Teachín (Small House)

I’ve been a carpenter for 12 years, and for the last five I’ve been studying permaculture and horticulture. Last year I worked and lived on an organic farm learning how to care for the land. I’m currently living at home in Connemara, County Galway, setting up a market garden. I want to heal the land, and at the same time heal myself. Protecting and improving the health of the environment is an essential part of community, and the educational aspects are just as important as the production and supply of vegetables.

I’m also an Irish (Gaelic) speaker. My native language is important to me and is the primary language in Connemara. I would like to preserve old skills and knowledge by involving the old and young in the process of gardening, having them teach each other while strengthening their connection with nature.

I’ve recently attended AÁE’s pre-unMonastery event, a “Rural Reconnaissance” at Cregg Castle. It’s opened up more possibilities and the support of a network. I understand healing the land and I’m beginning to understand more about how humans heal too! It’s also inspired me to look at my current “tiny home” build with new eyes. Smaller, more mobile.  I love designing, making and the climate of the west of Ireland! Natural materials married with modern solutions also interests me. Old sitting beside new, form in balance with function. Design harmony.

Building, teaching, healing

Hello @Pat , welcome! I have heard much about you from @Nadia , but I only discovered your post today.

The “teaching” in the title of this comment is not a pun with the Irish “teachín”, by the way. I was hoping to learn more about building the tiny houses. How do you do it? What is needed to build them? How do they connect with your gardening project? Could you not have made a garden next to a “normal” house? If the West of Ireland is anything like rural Italy, there will be plenty of unoccupied property lying around. Also: what kind of climate is compatible with a tiny house?

There is another sense that no pun was intended. I find that teaching (and, reciprocally, learning) is good for the soul, the collective “soul” of the community as well as the individual one. In the hacker community there is a strong orientation to knowledge sharing. It is useful, obviously, but it seems that many people do it because it’s the right thing to do and because it feels good when done right. :slight_smile:

Hi Alberto, sorry for slow reply. I’m not online much and live in an area with poor wifi connection. I work mostly with wood, but am exploring possibilities with Bernard of incorporating steel for something mobile. A stationary build could use many other techniques/material such as stone, straw bale, hempcrete or cob. Although cob can be tricky in Ireland because of our damp climate. The garden begins when you leave your front door. It’s usually site dependant, and taking into consideration climate factors, such as wind. In Ireland the prevailing winds come from the South West.

Yes we have lots of unoccupied properties, but the aren’t affordable and many need quite alot of restoration.

I’d say any climate is suitable for a tiny house if it is well designed and built. Also looking at traditional building methods can be a good way of finding solutions to climatic challeges.

Bernard has been developing the Teachín idea in terms of community development and I’m adopting a supportive role. I hope to do workshops and be involved in the design process.

Community development -more rural than urban?

Hi @Pat no worries. The beauty of this kind of online interaction is that it’s asynchronous, no one has to be on call all the time. I wonder thouhg, if this popup / mobile structures are such a hit and I assume so much more affordable, what does it take for communities to adopt them systematically?

Having met people working in sustainable housing and also at the policy level, there’s two steps I found they follow: 1) moving away from cities to be able to run with greener technologies that dont otherwise get approved by authorities (by green tech I mean, for instance insulating with clay mixes, recycled pallettes, wool or cellulose…). 2) building more houses on larger pieces of land and adding an educational center near it to support community development.

Word goes around…

Hi @Pat, welcome from me too, I’m one of edgeryders long time members, based in Romania. I think we have common friends in Bernard, Thom and the crew… I also visited Connemara in spring last year, beautiful place, and with more nature than humans around.

Do you think the mobile version of the tiny home would be suited for a larger event (60+ people)? Nadia may have told you, we are looking into modular structures but also environmentally friendly, so that after the event when time comes to wrap up there is no waste… Like Alberto, I am curious about the climate suited and other favourable or unfavourable conditions.

Hi Noemi, sorry for slow reply. I’m a bit stoneage when it comes to technology. A mobile tiny home is a great idea for large events. I work at festivals in ireland, and hope to build a teardrop trailer for myself this year.

Air circulatiion can be a an important factor in hotter climates, but here in Ireland prolonged rain and wind are more important to consider. I’m a big fan of modular structures. Myself and Bernard have been chatting alot about moblie Wheelchair-acessible compost toilets, showers, washing facilities and lock boxes.

If you’re considering travels…

Well, there’s a bunch of videos like this one on the Internet, I’m sure you’ve seen them :-)