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2701 North 29th Street
Last updated:
2701 North 29th Street, Boise, ID, US
Climate zone:
Cold Temperate

Ammon Felix Brian Godfrey Chief Phillip 'Cloudpiler' Landis Elton Kelly Guido Wieringa Jane Bartlett Jon Holland Kathy Parsons Kevin Walker Kyle Chamberlain Lola Clinton Marney Morgan Paul Kile Shawn Tisdell Vanessa Monge Augusto Fernandes
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2701 North 29th Street

Project Type

Urban, Residential, Intentional Communities, Community, Demonstration, Educational

Project Summary

I bought a house with a small piece of land (half an acre total, including the house) and have been working with the help of various community members to transform it into a permaculture model for my city and the larger community.

Project Description

     I bought a house with a small piece of land and set to work transforming my half an acre in the city into and example of a more sustainable way to live.  When I bought the place it was nothing but green grass lawns in the front and the back.  Having grown up on an old apple orchard, the fruit trees were the first thing to go in (I bought them before I had even closed on the house).  Over the course of the last couple years I have evolved to a small orchard of 17 fruit trees.  Living in a community in Tucson, Arizona that had shared gardens and outdoor space, I was spoiled by the outdoor tubs and shower, so I created that next (and dug a dry well to put the water back into the aquifer).  I had been dreaming for years of having an herb spiral, so my first big gardening project was to put one right in front of my house (near my front door and the closest door to the kitchen).  That herb spiral has gotten more comments and allowed me to talk to more people about permcaulture than any of my other projects!

     I feel that the spirit of permaculture and community has guided my projects as much if not more than any ideas I had.  Because I was given the gift of community down in Tucson (which I had never really known before) I started looking for two other people to fill my house and create an intentional community.  In my search I acquired a lot of friends and a connection to the larger community through couchsurfing.org.  It was through these connections that the garden building began and a community garden for local couchsurfers was established in the backyard (with a firepit for communal gatherings right in the middle).

     I kept working on getting rid of grass and maximizing my edge zone usage and wound up putting in blueberries, blackberries, and raspberries to fill some corners.  A vineyard of grape vines filled a blank spot in another area.  A narrow strip near the house was perfect for trellising and another vineyard of kiwi vines.

     In search of a way to garden through the winter I beagn to think about a four-season greenhouse.  I wanted a way to do it without needing to use external heat (except for that of the sun).  Through ideas of my own and the help of Mike Oehler's The Earth-Sheltered Solar Greenhouse Book I was able to plan, and over the course of a year dig and build a semi-subterranean, earth-sheltered, passive solar, four season greenhouse (built out of mostly recycled materials).  Thanks to self-actuating vent arms I was able to grow in the greenhouse through the summer.  Thanks to the heat of the earth and the sun I have also been able to grow in the depths of a cold Idaho winter.  Super exciting!

     In the winter of 2009-2010 I helped to found the Boise Permaculture Guild.  Such a fantastic group of local practitioners and interested folks!  We've all taught each other so much!  It was actually a member of the group building a driveway a few blocks from my house that offered me the dirt, which I gladly accepted, which allowed me to sheet mulch and bury the grass in the front yard.  Because of the beautiful Silver Maple that already resides there I decided with the help of a couple of my community members to create a food forest with a variety of different low-water, low-maintenance fruiting and nutting bushes.  It is still maturing, but coming along beautifully!

     I've been doing a fair bit of work as well on retrofitting the house with more efficient systems, insulation, an eco-friendly roof, and other goodies to try and lower our community's footprint as well.  Gray water and rainwater collection here we come!

     Through our small intentional community of three we are building and working with permaculture at home.  Through the Boise Permaculture Guild we are sharing ideas and supporting each other to build with permaculture in our local community.  Through couchsurfing.org we have been able to share permaculture with an even larger community of folks around the country and around the world.  May the spirit of permaculture continue to guide us.  Viva permaculture!


The Biochar Experiment

In the Spring of 2012 some friends and I decided to make and test biochar for increasing soil health and productivity.

Posted over 11 years ago (1 comments)

Looking for Gardeners for the 2011 Season

We've got permaculture community garden space available!

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Greenhouse Update

Finally, some pictures of the finished greenhouse!

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

2010-2012 Front Yard Redesign

From Grass to Permaculture

Posted over 12 years ago (2 comments)

Root Cellar

In Fall of 2010 I created a Basic Root Cellar

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Sand-Point Well

In spring of 2010 I pounded a Sand Point Well in the greenhouse

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

February in the Greenhouse

February in the Earth-Sheltered Greenhouse

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Greenhouse Construction

Building an earth-sheltered greenhouse

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

No-Till Bed

For Season 2 of the garden we tried a no-till bed

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Community Garden Season 2 (2010)

Here's some pictures from Community Garden Season 2 (2010)

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Tree Pruning Workshop

In February of 2010 we had a tree pruning workshop at my house

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Tree Pruning Workshop

In February of 2010 we had a tree pruning workshop at my house

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Solar Food Dehydrator

Built this lovely solar food dehydrator to help preserve our goodies.

Posted over 12 years ago (2 comments)

Fruits of the 2009 Season

We had some great success in 2009

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Projects from the 2009 Summer Season

2009 was the First Season of Projects at the House

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Outdoor Shower and Bath

Outdoor Bathing Facilities

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)

Picture Time

Thought it was about time I got some photos up here!

Posted over 12 years ago (0 comments)
Courses Taught Here!
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Urban Residential Intentional Community Demonstration Educational
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