Last Saturday, while shopping at Tractor Supply for a new maul handle, Alyssa and I received a call from Ron Gargasz about coming out to his farm to get some beef. As you know, beef is a new food in my life. This winter we'll basically be eating beef from two local farms, Lee Scot's farm and Ron's farm. We had never been to Ron's farm before and were surprised to find that it is only 5 minutes from my parents cabin outside Slippery Rock, PA, where we were staying for the weekend. As we were pulling up to his home and farm Alyssa and I were talking about a crazy, futurist article in an old Organic Gardening and Farming magazine from 1978. The article mentioned that most houses in the future would be passive solar for heat, a place where people both live and grow their own food in the winter. It also mentioned that these houses would also be partially underground on the north side to preserve heat. Only seconds later we pulling into a long driveway where we saw a roof coming out of the ground. I was dumbfounded, we were pulling up to an earth sheltered passive solar house. Ron was extremely gracious, gave the four of us a tour of his entire house, which he built about ten years after the time the article I had read was written. This house was not only amazing in it's environmental sustainability, Ron had built a beautiful home. We left with about $100 of organic, grass fed, beef, and a big bag of potatoes for free. We also left with a renewed inspiration for sustainable living and self-reliance.
This earth sheltered house is not Ron's, I didn't take any pictures. Just thought this one looked cool, like something a Hobbit would live in, Ron's does NOT look like this one.