The growth of solar power is explosive, and it’s partly a result of the falling cost of solar panels. Even though it’s becoming quite affordable, this is not the only reason why an increasing number of people are going for this option. There are other benefits as well, and if you continue reading, you will learn what some other advantages of solar energy are.
Health and environmental benefits
Solar energy benefits the environment more than you can imagine, and this is because it creates clean and renewable power from the sun. It is the reason why greenhouse gases around the globe are being reduced since we don’t use fossil fuels as much and it’s what shrinks the carbon footprint. The best thing is that even one home installing a solar energy system means having a measurable effect on the environment!
You might want to research various systems and make sure they meet your family’s needs. Getting a quality 5kw solar system is enough for most households and it should serve you well. Of course, be wary of deals that seem too good to be true. Make sure to find professional and reliable installers who use branded panels and other components. If you really want to be satisfied with the service, don’t hesitate to invest in it!
Increased home value
Adding solar panels can boost the value of your home. On average, solar panels are said to raise a home’s value by 4.1%. Many people nowadays are ready to invest in sustainable and eco-friendly features. This should come as no surprise since environmental awareness is on the rise.
30 percent deduction from your federal taxes
Those who own a solar energy system are eligible for the solar investment tax credit. Even if they don’t have enough tax liability to claim the entire credit in a year, they can rollover the remaining credits into future years for as long as the tax credit is in effect. You can claim the investment tax credit for solar once you file your yearly federal tax return.
Another irresistible reason to go solar is the fact that it creates more jobs, so you can help others this way. Solar energy is said to add jobs seventeen times faster than the overall economy. Only in America, in 2016, 260,077 people were employed in the field and many more in the rest of the world. This means that one in every 50 new jobs was in the solar industry.
Being above the roof, solar panels protect it from the harsh rays of the sun. They absorb the sunlight that would otherwise fall directly onto the roof. Thanks to a space between the panels and the roof, air can flow and keep space underneath the panels cool. We can also say that solar panels can act like a shade tree over the roof, and they keep it safe from falling branches and debris. In addition, they reduce the temperature inside the home by 35% or more. It is also a great protection against bad weather.
If you’ve never considered going solar before, maybe now you’ll change your mind. As you can see, there are many benefits of using solar energy. It’s not just a more affordable option, but it’s also good for the environment and health, roof protection, tax deduction, not to mention it’s a job creator. If you start thinking about trying it yourself, inform yourself well and invest in good and quality services you and your family will be satisfied with.
John P Basta is a landscape architect and horticulturalists based in Perth. Also, he is a
Some Followers have been wondering where we have been and what happened to our Blog Posts?
While I seriously wanted to start writing some serious Blog Posts about Homesteading, Life around our Homestead has been keeping us busy. I thought I would go ahead and share what we have been up to – What’s worked out — and— What hasn’t!
Back in Mid-February I was installing a Propane Heater in our Home and somehow – someway- I ended up pulling a muscle in my knee. I am still not sure what happened or what I did. Needless to say I ended up going through the X-Ray’s, MRI’s and subsequent Knee Surgery ( which I didn’t need) That’s another story for another day–
The Gardening Part —–
Soon after the healing began, my wife and I began our Gardening Adventure. We opted for the Cool idea of raised bed gardening and experimenting with what we could grow and not grow at our new homestead in Tennessee. We found vegetable plants galore at our local Produce stand and at the Mennonite Community a couple of hours away. We came home with several varieties of Pepper plants, Tomato Plants, Broccoli, Kale, Lettuces, along with a couple of Raspberry bushes.
She started from seed with Carrots, Arugula, and some other varieties which failed to produce much. It seems we may have planted too late as they mostly like the cold/cooler weather to survive.
We also enclosed the raised beds in a hand built enclosed area to thwart any intrusion by deer and other hungry creatures. It Seems to be working to keep them at bay with a nice supply of Tomatoes, lettuce, and we are waiting to see what the Broccoli does. Let’s keep our fingers crossed on those!
The Cooking Part—
While my wife has been doing alot of cooking with the Crockpot, a countertop convection oven and an — occasional — Charcoal in ground grilling, we still don’t have a stove yet. We are really waiting for the time to finish our cabinets and countertops in our kitchen before investing in a small electric range. We decided in the meantime to purchase a large liquid Propane gas grill which would provide us with many more options for cooking and baking.
Instead of investing that money in a grill and leaving it outside to the elements of nature we decided to build a covered deck to keep it- and us – out of those same elements.
We purchased most of the materials to build from our local Hardware and Lumber Supply store and added on to our existing front porch and cabin. In the near future we have a plan to add an extension to our front porch and screen that in as well. We also purchased the matching roofing metal from our friends at Rocky Top Metals near Spencer Tennessee. We plan to screen the grilling deck at the same time we build the extended front porch. If you happen to have some interest in building a deck like this stay tuned for my next Blog Post….I’ll be providing simple instructions to Build Your Own!
Our Next Project — We will finally install our ceiling inside our cabin – We have decided on an Industrial Vintage look and will share once it’s completed!
As always, Feel free to write us and ask a question — Or— Just leave a comment and tell us your experiences!
Everybody has a different goal when it comes to homesteading. Some people like the idea of being able to grow all their own food simply for the old-fashioned, idyllic nature of it all. Some people are trying to prepare for long-term self-sufficiency or guard against natural disasters or emergencies. Others just want to save a bit of money at the grocery store.
Personally, I like growing my own food because it is liberating. I like the idea of producing everything that I eat, and while things like vegetables and chicken eggs are easy to produce, fruits have always been my Achilles heel.
However, there are some fruits that thrive in most climates that can be grown with relatively little skill. Regardless of whether you are a newbie to the world of gardening or you have been doing it for decades, you should consider growing these ten fruits on your homestead this year.
Nothing quite compares to the crunch of a homegrown cantaloupe. These fruits are easy to grow and easy to preserve – but definitely will be hard to share! They have a short date to maturity, with many producing fruit in as little s sixty-five days. Many homesteaders have success when planting cantaloupes via succession planting, growing multiple crops so that they have a consistent harvest throughout the season.
Strawberries are an obvious choice on our list of the easiest fruits to grow. This is because they are incredibly versatile, enjoying success regardless of whether they are grown in hanging baskets, in the ground, or in containers.
They prefer well-drained soil and lots of sun. As your strawberries develop, remove any runners that appear. This will help encourage fresh growth and a greater volume of fruiting. We grow our strawberries in raised beds, which helps to combat weeds and maintain proper soil quality and structure.
Blueberries love acidic soil, and produce nutritious berries toward the end of summer. These fruits can be grown directly in the ground or in containers, but we recommend growing them right in the ground as a landscaping feature, as they’ll produce gorgeous, scented flowers in the spring.
When you select your blueberry bushes, only choose those that are self-pollinating. Otherwise, you will need more than one plant to produce fruit, which can be cumbersome to deal with.
Watermelons are so much fun to grow, particularly for small children who have a tendency to over water plants. You really can’t overdo it on water for these moisture-loving melons, and they are both delicious and nutritious.
Easy to grow in any garden, watermelon is hardy in zones 3 to 11. This includes a majority of the United States, and you can modify when and where you plant your watermelon to meet the ideal growing season length and conditions for your watermelons.
The raspberry is a homestead classic, growing well in areas that were once ravaged by fire. These opportunistic fruits grow well in acidic soils, and there are both summer and autumn-fruiting varieties. They prefer good drainage and ample sunshine, but can also thrive in the shade depending on the variety you select.
Grower’s tip – after you harvest your raspberries, remove any branches that once produced fruit. The ones that are left will provide you with next year’s fruit, and the plant won’t have to expend extra energy toward repairing old branches.
While some people claim to have success growing apples in containers, I personally find it easier just to care for apple trees when they are planted directly in the ground. Apples prefer well-drained soils and full-sun, and should be pruned every winter to simulate growth.
Keep in mind that if you already have apple trees on your property, they might not produce the kinds of apples you are used to eating from the grocery store. Wild apples are perfectly safe for consumption, but will have thicker outer skins and a more intense, bitter flavor. They are suitable for baking, but otherwise should just be left to your livestock.
There’s nothing quite like a pear to add a savory flavor to your dinners or desserts. There are multiple choices when it comes to growing these beauties, too. You can grow them like bushes from dwarfing root stock, or even grow them against a wall or lattice.
Some varieties of pears are self-pollinating, so you will only need one pear tree to be successful. However, raising more than one is definitely recommended, so that you’ll end up with tons of fruit. Peaches taste great when canned in syrup as well as when they are frozen, so there’s no reason not to plant tons so that you can have enough to snack on during the winter months, too.
Plum trees are super easy to grow, but are often overlooked by homesteaders. However, if you are considering growing fruit on your small farm, you should definitely consider growing plums. These don’t have the need for pollination, as most varieties are self-fertile, and will produce plenty of fruit throughout the middle to end of summer.
As you are growing your plum trees, make sure you keep the fruits at least two inches apart. Thinning the fruit will ensure that your fruits develop appropriately and also that you will have a good crop in the following year, too. Consider planting them against a wall or another structure to grow outward as a fan, and always make sure you plant plums in full sunlight.
Figs are sun-loving trees that provide a taste of the Mediterranean to any dish. They have a sweet, chewy flavor that make them ideally for including in salads or side dishes. They also take great on their own, and can be dehydrated and stored for long-term use.
Figs can be grown in containers to help restrict their roots, and this also allows you to overwinter them. This is particularly important if you live somewhere with harsh winters, where your fig trees might not be able to survive a rugged winter outdoors. You can add supplemental compost to ensure that all of the fig’s desired nutrients are being provided.
Many Thanks to Rebekah White for Submitting this Article!!
Rebekah Pierce is a writer for J&R Pierce Family Farm, and owns a small farm in upstate New York.
Have you ever thought about whether those garden vegetable plants and flowers are edible? I have! So i decided to find out which ones are good for you…..And, what exactly is Life Cycle Gardening? Here is a short explanation before we get started:
The life cycles of all the plants you choose for your garden play a large part in the garden’s overall design. A plant’s life cycle consists of the amount of time it takes for them to become mature enough to bloom, produce seed, and ultimately die. … Annuals: Annuals complete their life cycle in a single growing season. Perennials keep on growing each season…
What does this all mean you ask?
In simple terms when planting and growing your vegetables, flowers, or fruits you allow the life cycle of the plant to continue beyond its harvesting time. Allowing the plants to either bolt or flower beyond its normal harvesting time produces not only flowers, additional stems and seeds that are in many cases also edible. In my research I have found a few plants that are not only edible but good for you.
During the spring you may notice that your vegetable garden is full of color. Many of these vegetable plants send up a flowering stem sometimes called “bolting”. While many gardeners consider bolting to be the end of the line for their plants, its many times just the beginning for the life cycle gardener.
The concept behind life cycle gardening is that the point which we tend to harvest the fruits of our labor is just one stage in a plants life cycle. That stage isn’t the only one that produces good food or something else of value, such as flowers. Vegetable flowers may be the easiest way to transition into life cycle gardening. If the thought of leaving anything to bolt may send shivers up your spine, you can ease yourself into it by putting aside a few plants for flowering. When you start to see honeybees, bumblebees, and other pollinators visit your garden and those flowers you can be happy knowing that’s another part of life cycle gardening. If you happen to be one that sells to Farmers Markets, you may find that vegetable flowers can be harvested for sale.
What Flowers Can be Eaten?
While many vegetable flowers can be eaten, A favorite seems to be Cilantro blooms. If you only see the Cilantro plant that are normally harvested for their leaves, many people don’t recognize the plant when it grows into a three foot tall bush of small, white flowers. The flowers begin at ground level and grow on umbrels surrounded by tufts of feathery leaves, with each having its own bouquet. The flowers supposedly add a nice flavor to salads.
Yellow Onion flowers rise on long stalks in rows in your garden. Each stalk is topped by long lasting balls of white stars. Sprinkle a few onion flowers on any salad and you will end up with an oniony tasting surprise.
Vegetable Flower Buds:
Vegetable Flower Buds are almost always edible and delicious — think artichokes and broccoli. Bolting stems from lettuce , make a tender vegetable in their own right and flavorful. Those Buds that we tend to eat such as Broccoli are from cultivars selected for their mild taste. One you begin your life cycle gardening journey, you may move in the world of stronger flavors and rich character. If you try something and its stronger than you prefer, you can try blanching it in light salted water to lessen the flavor.
A Few Easy Vegetables to Get You Started With Life Cycle Gardening:
You can try a few to begin with or go all out and try them all! It’s a Great way to maximize your harvest.
Artichokes and Cardoons:
For many Life Cycle Gardeners, the Cardoon Flower Stalks ( above pictured) are said to be the glory of the vegetable garden. Actually, i’ve never heard of them until now! They have multi-branched stalks that rise above 6 feet. They are loved by bees and butterflies and have blue flowers that are said to glow in the late afternoon sun. Artichoke and Cardoon flowers can be picked for the kitchen or grown in long lasting florist crops. You can also leave the stalks to dry in place, and plant peas at their base the following year for a natural made trellis.
The underutilized portion of the artichoke and cardoon is the flower stalk. When its still flexible, the stalk just below the harvested chokes or the cardoon flowers, are really tender and delicious. You can also split mature artichoke stalks in half. The interior is called the pith. It has a slight smoky flavor and is good raw or parboiled and served with butter. The most common cardoon preparation is to make a gratin with the central rib of the blanched stems. A good secret is to wrap the stems with straw or newspaper several weeks before harvesting to blanch.
After harvesting the central artichoke bud, the plant will produce numerous smaller buds as side shoots. These smaller buds are said to be a delicacy. You should harvest them when they are no more than 2 to 3 inches tall. To prepare them, remove the outer leaves to reveal the lighter green leaves, then cut off the top third of the bud, slice thinly on the vertical cross section , and fry in hot olive oil until crisp. Throw a little salt on before serving!
Fava Beans ( Never heard of these – but interesting)
It is said that if you give Fava’s space they will tiller…That means they will put out many stems. For the Gardener this means that the Fava Beans ( above) will offer up tender axillary buds which are more deeply flavored that pea shoots – and more plentiful. One bed of fava beans will produce pounds of shoots.
Fava Bean pods are very edible whole and raw when they are very young. They can be cooked, pod and all, when the beans are halfway to maturity. However, when they mature they are best cooked when removed from the pod. They can be dried, and like dried peas and beans, can be rehydrated for use in soups and many dishes. After blooming, you can cut the plants back to a few inches above the ground. and they will often re-sprout to offer a second crop. These look like a great substitute for peas and beans!!!
If you plant Beets that you bought from the grocery store they will immediately start producing leaves., which you can harvest as a cut- and -come- again salad crop. Depending on your particular climate a beet plant may continue to produce for several years. Both beets and chard ( which by the way are both related) produce tender flower buds when they bolt. I’m sure in your experiences you have found that leaving plants alone and seeing what happens can yield some very happy surprises. If you happen to leave bolted beet stems to overwinter, the following spring will produce and lined with flowers of edible leaves that offer a great addition to salads.
While some have found that harvesting beet buds is okay, they also find that chard plants are more productive.
When growing Chard, many have found that the Chard Buds are great additions. You can grow chard simply for the flower spikes that grow off the main stalk as it bolts. Bolting Chard also takes up less room in the garden. These plants can grow up to 5 or 6 feet tall and may need to be staked.
Chard plants also produce dozens of stalks with edible buds. The best time to harvest is when the buds are tight and begin to show a little yellow. They are also said to be delicious anyway you cook them, but its recommended to parboil them with lightly salted water and then a little aromatic olive oil to top them off. Many also have been known to cook them in tomato sauce. The thick rib of the leaves can be separated from the leaves and cooked as well.
Collards and Kale
When a healthy Collard bolts it can expand to become a reasonable sized shrub. Some plants grow as tall as 6 feet high and just as wide. They produce alot of small , tasty leaves, but the stars of the bolting collards are in the sprouts, flowers, and young seed pods. ( Seen Below)
Collard seeds are the sweetest of the brassicas family and have beautiful flowers at the bolting stage. They also make great bee magnets for your garden. Picked tender they also make a great culinary delight like the string bean and can be boiled whole and served with butter. You can also fry them in hot olive oil, sprinkle with salt, and serve as a side dish. Don’t leave them too long as they can become very stringy. If you sell at a Farmers Market, collards have other options after the main leaf crop is of no value. A single plant can produce an enormous amount of stalks, and generous seed pods and sprouts.
Kale, a close relative of collards – which both are the varieties of Brassica oleracea, have yellow flowers and flavorful edible sprouts. It’s just as a productive producer as collards can be.
Cilantro and Coriander
If you happen to live in a hot climate during the summer months and hesitate to grow cilantro because it does have a knack for bolting, you have nothing to fear! You can grow it for those green seeds and exotic flowers.
These plants are traditionally harvested in two stages of its plant life cycle. The first stage is the leaf cycle, which gives you Cilantro, and the seed cycle which gives you Coriander…The leaves, green seeds, and roots can all be used as well. The roots are a little milder than the leaves and can be added to salads if you like. Green Coriander has a lemon flavor that mixes well with Chicken or seafood. The plant also has white to pink flowers, like dill and fennel, that are great to sell as cut flowers. Also the leaves growing around the flowers are aromatic and can be added to salads.
These hearty perennial bad boys, when bolting, can grow from a modest 12 to 18 inches to over 6 feet tall. The large plants can produce alot of edible buds with plenty to spare to blossom into delicate, light blue flowers. If you happen to leave some plants to go to full seed, you will have dozens of young plants the next spring. Its been found that in the Liguria region of Italy they parboil the buds and add them to crumbled sausage in a frying pan. They also dig up young roots during the spring and add them to salads. The young leaves always make for the best addition to salads while the matured leaves need parboiling. Chicory Coffee is also made with Chicory roots by just adding ground coffee with roasted chicory root.
We all know that lettuce prefers a colder climate to grow. Did you know that you can peel the stalks of boiling lettuce – the younger stalks are the best and before those buds emerge. You just may end up with something much like a cucumber. Even on a hot day which can trigger bolting, you may find the lettuce stalks to be a great treat. You can even show off a little of your marketing skills and bundle several stalks with some leaves left at the top to sell.
Onions and their relatives
If you want to try a different approach, plant some bulbing onions, including garlic, as a cut-and-come-again green. If you leave them alone to overwinter, bulbing onions have a tendency to divide and naturalize. Leeks produce bulbs at their base and leave these to grow in place to produce an expanding clump of thin leeks, or separate and transplant to start a standalone crop.
Typically, during the second year, all of your onions will have a cluster of long lasting small flowers from white, to pink, lavender. Again, if you happen to sell at Farmers Markets and it works with your production schedule, you can find a crop of onion or chive flowers more valuable than onion bulbs alone. By the way, a few onion flowers on any salad can add color and flavor if you are wanting to impress your guests.
While many people grow radishes for their roots, another idea is to allow your plants to flower. Radish flowers have four petals which can show beautiful shades of white, pink, and mauve. They are a host to the Sara Orangetip butterfly on the West Coast. Radishes normally grow into open flowering plants than can reach 18 inches or more in height. The Seed pods are also edible and can be harvested when they are tender. You can slice them into salads, cook whole, or pickle them.
And Finally, TOMATOES!
And everyone’s favorite, the Tomato! I sometimes enjoy a thick slice of tomato between two slices of bread with some Dukes Mayonnaise spread on it. But, dont forget that other parts of the tomato plant that are also edible.
Their is still that myth that you shouldn’t eat the leaves of the tomato plant. Contrary to that belief, they are, in fact, edible and contain the same compounds and aromatic flavors as its fruit. Just add a few fine chopped leaves to that homemade tomato sauce during the last few minutes of cooking or the general rule is two or three leaves per each pound of tomatoes.
Now that your gardening season is about to begin give these few tips a try without wasting the entire plant. Let us know your experiences with this tasty and edible alternative.. We would love to hear from you in the comments section.
Brantley County, Georgia and the Cities of Nahunta and Hoboken Entered into a 2016 Comprehensive Plan initiative to include Small Housing to address an Affordable Housing Issue within their county.
“Best Practices recommended for Brantley County and Hoboken and Nahunta: x Meet regularly with SGRC staff to discuss local priorities and projects and explore opportunities for assistance and coordination with regional efforts.
7. Housing Options Promote an adequate range of safe, affordable, inclusive, and resource efficient housing in the community. This may be achieved by encouraging development of a variety of housing types, sizes, costs, and densities in each neighborhood; promoting programs to provide housing for residents of all socioeconomic backgrounds, including affordable mortgage finance options; instituting programs to address homelessness issues in the community; or coordinating with local economic development programs to ensure availability of adequate workforce housing in the community. Best Practices recommended for Brantley County and Hoboken and Nahunta: x Consider creating an ordinance to allow cottage zoning to allow very small single family homes to fill the need for affordable housing, utilize vacant properties and keep cost down for construction and so eliminate the need for manufactured homes. x Provide education on home loan assistance to foster rehabilitation and revitalization. xDensity Districts: Identify and establish, by ordinance, districts of your community where higher density housing is appropriate and permitted, such as downtown and walkable neighborhoods near commercial districts.”
We are also aware that their are currently no restrictions on Container Homes anywhere in the County of Brantley. There is no requirement to place them on a permanent foundation, they must meet electrical and plumbing permit requirements, the permit is around $30.00 per 1,000 Square Feet of living space.
Eccotemp iE18, 18Kw Electric Indoor Tankless Water Heater
Ideal for a large apartment or townhome.
The Eccotemp iE18 18Kw Electric Tankless Water Heater can be used for up to two applications at once, with its compact design allowing for easy installation in any home. Rated at a 2.5 GPM flow rate, the iE18 can produce a constant and steady temperature from 86 to 140 F (30-60 C) that can be set on the front panel. This model requires a 240-volt electric service and has a max amp draw of 75 amps.
Along with the iE’s sleek and modern design, this energy efficient model consists of multiple heating elements to share the workload and extend the life of the heater also ensuring that you enjoy a steady stream of endless hot water for years to come. The iE series electric tankless water heaters are 96% efficient, saves water and can use up to 60% less electricity than conventional tank water heater, making it cost-effective and environmentally friendly.
Please Note: Failure to clean and descale your water heater quarterly can result in lime and sediment build up within the heater, which can void your warranty! We recommend using our Eccotemp EZ-Flush System Descaler Kit to ensure a clean, energy efficient, long lasting heater!
This model has been redesigned to activate at a lower flow rate of .8 GPM as well as updated self-diagnostics
The Eccotemp 45HI-LP Indoor Liquid Propane Tankless Water Heater is the largest indoor model of the Eccotemp tankless line. Rated at an impressive 6.8 GPM and 150,000 BTU per hour, the 45HI-LP can meet all the hot-water needs of a standard home or apartment with one or two bathrooms, as well as smaller commercial applications. The compact, wall mounted 45HI-LP is powered by liquid propane. With its fully automated control system, the Eccotemp 45HI-LP is the ideal choice for any standard sized home.
Digital display with simple controls and diagnostics
Energy Factor: 0.80
Energy rating: 82%
Maximum / Minimum gas rate: 19,800 – 150,000 BTUs
3/4” Water Inlet & Outlet
3/4” Gas Inlet
Eccotemp 45HI-LP Dimensions:
Weight approx. 38 lbs.
Shipping weight 39.7 lbs.
110 volt UL listed power cord
10-year warranty on heat exchanger
5-year warranty on parts
T&P Relief Valve
Gas Shut Off Valve
IMPORTANT NOTE: Not recommended for elevation above 3,000 ft. and cannot be used for HYDRONIC SYSTEM, RECIRCULATING, or FLOOR HEATING.
Please Note: Failure to clean and descale your water heater quarterly can result in lime and sediment build up within the heater, which can void your warranty! We recommend using our Eccotemp EZ-Flush System Descaler Kit to ensure a clean, energy efficient, long lasting heater! Click here for details.
During my research of topics to write about I have noticed many people discussing Hemp House Construction over conventional construction techniques. Many homesteaders obviously want something unique in where they live and what they want to live in. The question typically is this. How can I build my own little place to live in that’s more affordable, stable enough to be safe, and provide enough insulating value that i can handle the summer heat or the cold in the winter? They also want something that they can build with their own hands and use natural products from the earth instead of chemically treated lumber, Fiberglass insulation, and other products.
Let’s start by understanding what Hemp is and it’s many uses. Wikipedia has a great explanation of what is it and the many uses other than construction.
Hemp, or industrial hemp explanation can be found HERE
Hemp or Industrial Hemp has many uses such as foods, textiles, Plastics composites, paper, jewelry, shoes, ropes, animal beddings, weed control, water purification, and biofuels. While the hemp plant stems are used for fiber, the seeds are used for medicinal and food uses. Below is an example image of the Hemp stem fibers from the plant.
Using Hemp in Construction:
Hempcrete is a natural building material. It is breathable and has excellent thermal qualities in construction.
This is a Hempcrete fill used in the construction process.
Photo Credit: Alex Sparrow
Hempcrete or Hemplime is bio-composite material, a mixture of hemp hurds (shives) and lime (possibly including natural hydraulic lime sand, pozzolans) used as a material for construction and insulation. It is marketed under names like Hempcrete, Canobiote, Canosmose, and Isochanvre. Hempcrete is easier to work with than traditional lime mixes and acts as an insulator and moisture regulator. It lacks the brittleness of concrete and consequently does not need expansion joints.
Hempcrete has been used in France
since the early 1990’s to construct non-weight bearing insulating
infill walls, as hempcrete does not have the requisite strength for
constructing foundation and is instead supported by the frame. France continues to be an avid user of hempcrete; it is growing in popularity annually.
Like other plant products, hemp absorbs CO2 from the atmosphere as it grows, retaining the carbon and releasing the oxygen. Theoretically 165 kg of carbon (or 363 pounds) can be absorbed and locked up by 1 m3(or 264 Pounds) of hempcrete wall during manufacture. Keep in mind, like most things related to heating and air and insulation, it’s in BTU’s or British Thermal Units.
The typical compressive strength is around 1 MPa (or around 145 Pounds per square inch), around 1/20 that of residential grade concrete.
It is a low density material and resistant to crack under movement thus
making it highly suitable for use in earthquake-prone areas. Hempcrete
walls must be used together with a frame of another material that
supports the vertical load in building construction, as hempcrete’s density is 15% that of traditional concrete.
While it may be the desired choice over concrete products here in the United States, in many places permits are needed to purchase Hemp based products or bi products. Many of the plants grown in the United States under permit have a relatively low THC concentration and have no adverse side effects on humans. Hempcrete construction however can be a very hands on process in mixing and applying the mixture in your construction projects.
Hemp is the only building
material that can actually remove carbon from the air. Other methods of
insulation, like fiberglass, have a significant carbon footprint. Hemp
in your home can actually help to reduce the carbon emissions made from
our daily lives.
We spend so much time and money building and
rebuilding our homes, so why not include a resource that protects our
planet? Imagine your home being able to clean the air for you!
2. It’s Safer for Those With Environmental Allergies or Sensitivities
The products used in and around homes make a massive impact on our health and our lives, so its important to make sure they are safe to be around. Hemp is a very clean and non-toxic plant, due to the fact that it requires little to no pesticides or herbicides to grow. Hemp can also be harvested and processed in a safe manner without the use of harsh chemicals. Using Hemp in your home can protect you and your loved ones from environmental issues and illness that result from other building materials.
3. Hempcrete Breathes Well
due to the plant’s porosity, can soak up water from the air and release
it when the moisture level decreases. Like we mentioned earlier,
hempcrete can sequester carbon, but it can also absorb a substantial
amount of heat and humidity when things get hot. And we think that’s
4. It’s a Bonus!
Hemp is typically
grown for it’s seed or fiber, with the hurd being left behind. This means
that while a large agricultural hemp grow can be turned into clothing,
rope, or even hemp seed oil, the remnants can also be utilized to make
hempcrete. While other plants and their processes create detrimental
waste, almost every part of the hemp plant can be used for something
5. Hempcrete is Super Strong
though hempcrete is not generally used for structural framing, it can
be added around the building structure to reap the benefits. When
hempcrete is used around studs, it can prevent them from buckling and
bending under significant loads. Hemp can truly be the backbone of a
structurally sound home!
The vast uses of hemp are pretty amazing,
and we certainly look forward to the future of hemp-centric home
building. Not only can you stay comfortable in your house, but you can
rest easy knowing your family is safe, while you’re reducing your carbon
Would you incorporate hempcrete into your future home? We would love to hear from you on this…
Tiny house regulations and codes vary by city, town, or county.
Tiny houses on foundations are defined as “efficiency dwelling units” and require a living room of not less than 220 square feet of floor area if the living room and bedroom are joined. Separate living room and bedroom shall be no less than 120 square feet. Read here for more.
Tiny houses on wheels fall under the definition of a trailer, and can only be placed in an R-6 (Manufactured Home (Mobile) Park) zoning district.
The City of Cody refers to tiny houses on wheels as recreational units (RVs), and they are not permitted to be used as accessory dwelling units (ADUs).
Tiny houses in Wyoming are rapidly growing in popularity. Tiny house rentals are common in this state, particularly in close proximity to outdoor activities and mountain views. There will be an increase in the number of cities that include tiny houses in their regulations and codes in the coming year.