Old Is New Again
Given time, what’s old becomes new again. Baby boomers can easily attest to that, as the styles we wore in high school are being worn again by the teenagers in our house, and remakes of our favorite songs are done on a daily basis. Going a step further in the what’s old is new again scene, artist Martin Rauch built his dream home from rammed earth. People have been making houses from packed earth since ancient times. Many of our ancestors lived in sod houses during the frontier settlement of our country. If any were alive today, they’d probably tell you it was done out of necessity, not preference. It’s not as easy as packing some dirt into the shape you want. Rammed earth homes need to be made water resistant. Nothing like a gully washer to return an unfortified earth home to whence it came. But if you feel industrious and have more than an ample amount of time on your hands, then you too can have your very own energy efficient, environmentally conscious, sustainable home. Strange though, rammed earth or sod was once thought of as the “poor man’s” building material. Now, because the cost of skilled labor is so high, pretty much only the wealthiest of people can have a home made of dirt.