Skip to main content

A Little More Straw Bale Reading for the Nightstand

At the same time that I was talking with Toby about the building of Square One, I was also speaking with Kyle Holzheuter, a PhD student at Nihon Daigaku researching straw bale in Japan. Since meeting Kyle at Toby and Maiko's this past summer, he has very kindly shared his time and thoughts with me about straw bale in general as well as offered pointers on its construction.

Kyle also offered a recommended reading list, which as Toby mentioned in an email reflects Kyle's perspective as a builder. Some titles appear in Toby's list, too, which only serves perhaps to recommend them more strongly. Check out Kyle's blog for more information and to see what straw bale adventures he is currently having, and don't forget to see how the final coat of plaster is going up at Square One, too!

*Denotes cross-listed titles.

*Design of Straw Bale Buildings: The State of the Art by Bruce King, 2006.

Building with Straw by Gernot Minke, 2001.

Building with Straw Bale: A Practical Guide for the UK and Ireland by Barbara Jones, 2010. (Revised and updated, paperback.)

More Straw Bale Building: A Complete Guide to Designing and Building with Straw by Chris Magwood and Peter Mack, 2005.

Serious Straw Bale: A Home Construction Guide for All Climates by Paul Lacinski and Michael Bergeron, 2000.

*The Straw Bale House by Bill and Athena Steen and David Bainbridge, 1994.

Small Strawbale: Natural Homes, Projects and Designs by Bill and Athena Steen and Wayne Bingham, 2005.

*Strawbale Home Plans by Wayne Bingham and Colleen Smith, 2007.

The Hand Sculpted House: A Practical and Philosophical Guide to Building a Cob Cottage by Ianto Evans, Michael G. Smith, and Deanne Bednar, 2002.

A Pattern Language: Towns, Building, Construction by Christopher Alexander, Sara Ishikawa, and Murray Silverstein, 1977.


Popular posts from this blog

Finding Heirloom Seeds in Japan

Drying pods of heirloom Hutterite Soup Beans. Since moving to Japan eight years ago, one of my greatest challenges as a farmer-gardener has been to find heirloom or open-pollinated seeds. The majority of seeds available are not GMO (genetically modified organisms) as Japan, at this point, doesn't accept this material. Most seeds, though, are nearly all F1 varieties. Heirloom and F1 Varieties In plant breeding, F1 is the name given to the first generation of a cross between two true breeding parents. For example, if I decide to cross an Amish Paste Tomato with another heirloom variety tomato such as Emmy, in hopes of getting a gold paste tomato, the resulting generation of fruit is F1. In order to get that tomato of my culinary dreams, I'll need to choose members of that first generation that are headed in a direction I like - early ripening, medium-sized fruit, good taste - and save their seeds. I'll plant them and repeat the process again and again over time unti

Satoimo: One of Japan's Favorite Slimy Things

Satoimo in all their hairy glory. This post first appeared in slightly different form on Garden to Table as part of the 2012  Blogathon . The website has since moved on to the ether, but the post is still a good one. After all, people here are still eating satoimo on a daily basis, and many others are just seeing these little potato-like objects for the first time. Enjoy! Satoimo is one of Japan's odder vegetables. Under it's rough, slightly furry skin is white flesh that is a little bit slimy even raw, and with a gentle nutty flavor.* Baked, grilled, steamed with dashi, or deep-fried satoimo stands well on its own or paired up with other vegetables and meats in a wide variety of soups and stews . (The leaves are also edible.) Satoimo stores well, and like any root crop worth the effort, stocks are just running low on this household favorite as the farmers in my area of Tokyo get ready to put a new crop in the ground in May. I cannot say I was a fan of this l

Goma Ai Shingiku - Sesame and Chrysanthemum Greens

Last week I had the pleasure of helping some friends work in their parents garden not too far away. Tucked behind the house, the garden sits on a former house lot. When it came up for sale about five years ago, my friend's father jumped at the chance. Open land in Tokyo can be hard to find and expensive, but for a retired professional looking for a little spot to till in the city it was an opportunity to good to pass up. Now, it is a garden to envy. As we came through the gate rose, lily, and peony blooms greeted us with great shouts of color while rows of vegetables stood tidily at attention on the sunny center stage. Small fruit trees along with one of the biggest sansho trees I've seen yet stood quietly here and there. Near waist-high sweet corn, bushy young potato plants, cherry tomatoes, eggplants, and beans were preparing their summer fruits, while a handful of still quite luscious looking winter vegetables like komatsuna, mizuna, and kabu held one last ro