Are we there yet? Are we any closer to seeing that dome materialize in the form of a central headquarters for creating a campsite ecovillage? Are we one step closer to having a critical mass of individuals growing healthy food sustainably at a waterfront location in southern Alberta? Of making year-round off grid living a possibility? Are we closer to making this space available at affordable rates for the GeoStudios network of friends and friends of friends willing to advance the cause? I’m happy to say, YES!
Ever go camping and after it’s all done feel like ‘this is the way life should be all the time’? And then settle back into your 9-5 and look forward to next year when you can return to that idyllic life close to nature...for another two weeks?
In this day and age when environmental stress is becoming a reality how is it we struggle to bridge that disparity between where we’re at and where we want to be?
Well the first GeoStudios campsite dome will be in place in the next few days and here’s what it means.
The vision is to create a type of “campground ecovillage” that endeavors to create gardening spaces and sustainable off-grid living. Many would say camping is already sustainable. That is, at least more sustainable than the energy consuming lifestyle we live in our 1000+ sq ft homes in the city. So why then not all the time?
My interest is in creating a year-round camping experience that aims to not only reduce our energy impact but also make space for more food independence (gardening), more connection with nature and more freedom from the grid(s). My friend and ally in this project also has a site at Good Spirit Acres and is like minded in creating and building a community of off-grid campers/seekers/environmentalists who seek to work towards greater independence and harmony with the planet. Several others have expressed an interest in participating at one level or another. I trust there are many more out there who resonate with this message. If you do, you're already part of the tribe.
We are looking forward to not only sharing creative projects but hosting events including but not limited to; drumming, hiking, composting, natural building and whatever else comes up that would be available to the community. If you’re interested and want to be kept in the loop then like this page to receive updates.
I wanted to preserve a wooden bench I’ve built for the Good Spirit Acres dome.
We know that regular pressure treated lumber is not the most eco-friendly option we have if we want to put wood outdoors and not rot in 5 years. Or so I thought. Then I ran across something called Eco Wood Treatment. It’s simple to use, you get a package of powder and mix it into a gallon of water. When applying it really is like just putting water onto your wood. Use a roller, brush, spray gun, sponge, anything. In fact the directions state you can even just submerge your wood in the product. Way easy! I got this package, which makes one gallon, at Windsor plywood for about 20 bucks.
Now to wait to see if it really is effective. Time will tell. One very interesting feature about this wood preservative is that it changes the colour of the wood to a kind of grey patina so that it appears as though it’s aged. Especially good if you’re aiming for that antique look. New meaning to 50 shades of grey!
Try this. Go to google and do a search for “door on geodesic dome” and then click images. You will see a hodge-podge of varying door types, shapes and styles that struggle with “the issue”. The issue is creating a passageway for a geodesic form using materials designed for rectilinear forms. (Rectilinear is not a medical term.)
Virtually all of our constructions are made with 90 degree angles. Sure the odd builder will incorporate a 45 degree angle here and there but for the most part we don’t stray from the norm. By the way, this is an excellent metaphor for the world we’ve created as opposed to the world we want to live in. The artificial versus the natural. The technological versus the artistic. But I digress.
After struggling with this for a very long time and seeing other designs by geodesic builders it is clear there is no pattern for geodesic dome doors that has been adopted across the board. University of YouTube cannot save us here.
But now I think I’ve found something doable. It incorporates a “roofette”, a small roof-like cover. When you put a door at the base of the dome, because of the shape of the dome as you move your measuring tape up, that distance increases. As the picture shows, by the time you get to the top of the door there is a significant gap! What it needs is a cover that covers that gap and merges the angles of the dome and the angles of the roofette. I thought my solution to be rather clever albeit not an easy one. The cutting has almost driven me around the bend. :0
The first geostudio in my backyard and on most of my literature includes a picture of that door with the roofette. The feedback on the doorway has been positive so it's going to stay. You'll see it again on the dome going to Good Spirit Acres.
I wrote in an earlier blog on how I was going for mid-January completion of the campsite dome. Well winter is pretty hard to complete an outdoor job and some of the work had to be redone. Ok no more excuses. Here is where we’re at.
It’s completely rain-proofed, door needs some elastomeric paint and I’m rounding up the parts for a solar powered vent fan setup.
Just got the skid base foundation in place last weekend. The red 4x4 across the front will be the doorway. The site looks better every time I go out there. A river next to a campsite is awesome! And the deer and horse droppings remind us wildlife -and not so wild life- are always nearby. I'm told a couple more horses (Appaloosas) are on the way. The arched tree in the background will be the 'gateway' to the river.
If you’re interested in booking a night or two best to reserve now! :)
Gilles Leclair is the founder of GeoStudios. Somewhat eccentric, fairly environmentalist, politically aware, he believes the world should have more off-grid communities... many more.