build

I am currently living off the grid in Taos County, New Mexico about a 35 minute drive from Taos on on the high desert West Mesa in “Carson Estates” (between Taos and Carson, NM) building various sustainable structures using thermal mass, passive solar, rainwater collection, upcycled materials and eco-friendly, carbon neutral construction practices.

Wanna help?

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I’ve surrounded myself with cool people who are super fun with hearts full of joy and zero hate. Is that you? You’re welcome here. Come on by. Glad to have you.

CURRENTLY HAVE:
– two schoolies, large bus has wood burning stove, propane stove & oven; small bus has a bed and a small stove
– a small vintage camper we are going to adobe in as a permanent structure
– composting toilet out house
– solar power
– camping shower in a makeshift shower house which isn’t great (options available for cheap showers in Taos)
– room for car / RV / drop campers
– couple sheds
– root cellar
– pit garden
– herb garden
– rainwater collection for plants
– water hauled in from West Rim community well

Currently building a chicken coop.

Next: earthworks to prevent runoff and force monsoon rains and snow melt to soak in. The main road and my original driveway become mud pits fast, so I’m building channels to direct water to my lowest spot where I’m digging up dirt I need to build while creating a seasonal pond. Swales will start on the high contours with pioneer plants that will become fertile, shaded environments 6-7 years from now.

Then: hyper adobe, aircrete infused with shredded styrofoam, Earthship-inspired “simple survival” builds and biodiesel projects that’ll all run concurrently, making a tiny home, a cistern & shower house, a wallapini, a workshop, and fuel. Growing food, expanding livestock facilities, expanding chicken flock, adding goats, building additional living quarters, better insulating & equipping buses. At some point we HAVE to build a hot tub. It’s inevitable.

The main rule is we don’t want any “trash”. Everything needs to be responsibly composted or integrated into the build in a sustainable way. Scavenged and upcycled building materials are preferred.

This is the high desert – about 7,200 feet in elevation. Please plan accordingly and dress for rapidly changing weather. If you’re not used to the altitude, it can take a couple weeks to fully adjust.

It’s a dry heat. Monsoon season is July-September. Sometimes it rains five minutes, sometimes for several days. Car camping is still comfortable in October. Snow happens occasionally in Oct, but definitely Nov – March. As snow melts, we’ll be pulling up sagebrush by the roots to make way for native grasses, flowers and herbs.

You need:
– you MUST carry water bottles / jugs with you. No single use containers, please.
– blissware (bowl / container with lid, utensils, cup)
– a sun hat
– bandannas to cover nose / mouth during dust storms
– 4×4 or AWD vehicle or a ride in

The property is VERY off the grid. They are dirt/mud roads and they are BAD. You will either need to have a vehicle with high clearance or arrange for me or somebody to pick you up at the entrance to the neighborhood, where there is parking available.

Airports:
Santa Fe Airport (SAF) 1.5 hr drive
Albuquerque Intl (ABQ) 2.5 hrs
Taos Regional (very limited flights)

Train & Bus:
– New Mexico Rail Runner from ABQ to Santa Fe (very inexpensive)
– Ride the Blue Bus from Santa Fe to & around Taos (FREE)

People are coming and going, so lemme know what dates you’re looking at so we can make sure we have a spot for you. If you wanna video chat sometime that’d be cool.

Please RSVP if you’re interested in learning, helping, or getting involved. You can also contact/venmo @ChadRiden all over the rest of the internet.