The Shelter Blog has been inactive since May, 2019. Too much to do! From this point on, Lloyd’s Blog will have the buildings, vehicles, and home-related posts such as what has previously appeared here. Go to lloydkahn.com.

Gardening (13)

Alan Beckwith's Homestead

…Alan did everything himself: carpentry, plumbing, wiring (solar electricity and hydro), and developed his own water supply. He drives a tractor, maintains several miles of roads, makes beer and wine, and raises pigs and ducks. A lot of people have started homesteads since the 60’s, but seldom have they got as far along as this…

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Living Off the Grid in Paradise



Warrick Mitchell lives deep in one of the world’s most remote locations: Fiordland, New Zealand. His home in the country’s oldest national park is nestled in a vast wildness accessible only by boat or airplane, a four day’s walk from the nearest road. Life in isolation can be hard, but surrounded by breathtaking, pristine natural beauty, plentiful wildlife and a small but tight-knit community that is always willing to lend a hand, Mitchell would have it no other way.

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Island Earth GMO Documentary

Right now the islands of Hawaii are in a food fight of global consequence. Although Hawaii has a rich history as a self-sufficient agricultural society, Hawaiians now import 90% of their food. Hawaii is also ground zero for the world’s biotech companies, which capitalize on the tropical climate and lax environmental laws to test experimental GMO crops year-round.

Island Earth is a feature documentary depicting the struggles and triumphs of people fighting to take back their natural resources from corporations, while exploring what it will really take to “feed the world” through thought-provoking interviews with the world’s top biologists and farmers. By exposing the myth that industrial agriculture is the only way of producing food for our growing population, Island Earth shows how to take control of our food supply through local farming and native wisdoms…

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Black-and-White Photos of '60s Back-to-Land Communes in New Mexico

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No one captured the spirit and essence of the ’60s southwest American communes better than Irwin Klein. With a Leica, black and white film, and natural lighting, he created an authentic and artistic record of this unique and short-lived period of back-to-the-land ’60s idealism.

Poet Gary Snyder, in Earth House Hold, described the ’60s communards: “Men, women and children — all of whom together hoped to follow the timeless path of love and wisdom, in affectionate company with sky, wind, clouds, trees, waters, animals, and grasses — this is the drive.”

In this newly-published book, you can see the optimism, the earnestness, and yes, the impracticalities of these young, mostly urban people who left the cities for the harsh climate of the high desert of New Mexico. Irwin was a photographer who was obviously in tune with his subjects, and they with him, so you are getting an inside look at a period now lost in time, with these spare and insightful photos.

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Lloyd Kahn Talks Shelter in Kirkcaldy

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I have been looking forward to this for a while and it was not a disappointment! Lloyd Kahn is in the back of many self-builders’ cerebral toolboxes for his seminal works as Editor-in-Chief of Shelter Publications, California. His 1973 book Shelter is an incredibly detailed catalogue of building techniques through the ages, illustrated with the personal stories and evocative photos of small houses and cabins collected on his travels throughout the USA and Canada as well as Ireland and the UK…

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New Video of Lloyd Kahn's Homestead by Kirsten Dirksen, Fair Companies

Kirsten Dirksen
Photo by Nicolás Boullosa

Kirsten Dirksen is a filmmaker with Fair Companies, a bilingual media operation that she and her husband Nicolás Boullosa run out of Barcelona. Kirsten is a former TV producer for MTV and the Travel Channel who now focuses on “…community and access to tools on sustainable culture.” She has produced almost 600 videos, an amazing body of work when you consider that it’s the editing, not the shooting, that is so time-consuming. I don’t know how she does it.

We’ve had a bunch of people shoot film (OK, OK, video) around here and they generally take a long time to get set up, then follow a preconceived series of shots and questions.

Kirsten walked in the first time and within 5 minutes, was shooting. We were comfortable with her. She winged it, seeing what we were doing, following us around. On one of her visits, her two little long-haired girls explored the garden and chickens and Nicolás shot photos.

…[more on full post page]…

One thing I love about this video is that she recognized what Lesley is doing in her life and with her garden, her art, and her attitude towards a home. Often that gets missed in people coming here to see me.
Read More …

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Lloyd Kahn and His Greenhouse

Art Rogers Family Album, November 6, 2014 | The Point Reyes Light

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Lloyd Kahn and his greenhouse built from recycled windows and handmade bricks made from local clay. Photo by Art Rogers

Lloyd, who was born and raised in San Francisco, began building things in the late 1940s when, at age 12, he helped his father construct their family home in Colusa. After building a large timber home for himself from recycled materials in Big Sur in 1967, he became interested in domes and began his publishing career with a series of publications titled Dome Book 1 and Dome Book 2; he became the “Shelter” editor in 1969 for the Whole Earth Catalogue. He moved to Bolinas in 1971, built a dome, tore it down and replaced it with a stud-framed house and became a pioneer of owner-built simple structures using recycled materials. He has since published over 20 books on the subject, including  Shelter, and The Septic System Owners Manual, Builders of the Pacific Coast, and Tiny Homes: Simple Shelter.

He will be giving a slide presentation and book signing this Friday, November 7, 2014, 7:30 p.m., at the Point Reyes Presbyterian Church for his latest book about living in small structures, titled Tiny Homes on the Move: Wheels and Water.

For more information, visit www.pointreyesbooks.com.

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Logarithmic Spirals from the Garden

www.lloydkahn-ongoing.blogspot.com:2013:10:logarithmic-spirals-from-garden.htmlFor lunch today.

“…Romanesco broccoli resembles a cauliflower, but is of a light green colour … with the branched meristems making a logarithmic spiral. In this sense the broccoli’s shape approximates a natural fractal; each bud is composed of a series of smaller buds, all arranged in yet another logarithmic spiral. This self-similar pattern continues at several smaller levels. Read More …

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