Shannon Freed, graduate of our Pine Ridge PDC, did not waste any time applying her permaculture knowledge. Two years ago, she held a 10 week apprenticeship at Pine Ridge which resulted in a beautiful cob home being built for a Lakota on the reservation (sustainablehomesteaddesigns.org)
Last year, she repeated that feat, this time building a 30X30 foot pallet home for another family in need of better shelter. Pallets are a huge wasted material in the US and abroad. Their use as design structures has exploded among the "green" and architectural communities. Shannon's goal was to show the practicality of pallets, and incorporate them into a real living structure. Other groups have built these very inexpensive homes in areas such as Germany and South America and have put together some beautiful homes. Pro-builder David Reed oversaw the project http://www.naturalbuildingblog.com/ exploring-natural-plasters-on-pine-ridge-pallet-house/ This project was a wonderful opportunity to learn natural building techniques from a top professional and build a home for someone who really needs one, while experiencing life on the Pine Ridge Oglala-Lakota reservation. Shannon runs a great apprenticeship (we checked it out personally) and it is for a very worthy cause. This type of building could work well on the rez, and is badly needed in a place where many people live in very poorly insulated mobile homes and federal housing.
This home was built on the Oglala-Lakota Pine Ridge Reservation, an area where homelessness, violence, alcholism and abject poverty is extremly high. According to Wikipedia, the Oglala Lakota or Oglala Sioux (pronounced [oɡəˈlala]) are one of the seven subtribes of the Lakota people, who along with the Nakota and Dakota, make up the Great Sioux Nation. A majority of the Oglala live on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation in South Dakota bordering Nebraska and 50 miles east of Wyoming. The reservation consists of three general areas: pine and cedar covered hills and ridges, grassy plains and a desert area, covered by wind blown sands and sand dunes.
Shannon offered an 8 person apprenticeship on this build, taking apprentices through the complete build, from foundation to finished home and they all learned how to build their own.
Next project? David Reed will be building a timber framed cordwood home called The Sacred Mountain, designed by Kelly Hart on the Pine Ridge Lakota Reservation.