By Example News

If you want to see what we've been up to recently look over our news articles in this section. You'll find out about our latest experiments, the current building projects and also our travels.
We've Found Land!
After months of searching we've finally decided upon a piece of land.
Land Survey Completed
Today Troy, Jonathan, Mel and I spent the afternoon measuring angles and distances between the survey points agreed upon.
Alternative Energy Club Meeting - April
The Alternative Energy Club will be gathering to collectively build several solar cookers.
"Intro to Solar Hot Water"
Each month the Concho Alternative Energy Club will be offering presentations on key topics in Alternative Energy. Free and open to all!
Geodesic Dome Completed
In April we began building our portable geodesic dome shelter. We finished in mid May and went off to May Fire in the Valley of Fire State Park, Nevada.
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Alternative Energy Club – Solar Cook Out
The sun's heat and light provides us with a sustainable and renewable alternative energy source. Solar cookers provide a way to direct and amplify the sun's energy to heat and prepare food.
Alternative Energy Club - New Projects
The Alternative Energy Club has two new projects planned for the upcoming months. We will be experimenting with assembling a solar panel and will also be making our own wind generators.
Visit from Joan and Rich
In August my mom Joan and her partner Rich came to visit us in Arizona. While Joan and Rich were planning their trip they let us know that they wanted to have plenty of projects to work on while they were here.
Concho Arts and Crafts Festival
On Saturday, August 19 Concho, Arizona held its first Arts and Crafts Festival. We gladly took the opportunity to vend our crafts locally.
Alternative Energy Club - First Solar Panel Project Complete
The Alternative Energy Club has completed its first solar panel project! We worked as a group to assemble a small solar panel from a commercially available kit.
Solar Fire Gathering
A Celebration of the Solar Lifestyle
Installing the Phone Line on our Land
In order to save a significant amount of money, we opted to trench the line and run cable for our phone ourselves.
Alternative Energy Club - "Everything you want to know about hydrogen...and More"
This past month the Alternative Energy Club offered a free presentation on the use of hydrogen as an alternative fuel.
Homestead Plans - Drilling a Well and Land Survey
In the near future we will be having a fresh water well drilled on our property. We'll also be having an official survey of our land completed.
How to Winterize a Travel Trailer
Tips on how to winterize a travel trailer including, installing a plywood trailer skirting, insulating windows, replacing curtains, and building homemade vent pillows.
New Geodesic Dome Calculator and DIY Dome Plans
Last spring we built our own geodesic dome tent, including a homemade dome cover, ventilation system, and rain fly. We've posted construction plans, geodesic dome cover patterns, as well as our preferred dome assembly method. We've also taken geodesic dome formulas and created a calculator to help those of you that are planning to build your own dome.
Community Art in Concho
Art is in the air! On Halloween I was face painting at the Concho school and I recently led a Printmaking Workshop with fun Thanksgiving Activities. I've been exploring printmaking activities for kids that work well for summer art camps, as well as community art projects of all kinds.
Map of Our Off Grid Homestead is Ready
We've finally drafted a plan for our future homestead. We are very excited to move forward with building projects in the New Year...
Homestead Well and Land Survey Complete!
We welcomed the New Year with significant progress on our homestead! Construction of our off grid homestead is underway with the completion of our land survey and an exciting week of well drilling.
Passive Solar House Plans for Our Off Grid Homestead
We've updated our homestead map and have created a more detailed house plan to guide the construction of our sustainable passive solar home.
Alternative Energy Experiments - Project Update
Our experiments with alternative energy and alternative fuels continue! Harnessing solar energy definitely makes sense, as does the integration of clean burning fuels into our homestead power supply.
Homestead Septic System Underway
Digging for our septic system began yesterday! Though many of our friends here in Apache County have sworn that putting one's own septic system in is fairly simple, we decided to hire a local contractor anyway.
ByExample Store is Open - Books, T-Shirts & Stickers!
The ByExample Store is now open! We are promoting a variety of products including creative t-shirts, progressive bumper stickers and how-to books. Alternative energy enthusiasts are sure to be intrigued.
Passive Solar House Plans for Building in Phases
The second version of our passive solar house plans for our off grid home includes four building phases. The first phase is small and simple which will allow us to get started building right away.
Organic Gardening & Passive Solar Greenhouse Plans
We are now actively working to grow our own organic food and fresh vegetables. This season we've gotten a lot accomplished when it comes to organic gardening and we've also been able to implement our passive solar greenhouse plans.
Local Organic Farming & Native Medicinal Plants
Though Concho, Arizona is small and rural, our community has a fabulous farmer's market. Local support for organic farming makes it possible for us to get fresh organic food - even way out here in the desert. Aside from organic, farm-fresh produce, the Concho area also boasts a number of medicinal plants and edible herbs that I have become familiar with through a community herb walk.
Homestead Visitors & Summer Fun
During the spring and summer of this year we've had several visitors to our homestead and have enjoyed working on a number of fun projects. While our main focus is on building a structure to live in, we really appreciate the many opportunities we've had to relax with friends and family.
Organic Gardening: Irrigation Systems & Garden Photos
So far, our organic gardening project has been really rewarding and we have lots of colorful garden photos to show our progress!
Upgrades to Our Solar Power System
As we begin construction on our property our electricity needs have increased. Our recent solar power system upgrades will sustain our power needs during the early phases of building.
We've moved onto our land!
We purchased 2 acres of land last January and we are so pleased to have moved onto it this September.
New Links Page on By Example
Topics include: alternative energy, sustainability, global warming, solar cars, air pollution, house plans, passive solar house plans, green building, wind power, DIY solar, solar cookers, solar projects, small house plans, adobe house plans, geodesic domes and more to come.
New House Plans for our Passive Solar Home
We've drafted another passive solar house plan! After designing each of the house plans we've published so far, we have found reason to explore alternative options.
Passive Solar Plans for Our Homestead Greenhouse
We've begun the first major construction project on our homestead property -- a passive solar greenhouse!
Over a Foot of Snow On Our Homestead!
We've had over a foot of snow this week! Not your typical weather for the high desert of Arizona.
Greenhouse Construction is Underway!
We've erected a passive solar greenhouse on our property. It's the first major structure on our land and there is still a lot to be done before it's finished.
Simple Solar Hot Water Solution
Heating water with the sun may seem like a challenge, but it is really quite simple.
Floor Plans for Our Passive Solar Barn
Our passive solar barn is designed to maximize light and store solar heat in the winter months. In the summer it minimizes light and solar heat and ventilates without a fan.
New Chicken Coop & Rabbit Cages
Food production is underway. This summer we designed and built a chicken coop and chicken yard to protect and shelter our egg laying chickens. We've also installed wire rabbit cages outside the barn to temporarily hold our new breeding rabbits.
Building Our Homestead Garden
We moved onto our land exactly one year ago. In a year's time we've made huge progress with our farm and garden.
Cold Frames for Our Winter Garden
In our last article we shared plans for raised garden beds with cold frame attachments. This fall we decided to build the cold frames and managed to keep a winter vegetable garden growing.
New Nesting Boxes for Our Egg Laying Chickens
We recently modified our nesting boxes and have begun tracking egg production. Our egg laying chickens are maintaining good production levels despite the winter weather.
Rabbit Breeding Begins on Our Farm
In a move away from store bought meats, we have begun breeding and raising rabbits, as well as seeking other sources of local farm raised meats.
Garden Planning & Heirloom Seeds
Spring is here and we are completely focused on the garden!
Sustainable Homestead Map & Plans
We've updated and modified the plans for our sustainable homestead.
Update from the Homestead
We've been so busy on the farm!

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