way of life you’ve chosen, living small sounds like a dream!

  3. The world is such a big, fun place! So much to see and experience 🙂

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