Building Material

All farm restoration and construction is conducted with minimal importation and local fabrication.  This practice develops community skills and minimizes transportation fuel pollution. Toilet fixtures, most textiles and some electrical materials were imported.

  • The farm’s tree nursery (with predominantly native species) helps to control erosion and reforest the environment.
  • More than 50% of old building materials were used as foundations, doors, shutters and roofing for new buildings and restoration.  Cottages are made of stone and sustainable wood that is treated with recycled motor oil to protect it from insects to limit brick making and old growth tree cutting.
  • Sustainable materials are used to build staff housing, from sun-dried mud bricks to thatched roofs, providing an example for the community of affordable alternatives to tin roofing and concrete intensive construction.
  • Furniture, textiles and artwork are crafted on the farm by local carpenters, craftsmen and artists-in-residence. A carpenter guild was established to teach fine furniture making and joinery.  Carpenters work in the farm wood shop, creating furniture for sale or ply their newly-learned skill in the local villages.
  • 50% of cottage walls are glass to allow for natural illumination, and low energy lighting and timer switches are installed in many areas.
  • In kitchen and storage areas, transparent sheets are mixed with corrugated tin roofing to allow natural lighting in.
  • Cottage cross ventilation and roof overhang provide cooling and shading properties.