Russ-Stick Farm Tiny Houses

Russ and Sherry may be familiar to anyone who reads the farming magazine and blog, Grit. The Michigan couple are known for the Russ-Stick Ramblings column which was named after their 40 acre Russ-Stick Acres farm where they live with their Alaskan and Siberian sled dogs in a small cordwood house named the Wee House. The 300 square foot Wee House has been their home for several years, but after last season’s harsh winter is due for a makeover, which they will cover in their blog.

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The Wee House in winter

Along with the Wee House, Russ and Sherry have an outhouse called the Wee Wee House, a summer kitchen, a meditation house named the Trapper, a guest house named the Bear’s Den and a small pump house—all built by Russ. All the homes are heated by wood stoves and The Bear’s Den is available for rent during winter months for $45 per night.

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Russ, one of his goats and the Trapper house

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The Bear’s Den

Russ plans to extend the Wee House to include an underground portion and even some space for their chickens and rabbits, who live on the farm with the couple’s lambs, horses, Silver Fox rabbits, goats, cows and pigs. Russ-Stick Acres also produces maple syrup, firewood and Amish made products including jams, rugs, bird houses and quilts. Their Grit column cover everything from animal husbandry to country recipes.

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Photos courtesy of Russ-Stick Acres

By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Spanish Hórreos

Last week I made my first trip into Spain to visit friends and spend some time exploring the land of tapas, paella and mountain villages. While on a trip to the region of Asturias in the north part of the country, we made a game of calling out each hórreo we saw by the side of the road. It turns out that hundreds of these tiny historic structures, unique to the northern area of Spain and Portugal are surprisingly well preserved.

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A hórreo (pronounced almost like the black and white cookie) is a granary raised up on pillars that has been used since the 15th century for storing hay for feeding animals. Hórreos are made of either wood or stone and have ventilation slits to keep the hay dry in this rain-prone area. The pillars were topped by a large flat stone called a “muela” which prevents rodents from getting into the hay. Small doors and staircases to access hay were also built into the side of the buildings.

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Many homeowners in the Asturias region have been working to preserve and maintain the structures not only for farm materials and firewood, but to use for garages (cars are parked under the shelter), for storage and potentially for tiny houses like this hórreo for rent in Villa Bajo, Spain.

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Photos by Wikipedia, Esacademic, Airbnb and Christina Nellemann

 

 By Christina Nellemann for the [Tiny House Blog]

Steve’s Thailand Dome

Steve Areen, a world traveler who has been visiting remote locations around the world, decided to put down a few roots in northeast Thailand. These roots grew into one of the most beautiful dome homes you may ever see. This work of art (that only cost $9,000 to build) sits in the middle of a mango farm that belongs to Steve’s friend Hajjar Gibran.

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Hajjar had already been building dome homes at his retreat center on the farm and taught Steve how to build this cement block and clay brick home that uses local materials and lets in light and fresh air. Hajjar’s son, Lao, helped build the home with his masonry skills and the dome was completed in just over six weeks. Steve added his own details with the handmade front door, pond, upstairs hammock platform and the stonework and landscaping. Some of the most beautiful features of this home is the shower/greenhouse from local river stones and the natural bamboo sink faucet.

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The home’s large, round windows are screened against insects and act as curved seating areas, and when Steve heads off to travel again, he seals up the round windows with rat proof inserts. A handmade wooden staircase ascends to the roof where a steel rod and palm frond covered hammock platform offers fresh air and views, and screened skylights on the domes let in even more light. Continue reading