AgriPod Meet-up @ Strawbale Studio in Oxford MI on 05.07.12

I had the chance to meet with Rick Nelson (SolaRoof Greenhouse System) for the time in person in Oxford Michigan at the Strawbale Studio a small nonprofit project run by sustainability and ecoliving educator Deanne Bednar.

We met Rick and discussed his AgriPod Plan during the Full Moon Potluck at the Strawbale Studio. Later we went down to Athens Ohio to meet with Dick Hogan of Greenfire Farm. Rick later decided to work with Dick on building the first AgroPod prototype in the USA there.

While at the Strawbale Studio Linda Ford my travel mate and I had the chance to really appreciate the “back to the earth” approach that Deanne has been pioneering in the area.

While at the potluck we met a young woman from Three Roods Farm just north of Deanne’s place. The next day we gave her a ride back home and spent the afternoon there exploring the small organic farm.

It was inspirational to see the networking going with more eco-conscious folks here in Southern Michigan.

While we enjoyed meeting Rick and hearing about his plans for the AgriPod, we were impressed how this retired schoolteacher had managed to create this wonderful place where she built experimental buildings and wood stoves out of dirt, rock and straw.

She has workshops and interns come throughout the year and also those monthly Full Moon Potlucks that help bring people in the area together.

We enjoyed it so much we decided to come back for a Permaculture Workshop organized by Deanne and her friends later in May.

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May Meeting Leads to the Construction of the First AgriPod Greenhouse in the USA

Linda pulls me in Dick’s push cart in a lighthearted moment after using the cart to move the solar hot water panel out of storage.

This is a continuing series of posts about my travels though the USA earlier this year with my friend Linda Ford. We had the chance to explore several projects promoting Appropriate Technologies and alternative living during the trip.

After leaving Strawbale Studios on May 7th, 2012, Linda and I went down to Athens Ohio where SolaRoof/AgriPod founder Rick (Richard) Nelson was to meet with Richard (Dick) Hogan for the first time. While there, I had the chance to get to know Rick and Dick, who later in the year built the first AgriPod greenhouse built in the USA.

The AgriPod system is a unique two level greenhouse design. It is designed especially with consideration to Rick Nelson’s SolaRoof design; an innovative a passive solar heated and cooled greenhouse growing system that uses bubble machines to fill a cavity space between the inside and outside of the structure with bubbles to insulate.

Also notable was our opportunity to diagnose a broken solar hot water system, fix it and then take our first solar hot water shower – all in the same day!

Over the last several years, I have considered the possibility of developing a Solaroof prototype at Arcosanti, Arizona. I discussed this plan with them, including some of the possibilities and challenges for developing a prototype AgriPod at Arcosanti.

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Tour of Three Roods Organic Farm in Columbiaville MI

While in Michigan in early May, my friend Linda Ford and I had the chance to meet with some local organic farmers who are friends with Deanne Bednar of Strawbale Studio while there to meet with my colleague Rick Nelson an inventor who has developed the SolaRoof Greenhouse.

We spent the weekend at Deanne’s place and met Rebekah Switala at the Full Moon Potluck. She was talking about her experiences in the Ukraine which is where her ancestors are from. She also mentioned her recent experiences to take a break from academic studies working as a volunteer on a local organic farm. Rebekah needed a ride back to the Farm where she worked and she said she would love to show us the place.

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