To the Spring 2012 Crew – from Eric Plourde, Instructor and Builder

Spring 2012 Building Crew

-Final Thoughts-

As I sat alone in this straw house tonight and stared at another nearly finished project I felt more pride and more surrounded by beauty then I have on any other project I have been a part of. I have built a lot of things, a lot of very beautiful things but little that have the impact of what we are building and putting into these homes of mud and straw. Instead of dirt to be paved over and chaff to be burned, both are touched by the hands of all involved on this little plot of land in Moab and turned into a dwelling that glows in the light of a low desert sun and provides cool shade when the sun is high. These walls and floors change visible hue and physical warmth with the seasons, the hour of the day and the position of the sun. This creates what Serah Mead would call, “a womb”, a home for all seasons with endless light and warmth.

There is no real way to express what it is that we do here. The simple answer I give is, “We build a home in four months for a low income family”. Our interns might say that we teach them how to build a straw bale home. Cali Bulmash, a past intern, would say that we are changing the building paradigm one straw bale home at a time. But I don’t think that any of this is what we are doing here. These are all the things that we end up doing. These are the things that the organizations founder, Emily Niehaus set out to do. And the interns do all of these things with great labor and commitment. What we really do is pour passion and labor and love into a common goal to increase the balance with the humanity and environment that surrounds us. I have worked the past year with the most giving and caring group of people I have ever met. Every single intern, volunteer and instructor pours sweat, tears, blood and love into every single detail and element that makes up the house that we build. The house that I sit in tonight was never started to just be a dwelling. It is a project in community, a project in responsibility, a project in fibers being built to help hold all that surround us together.

As I work my way out of this house with the final small details I am happy that it is a project completed. Happy that a family will dwell and grow here, and sad that this adventure of working for a common goal is complete. Thankfully for me, it all begins again in August.

Best of luck to eight amazing people that truly made this all happen.

Much appreciation,

Eric P.

Spring 2012 Building Crew

left to right – clockwise: Kelly Murphey, Lauren Zimmermann, Matt Racette, Jason Pronovost, Jerry Kujawa, Emily Niehaus, Claire Core, Cali Bulmash, Kelly Mathews – Natural Building Instructor, Eric Plourde – Instructor / Builder, and Alyssa Armstrong in spirit

One Response to “To the Spring 2012 Crew – from Eric Plourde, Instructor and Builder”
  1. laurenbuilds says:

    I am trying to remember every week how you showed us that anything large can be assembled by many smaller, pleasantly simpler components. I’m reminiscing on our Moab community and it’s smaller, pleasantly simpler components while I work. (Admittedly, chicken coops and patio awnings are not as large and require little sweat or blood, no tears, and slightly less love.) Thank you dearly Eric.

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