joby dorr

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since Mar 19, 2014
hi, i live in seattle washington, i work at a tattoo shop called artcore studios. in recent years i have become fascinated with what it really means to be human and how to live constructively rather than destructively. i am slowly turning the ship of my life toward a more self sufficient bearing.
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Recent posts by joby dorr

Hi all, wondering about where I should lay down a hugelkultur bed.

I have a clear area that slopes VERY gently to the south for about 100 feet then the contour becomes steeper. Not by a whole lot but it is enough so that if you where sitting in a chair on the slope you would be rather uncomfortable. (sorry I cant say exactly what percent the grade is)

Im wondering if I should locate Hugels above the start of the slope or on the slope. should they run parallel to the contour or be at a slight angle? does either question matter?

aside from a question of whats best for run off control Im also wondering if it would be hard to access the top of the hugel from the downhill side.

If I cut in a terrace on the slope would the hugels do best on that?

I know Hugels are not a refined science yet but I would love to hear your thoughts. thanks for reading!
5 years ago
Just wondering if anyone has any recommendations for online PDCs.
An online course seems like a good way to fit a PDC into my schedule.

Would also like to hear thoughts on what its like to do a course like that online. I wonder if you lose something in the format?

I am in the Pacific Northwest of Washington state so it would also be neat to find a course that considered some of my climatic conditions (cold and wet).

Asking a lot I know

Thanks for reading
6 years ago
Im in!
This timing coincides perfectly with the current progress on our property. I just cleared a large area of overgrown blackberry brambles, crowded alder saplings and underbrush to make room for the construction area of the house and the surrounding gardens. At its best the soil is very heavy, rocky clay and so I am starting from scratch to build the soils and plan the food forest! very excited to implement the PD principles from this book as well as a course I hope to take in the coming months.
6 years ago
This is from the first couple of days of laying bags. Beofre laying the bags I dug and filled a rubble trench with a french drain system

here is a little youtube tour of the excavation BEFORE we started laying bags

after a couple more layers we put the door frame brace in and raised a tarp to keep the area dry...ish

Just about a month later this is where we are. We only get to work on fridays and saturdays, though fridays its just me and then some friends usually show up on saturday.

The tires are the window form braces!

we have also been adding a mud/hay plaster as we go to help fill out the gaps and start the wall finish

I think a few more weekends and we will be ready to put a roof on!!!
Thanks for looking and I hope you stay tuned!!
6 years ago
VERY cool. beautifully cone and very inspiring to keep pushing ahead with my own earthbag projects!
6 years ago

Daniel Bowman wrote:What about frost heave? If the temps drop low enough to permeate the bags before they cure.. might be disastrous. I am in the same situation in western NC.. trying to decide if I should wait until summer, but the advantage right now is it is drier in the winter!

Frost heave shouldnt be a huge issue if the bags are able to stay dry right? There shouldnt be enough moisture in them to suffer frost heave to begin with and if they are drying then you should be safe!
6 years ago
If you can raise a large tarp over your building you can build as long into the season as you like
6 years ago
Hi all!
Im going to be building a small-ish (12x12) earthbag shed on the property at the end of the summer. would LOVE it if anyone wanted to help

If anyone in the northwest area of Washington state is interested in getting some dirt time with earthbags I would welcome anyone! Starting on August 22nd I will be working all the Friday/Saturdays until the end of september or until the project is finished whichever comes first.

I am very close to a town for food and I may be able to provide some lodging for anyone who would want to work 2 days.

This will be my first EB build so im a little nervous but really excited. Its sort of impetuous because I was originally planning for it to be a pre-fab stick shed
But then i thought heck why not go for the gold. I would also love to get a little experience in the learning curve before i start on the main house structure (follow the blog, link in my signature! )
Hope Im not biting off more than I can chew.

If you are interested please PM me and let me know what days you might want to show up and I will send more info on location.

Thanks for looking!
6 years ago

Clifford Reinke wrote:

joby dorr wrote:hello,
im wondering if anyone has any knowledge of legally permitted earthbag homes in washington.
i did some poking around and could nothing legally permitted, but i dont want to keep saying im the first if thats not true!

its going to be a long slog either way but if there was another person who had gone down this road in washington already that could go a long way in establishing precedent with the permit office in pierce county where i plan to build.

on the other hand i have to admit there is some sense of ego satisfaction in being the first!


Are you saying you actually got a permit from Pierce county to build an earthbag home??? I live on Key Peninsula, in Pierce county, and would be very interested in this.

oh hey sorry about the delayed response.
so, no i have not received a permit YET. but im optimistic. i have the plans stamped by an engineer and right now im just waiting for a consultant to finish some health and safety drawings, then i can submit.
the permit officer i have talked to for pierce county as well as a few other have all been very positive in their response. they say it will probably take a bit longer but if i have all the correct plans and forms it should be doable.
just a waiting game at the moment............................
but as it unfolds i would happy to keep you updated on how events unfold.
but if i forget to do this you can check out the link in my signature. it goes to a blog i have (re)started to chronicle the adventure of buying land, building the house, moving toward a more sustainable lifestyle and other good stuff

are you also planning on building out there?? maybe we could swap some labor!
6 years ago