affordable housing (7)

“There Is So Much Unmobilized Love Out There” – Mike Davis on Activism in a Dying World

Quotes from article in The Guardian (10/30)

What I think about more often than anything else these days is the death of California. The death of its iconic landscapes. I wrote a piece in the Nation on why these changes are irreversible. How much of the beauty of the state might disappear forever. No more Joshua Trees. No more sequoias.

I’ve exalted in the beauty of California my entire life. Hiking, mountain running, traveling all over the state. There’s so much I wish my kids could see, could have seen, that they’ll not see. And that, of course, is happening everywhere in the world.…”

“What do you think Americans should be doing right now?”

“Organize as massively as possible: nonviolent civil disobedience. Instead of just fighting over environmental legislation in Congress, ending up in a bill that’s as much a subsidy to the auto industry and to fossil fuel as anything else: start sitting-in the board rooms and offices of the big polluters, all these meetings where the Kochs and other oil producers sit down with Republican politicians.…”

“Republicans are doing a splendid job of combining protest movements with electoral politics. It’s not only that Republicans have mastered low-intensity street-fighting, it’s that they’ve also been able to sustain a dialectic between the outside and the inside in a way that progressive Democrats haven’t been able to do.…”

“There is so much unmobilized love out there. It’s really moving to see how much.”

www.theguardian.com/us-news/2022/aug/30/mike-davis-california-writer-interview-activism

From Maui Surfer

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GIMME SHELTER – Summer 2022

To anyone receiving this for the first time, I send these newsletters out every few months. They’re different from social media — old-school in a way — in that they go to a select audience (over 5,000 people now), rather than blasting out into the internetosphere.

If you’re not signed up on the list to receive it, you can sign up for email delivery of the Gimme Shelter newsletter here.


Homestead in Spring 2022. See our recent book,
The Half-Acre Homestead: 46 Years of Building and Gardening

Rolling Homes Is Done!

Back cover

Title spread

After a year and a half, dealing with maybe a hundred contributors, thousands (I kid you not!) of emails, many thousands of photos, the book has pieced itself together, as has been the fashion with our building books. The material provided the content, and the book organized itself as it was put together.

I just received (via expensive air mail from China) the first five copies of Rolling Homes: Shelter on Wheels. 7,000 copies of the book are now en route to the U.S.A. and we expect it to be available in mid-July.

Holding it in my hands, I’m seeing it for the first time. And yes, I am prone to over-enthusiasm, and yes, this is my baby — but I think this is our best building book in years. There’s energy, there’s joy, there’s cleverness and craftsmanship and the spirit of adventure. There’s solid information — and fun. The people shine through.

There are time-tested components recommended by these builders, sometimes in great detail. And there’s inspiration — to create, to build, to get out there, to do something different.

But best … check it out in this 50-page flipbook: shelterpub.com/rolling-homes-sample-flipbook

Attention, reviewers:

Want the full book in flipbook form for review? Write rollinghomes@shelterpub.com, telling us where your review might appear, and we’ll send a link (and send us your address if you’d like us to mail you a copy of the book once printed).

Seeking blurbs:

Can you help us publicize the book? We will send you the flipbook version and if you like it, could you give us a few lines we could use for publicity purposes?


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GIMME SHELTER – October 2021

To anyone receiving this for the first time, I send these newsletters out every few months. They’re different from social media — old school in a way — in that they go to a select audience (over 5,000 people now), rather than blasting out into the internetosphere.

If you’re not signed up on the list to receive it, you can sign up for email delivery of the Gimme Shelter newsletter here.


This is my first newsletter in 6 months, no less. Boy, how time has flown. So I’m afraid it’s gonna be a long one.

Rolling Homes

Rick and I have been working on this book for maybe 4 months. Our modus operandi: I write (or edit) text, print out photos, use a color copy machine (a workhorse Brother MFC-371DCW) to resize photos, then paste down text and photos with removable Scotch Tape. These then go to Rick, who uses Photoshop and InDesign to prepare files for printers. As we go along, he makes PDFs so I can print out pages to see how they look. An analog/digital process. We’ve got about 150 (out of 256) pages done.

I never know what a book will be like until we are well underway in production. We start with a theme — here, homes on wheels — and put it together 2 pages at a time, and the book reveals itself as we proceed.

And this one — good golly Miss Molly! — is turning out to be amazing. I’m sure you’re aware of the explosion of nomadic vehicles in recent years. Our book is composed of primarily do-it-yourselfers — the theme running through all our building books — and the designs, ingenuity, and craftsmanship are stunning.

One thing I just realized: there are a lot of surfers in this book — female and male. Below is Yasha Hetzel, who went 120,000 miles in Australia in a Citroën Berlingo van, here surfing at South Point:

BTW, we don’t seem to have any of the so-called “vanlife” rigs here — the young attractive couples with photos of sunsets and the minutiae of their daily lives. It wasn’t a conscious decision; it’s just is turning out that our rigs and people are more real, more hands-on than the “influencers.”

Shelter Books Exhibited at the Biennale Architettura in Venice

This is the big news around here right now. According to Wikipedia, the Biennale Architettura is “…an International exhibition held every other year in Venice, Italy, in which architecture from nations around the world is presented.”

The two architects responsible for the exhibit, Leopold Banchini and Lukas Feireiss, visited here last year, interviewed me, shot photos, and in conjunction with the exhibit, produced a book titled Shelter Cookbook. They have arranged for my flights to and from Venice, and a place to stay there, and after three flight cancellations and rescheduling and Covid preparations, I’m set to leave here on October 6th. I am excited!

The Shelter part of the exhibit consists of three of our books: Domebook One, Domebook 2, and Shelter, which are on display, as well as stick models of buildings shown in these books.

Stick models of buildings in Shelter and Domebook 2. A lot of work went into making these!

The exhibit is in the Arsenale di Venezia, a huge complex of shipyards and buildings built in the 1100s and used for building Venice’s ships.

I’ll be in Venice October 9–11; and on the 13th, I’ll be doing a slide presentation called “60 Years of Natural Building” at the Accademia di Architettura di Mendrisio, a school of architecture in Italian-speaking Switzerland. Then to Florence, then (maybe train ride) to Sicily where I’ll spend a week exploring (and swimming). Back home and back to book production end of October.

I’m really excited to be going back to Italy (and seeing Venice and Sicily for the first time). I love the people, the sea, the countryside, the food, the gardens — the Italian way of life — my cup of tea — er, espresso.

I’m going as lightweight as possible this trip, with a Cotopaxi Allpa 35 travel pack with compression bags (fits easily into overhead bin) and my regular daily Dakine backpack for MacBook Air, glasses, pens, etc. Trying something new this trip: the only camera — my iPhone 11 Pro Max. Not taking my Olympus OM-D EM-1 camera and lenses saves a lot of weight, and the iPhone is pretty darn capable.
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Sustainable, Biodynamic, Plant-Based, Solar Powered, Wim Hof-ing, Tibetan Singing Bowls for Only $1500/night. Oh Yeah, Minimum Stay 30 Days

Opening in July 2021, The Barn at NewTree Ranch provides an immersive farm-stay experience just 10 minutes from downtown Healdsburg. The secluded 1,200-square-foot barn adjacent to the ranch’s organic and biodynamically farmed garden includes two bedrooms and two bathrooms, and is completely solar powered. Included in the minimum 30-night reservation is a plant-based breakfast, dinner for two for five days a week, and a wealth of activities.

“With the demand for unique wellness experiences higher than ever before and the increased desire to secure private lodging for extended periods of time as most can work from anywhere, we’re thrilled to debut The Barn,” says Ed Newell, founder and CEO of NewTree Ranch. “Guests will leave with a renewed sense of tranquility and rejuvenation.”

Activities include yoga, kayaking, and paddle boarding on the ranch’s Lake Andreas, an immersive plant-based cooking school, a sound journey with Tibetan singing bowls, and a Wim Hof experience designed around healing breathing practices. Newly completed horse stables give guests the opportunity to bring their horses to the property for exploring redwoods and wine country by horseback. But in the true spirit of this retreat, guests can merely unwind and relax without any programming at all.
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Houseboat For Sale in BC Canada

$39,000 · Pleasure Craft Live-Aboard for Sale (S. Gulf Islands)

Safely anchored amongst the Southern Gulf Islands, this licensed pleasure craft liveaboard has to be moved onto private property (land or sea).

  • Easy to access location (both from land or sea).
  • Unique craftsmanship: rustic on the outside, beautiful cedar interior.
  • Has been a well secured, stable, off-the-grid, 4 seasons live aboard for the last 10+ years.
  • Hand built, vintage west coast cabin (original houseboat / float home structure probably from the late 70s, early 80s) with current upgrades.
  • Pleasure craft license.
  • Moving to land costs: from $30,000, depending on location (rough estimate by professional movers).
  • If interested, please get in touch for details on moving the liveaboard.
  • Offers will be considered. Serious inquiries only.
  • Occupied.

https://www.usedvictoria.com/power-boats/39068565

From Godfrey Stephens (Check Godfrey’s latest sculpture.)

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Shelter in The City

In Berkeley Tuesday. It’s so heartbreaking to see what’s going on in the cities these days, a result of the great transfer of wealth to the upper 10%.

The name of our company is Shelter. When we started in the early ’70s, it was a positive thing to build your own house or somehow create your own shelter. Don’t pay rent; don’t get locked into a bank with a mortgage. Because I’ve built my own home(s), I’ve never paid rent or had mortgage payments — think what that’s meant over a 50 year period!  These days, things are desperate. You see it everywhere, but especially in housing, as the politicians in charge of the US government continue to skew things in favor of the rich at the expense of the poor and middle class.

The principles, as shown amply in our 7 building books, are still the same these days:
1. Keep it small. The heart of our book Shelter, published 45 years ago, was a section with plans for 5 small homes. Shelter II has plans for another 5 homes.
2. Look around in cities and towns for small fixer-uppers.
3. Do as much for yourself as possible, with your own hands. You don’t have to do it all. Do what you can — it’ll pay off in increased independence and savings (and satisfaction).

Shameless Commerce Dept.: Shelter is 30% off for the rest of September, with free shipping. Two or more books are 30% off at any time. We encourage you to buy books from independent booksellers, but IF you buy books online, buying them from us is cheaper than Amazon.

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