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There are days when I think I’ve got about ten years left of building before I’m too old. Then I remember our unbelievable earthbagger Jehane Rucquoi and consider that I might actually have another 35 years in me:) Jehane is still chucking up the earthbag domes at 85 years young. Yes you read that right, eighty plus five.
3 Moons is gradually evolving. Jehane’s been tenaciously chipping away at her dream for many years now, and it’s finally bloomed into something fascinating. So what’s been going on at the brave new 3 Moons off-grid earthbag world in Nevada of late? And how has it transformed since Jehane first joined our special FB group back in 2017?
Plenty of People
One thing is clear: 3 Moons is buzzing with volunteers from all over the world. If you want to get a taste of mud building and off-grid living, this is a very good chance to do so. Jehane is an easy-going free spirit and an artist, so people are able to explore their talents and interests at her place in a way that is often difficult in a more controlled environment. Plenty of folk come and go and often return to leave their mark on this intrepid project.
The Well and Power
3 Moons is located in the desert, which is pretty challenging for an off-grid project. Water really is everything. Without it you can't wash, and growing food is tough. But last year, a well was dug (phew) and the water will be pumped up with solar power this year. This will radically change the food growing possibilities for 3 Moons. This project is rustic, entirely off-grid project, with just a couple of panels for phones and lights. I have to say, as long as you don’t work online it really is valuable to cut out the electromagnetic field in your life, and experience the world a little more how our ancestors did.
Wow, those domes are pushing up faster than toadstools in the Arizona desert (probably a lot faster, because fungus doesn’t do too well in the hot and dry). Earthbag domes really are Jehane’s forte. She studied with the inventor of earthbag himself, Nader Khalili, so if you want to learn about dome building, head on down to Nevada this spring and check them out. Jehane uses tubes to build rather than individual sacks, and generally seems to get a dome up a year. Here they all are, in all their dirtbag glory:
The Traveler Dome
This is the largest and most ambitious of the domes so far. It has a superb upper deck for stargazing and a small side bedroom for sleeping. I love that deck, and think it’s an ingenious way of solving the age-old dome issue, namely how to protect it from rain.
The Teapot Dome
This new tiny dome built last year contains a rocket stove which often houses a steaming teapot. This makes it perfect as a tea break shelter from the desert wind.
The Chaparral Dome
Last year the rubble trench foundations were laid, plus some of the walls. This dome is still half finished, and will be completed this season (2020). It will also house a mezzanine for sleeping (who doesn’t love a mezzanine?)
All of Jehane’s domes are built without a drop of concrete, with rubble trench foundations, dirt-filled tubes tamped solid, and bonded with layers of barbed wire. They are coated in earth/lime renders. Jehane has also used papercrete in some of her plasters, which is another interesting feature, plus plenty of recycled materials. Papercrete has a high R value and is thus great for insulation.
The Bottle Wall
One of the most enduring projects is the bottle wall, which just keeps on growing and growing. Every year someone adds a bit more. For more pictures and details, have a look on Jehane’s blog.
Bookings are now being taken for people wishing to visit this year, so don't hesitate to contact Jehane if you want a taste of the Arizona dirt with plenty of earthbagging.
If you'd like to know more about Three Moons, you can see it on:
Contact Jehane on FB
Do bear in mind, Jehane is off-grid and not in any way a techie, so it may take a little time to get a response.
Staying at 3 Moons – What you need to know:
3 Moons is a very low-impact, off-grid world, powered with a small solar system, and using a rocket stove for cooking in the outside kitchen and heating the shed. Cars, vans, and campers are welcome at 3 Moons. Do heed the climate; freezing nights in March and hot days in July! For those who stay and work, there are two small beds in the earthbag shed, and two queen-size beds north and south of the trailer, under the sun shed. Meals are basic, often sun-oven cooked. Stores and eateries are 18 miles away.
Where is 3 Moons?
3 Moons Project is located in a remote desert area (dirt roads) in Death Valley, Charleston View, California. It’s 22 miles east of Tecopa, and 50 miles west of Las Vegas, Nevada.
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