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Bernie Harbert and His Mule Polly's 2,500-mile Voyage Across America

Hi Lloyd and Lew,
I just wanted to let you know that Rocky Mountain PBS premiers the Lost Sea Expedition series January 4th. The series will also stream on Amazon and Vimeo. The story about this tiny wagon voyage across America featured in Tiny Homes (pp. 188–189). I think this info would really interest theshelterblog.com readers.

Seaweed Nutrition

Big waves at beach yesterday, negative ion perfume in air. Gathered these bull kelp blades, which I dry, grind up, and sprinkle on omelette, meat, fish, potatoes, salads—just about anything. Homemade vitamin supplement, high in protein and minerals. I pickle the bull kelp bulbs. About to leave now for clamming and mussels. I have a 12' Klamath aluminum boat, with 15 HP 2-stroke vintage Evinrude outboard motor, which I'm working the kinks out of.

Randy's Road Rig

Hi Lloyd,
I ran into Randy in Folsom, CA.  I figured for sure he’d heard of Shelter and Tiny Homes on The Move, but he had not. Randy’s in his late 50’s and found himself in the middle of a late in life divorce and didn’t want tot have to work to own a house.  He’s a metal worker by trade and modified an old utility trailer with the camper shell from his old Dodge pick up into his new home.  It’s pretty cool.  I shared with him your website information too.
Dan Varvais

A Book For San Francisco Bay Area and Coastal California Gardeners

Lesley’s been gardening on our piece of Northern California coastal land for over 40 years. For vegetables, she’s come to rely on the book Golden Gate Gardening by Pam Pierce.
• Foggy climate charts
• What to plant when
• Encourages year-round vegetable growing.
• For the the San Francisco Bay Area and coastal California.

Over the years, we’ve given copies to our boys, as well as friends who are starting out to grow vegetables in the area.

Below: garden at its most barren right now. New hoop greenhouse from Farmtek, a great source of greenhouse supplies and all kinds of agricultural products. We just added walls, 2 concrete blocks high, to get more height. Doors by Billy Cummings. Foreground: raised beds of redwood 2x12's, 1/4" wire on bottom for gophers. Lightweight lift-off  covers with netting to protect strawberries from birds

Seven Useful Tools in My Shop

Our newly-formed Shelter film crew has started making short videos. With producer Em-J Staples and cameraman and film editor Evan Kahn. Listed in in order of production here: https://www.youtube.com/results?sp=CAI%253D&search_query=lloyd+kahn

To see URLs for buying any of these tools, click on the YouTube icon at bottom after video starts.

Our next video will be on my return, albeit more cautiously, to skateboarding.

Advice to Californians Building New Homes After The Fires

I'd like to get this out to as many people as possible. Please send it to anyone you think might appreciate it.
Poster from 1885, designed to encourage people to move westward

I would like to offer some suggestions to people whose homes were destroyed by the California fires of 2017. I have built three homes of my own and, as well, been publishing books on building for some 45 years now. From this experience I’ve come to some conclusions about practical, sensible building.

Much of the emphasis in our books has been on owner-building, and if you will be doing design and construction yourself, these are things for you to consider. If not, these are ideas you can discuss with architects and/or builders you may be working with — the principles are the same. 

Much has been learned about building homes in the last two or three decades. You may be able to take advantage of building materials and techniques that weren’t available when these homes were built. Here is a chance to do things better, to learn from experience, to create a home built from sustainable materials that will save energy, that will be better for you and the planet.

Please note: These are just random ideas for your consideration. This isn't a check list, where you try to incorporate each suggestion in your plans. The purpose here is to stimulate thinking. Maybe you’ll find two or three ideas that will work for you.

Holiday Sale: 50% Off of Shelter, Tiny Homes, Small Homes

Happy Holidays! We're offering a 50% discount off of three of our building books: Shelter, Tiny Homes, and Small Homes — no promo code needed. Also, free shipping in the U.S.A.

Cheaper than Amazon!

View From Kitchen Sink Last Night

Van Living -- Hour Long Movie

From Mike W

See Foster Huntington;'s latest book, Van Life: Your Home on the Road: https://www.amazon.com/Van-Life-Your-Home-Road/dp/0316556440

Photo by Walker Evans

Huge exhibit of his work at Museum of Modern Art, San Francisco.