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Rain Tenaqiya
Rain Tenaqiya
Last updated:
4001 Parducci Rd, Ukiah, California, US
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Chris Lopez Elijah Cohn Emma Terry Joel Nisly LÁszlo Wein marc montti Mathieu Lefebvre
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Rain Tenaqiya

Project Type

Rural, Residential, Demonstration, Educational

Project Summary

Homestead demonstration site on marginal land emphasizing low inputs, with a carbon footprint around 10% of the US average.

Project Description

This project was started in March 2005 on raw grazing land, comprised of oak savannah and oak/madrone forest.  Construction of a strawbale/cob house and installation of a spring water distribution system were started simultaneously, with major tree planting and swaling the following Winter.  The house was built of mostly of on-site, local, and/or renewable or recyclable materials such as earth, straw, Douglas-fir poles, fly ash cement, and enamaled metal roof and was largely completeed in three years.  A pond with a surface area of about .4 acre was built in 2009, allowing for more extensive food forest understory plantings and a kitchen garden of about 4000 square feet.  A wattle-and-daub storage shed at the top of the project captures rain for domestic use in the house.  A cob greenhouse with attached wattle-and-daub outdoor kitchen and workshop are still in the works.

Water is provided by a small spring, the pond, and roof catchments.  It is stored in the pond, tanks, and soil through swales and mulching.

Food is provided through the kitchen garden, food forests, nut tree plantings, and wild oaks and bays.  The pond should produce fish and other foods in the near future.  Part of the kitchen garden is an unirrigated Winter grain and legume field.  One inch of horse manure was applied to the irrigated section of the kitchen garden the first year, with minimal quantities of rock dust, zinc sulfate, gypsum, and oyster shell amendments.  Compost sources include on-site straw and leaves, humunure, urine, forest soil, and worm castings.  80% of the food for one person is currently being grown on-site.

Energy is harvested or released through passive solar design, photovoltaics, microhydro generator, wood stove, solar water heater, solar oven, cob oven, rocket stove, solar dehydrators, and a propane cooking stove using only 10 gallons a year.

Transportation is provided by a GEM electric vehicle and an electric bicycle.

I have been able to reduce my carbon footprint to about 10% of the US average through a lifestyle based on this site.


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Rural Residential Demonstration Educational
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