Greetings from Taos!
Well I’ve been lucky enough to be able to revisit Taos this year to get some more hands-on experience, see some old friends, visit with the Academy and try and organise for some workshops in Australia for 2013. I thought Id just give a quick summary of what happened and what I observed this time round.
Well Taos is in full swing in September. There’s builds going on in Estancia and Pataka in New Mexico and finishing the towers and EVE project, with the crew dispersed between them. The Fall Academy are split between working hard on the EVE project and a G2 built in the Greater World community where they are currently installing the solar hot water, solar and water systems. The new classrom in the EVE project seems to make for a more formal learning environment than previous venues and the work is at a pretty high level with the second level of can and bottle work on the front face of the EVE proving to be very challenging (especially as the winds picked up). The Crew have had a busy year with international builds in Czech and coming up in Guatemala and Argentina finishing off a number of different project in 2012. The vaulted dome model which we experimented with in Guatemala seems to be Mike R’s new favourite with a build for a doctor being finished in Vermont recently over the summer which demonstrated its ability to be adapted to a colder climate and with nice finishings.
As for me, this year I got to travel around in a borrowed truck and stay in all kinds of places around Taos. A few nights in a friends rented studio earthship in the Greater World which was pretty special. I also stayed in one of the pods attached to the EVE which seems atleast 10 years old and was toasty during the night. Stayed in a new permaculture goat farm in town also which gave me an insight into the variety of sustainable projects and interests there is in such a small town. I also visited with some of the Earthship crew out on the MESA in their half finished homes of assorted sustainable building techniques. It amazes me how they live out there in such a harsh and remote spot with not alot of water or amenities but with a really tight family network that works and lives and plays together, helping eachother out with cars, earthship related work, plastering, house sitting, dog minding, picking up kids etc. Its such a great and unusual place is Taos and the community an assorted bunch of blow-ins and stayers from all over America and the world (or as a friend says, full of the mercenaries, missionaries and misfits).
The other great thing to hit Taos since I was here a year ago is the Taos Mesa Brewing, a solar brewery right on the Mesa which has amzing local beers of all kinds, home style food and bands and kids and dog friendly, the best way to relax after a day hauling buckets of cement up a scaffold! Otherwise Taos is pretty much as I left it. Month in Month out the Hive takes in 10 interns who provide a multitude of assistance and there’s been 3 Academies since I was there, each having wildly different but yet pretty similar experiences working and living together iand elarning about sustainable building in a rough and ready atmosphere like only New Mexico can provide.
Hope you all can make it one day, it’s a special place.