Small House Design Ideas: 10 Simple Passive Solar Tips

Be on top of your tiny house building game with these ten tips for passive solar tiny house design!

These top ten passive solar design tips will give you a good starting point in designing your own tiny house by using the sun to your advantage for both heating and cooling your home. Often these techniques are low-tech, energy efficient and environmentally responsible.

(Many of the houses mentioned in this article are located at Dancing Rabbit Eco-village. If you want to see them first hand, consider coming for a visit. You’ll be able to talk to several green builders, check out the houses they live in, and learn a lot about sustainable living in the process.) Continue reading

The Adventure of Wisteria Lodge

Dan Durica models hardcore sustainability by converting other people’s trash into his own eco treasure.

When Dan first moved to Dancing Rabbit Eco-village, he didn’t have a place to call his own. He did, however, have big dreams for the world of sustainable agriculture. He planted a vineyard so that he could found an eco-winery. He used his expertise to enhance the ravaged soil surrounding the community, so that future residents could one day grow their own food. He devoted his time to teaching others about sustainable living, and became one of the most respected teachers in organic farming methodology in the area. Continue reading

The Hermitage

Hassan and DanielleGuest Post by Collin Vickers

Hassan Hall, natural builder and self-styled woodsmith, combines permaculture principles with an ancient, artisanal approach in his ecologically sustainable homestead: the Hermitage.

Tucked away on the wild margins of Dancing Rabbit Eco-Village  amidst a riot of herbs and flowers, the Hermitage is a much beloved home and sanctuary for Hassan and his partner Danielle, a shamanic practitioner, while they prepare to have children and pursue their vision of right-living using the model of ecological sustainability. It is a testament to the potential of natural building technology, made entirely of recycled, upcycled and locally harvested materials. Continue reading

Kyle’s Gnome Dome

dome exterior

Guest Post by Collin Vickers

Kyle Yoder, self-taught builder extraordinaire, uses science and ingenuity to turn others’ trash into his own treasure.

Kyle’s visionary experiment, the Gnome Dome, is arguably the most unique abode at Dancing Rabbit Eco-village. Orphaned by its prior owner and condemned to destruction due to a gnarly mold infestation, the Dome was nearly demolished several years ago, but Kyle recognized great potential in the structure and convinced the village to let him solve its problems. Now it stands as a testament to how, with a little tender loving care, even the most humble of experimental tiny houses can evolve to become a beautiful marriage of mad science and aesthetic brilliance. Continue reading

The Foxhole a Cob and Timber Tiny Home

Winter Foxhole

Guest Post by Collin Vickers

Modern day pioneers, Mae Ferber and Benjamin Brownlow, have set out to rediscover the lost arts of Old West homesteading in the information age, with a touch of high technology and fervent passion for ecological sustainability.

Their adventures in eco-living take place in the Foxhole, a living roof structure made mostly of natural materials on the outskirts of Dancing Rabbit Eco-village in the rolling hills of northeast Missouri. They have built it almost entirely without the use of fossil fuels, relying on their own hands and the help of a few friends and summer interns, with the exception of the foundation, which was excavated by machinery.

Ben, Mae and Althea

The house rests on a gravel bed foundation and the north wall, along with a spacious root cellar, has been dug into the crest of a ridge that merges with the soil heaped onto their roof, which has been planted with local flora that blend seamlessly with the surrounding landscape. Continue reading