Going to be building a vertically tall living wall at the today thru this weekend.

Long-term readers of Ecosteader may remember our hashtag from a couple years ago. Have been dreaming about being able to make one IRL, with integrated drainage for a long while...

Right now is beginning as a S.I.P. or ¨Structural Insulated Panel¨ anchored into ground as the core _ug'tatqa'lam_.

Picked up a few sandwich-board foam insulation panels at the Rebuilding Center in North Portland. One shown here will be the ¨I¨ part of the SIP; am going to layer waterproofing things around it since there will be dirt and plants involved. Area behind it is central _ug'tatqa'lam of the building still needing work that will likely not come together until much later.

Materials to work with include mostly recycled components from the tear-down on-site, plus some warehouse and lumber yard scraps compiled from nearby sources.

Sending creative energies out into the Universe, hopeful some find their way back here today.

Some plant life to brighten your day:

Wakamidori shiso (first pic) came up from one of the seeds on last year´s plant. Shiso is an especially important cultural food in some Nihongo regions cuisine; very tasty too.

Interesting translations around Nihongo -- means something kind of meta in Japanese, like the way colonized Americans call Turtle Island their ¨country¨, iicrc but do not quote me on this.

Welcome to the secrets of outer ring (outer core root ring) composting for health and happiness old trees, and their ecosystems.

Think of composting as feeding the ecosystem -- in both literal and figurative sense. Think of the indigenous people as the heart of an ecosystem, ones most familiar with the ventricles of its heart.

In the shadow of some of the tallest Sequoias in the region (indeed, in the whole continent), our local ecosystem is one that formed in shade and filtered light provided by an old-growth forest of the ancient PNW.[1]

Colonialism has been destroying old-growth forests at, above and below this latitude... removing natives, shelter, shade and oxygen-exchanging life for far too long. All to build luxury condos, HOAs and McMansions for rent on AirBnB.

Fake shade, such as that provided by English Ivy, does not help a Turtle Island ecosystem. What should be much more diverse native cover is missing when such invasives are present. Non-natives do not know how to care for natives (and they never will, no matter what the does to try to save its face).

¨Cannot save ur ass and face at the same time.¨

Colonialism destroying native habitats with complicitness alongside (taking $$$$$$$$$$ from Realtors, like Facebook does!). It is an 800 BILLION COLONIAL DOLLAR TOXIC WASTE DUMP.

From this Earth day and beyond... a gentle reminder that Natives ought never be charged with anything (including dollars) as they move freely about on their lands everywhere.

As a final note... would love some help. IRL, decolonization is much harder than adding compost to roots in some trees being landlorded by colonial rent seekers.

All the experts saying the same thing we do:


[1] monumentaltrees.com/en/usa/ore This literal giant linked above... we kid you not.. it is being OVERRUN with toxic ivy. Owners of house near these trees coerce poor migrants to ¨cultivate¨ the Ivy with weed whackers terrorize the natives.

Finished this a number of days ago, here some construction pics:

Indie recycled some leftover concrete form boards left on site... fashioned them into an above-ground planting space in an area where some peculiar slopes (grades) away from the structure make landscaping difficult. Plastic was 5+ year-old relic from previous landscaper, set down to hold weeds at bay and hold some some children´s playground type toys. Before the remodeling it had degraded into a mess of several invasive species.

Soils at this part of the yard were heavily compacted and had been starving many years for fresh organic material, so mixed in quite a great deal of composts and planting mix. Also decided the dull white concrete dust look does not jive w/ecostead, added some Chinook-inspired colors.

The plastic around the inside of the planter folded up to hold in water (vapor barrier) and should help the wood last much longer (dirt on wood is usually not recommended).

These forms, my professional concrete industry-working union bro says, are valued by professionals in the concrete world due to the type of wood´s strength (what they call ¨Doug Fir¨ is Oregon state tree) in making 90 degree angles needed on corners and such when doing concrete forms and foundations.

What follows here is one of the more interesting hacks from reconstruction:


Background on this project for any new followers of tag is yeah... we saved quite a bit of material from the teardown. No, we were unable to save everything (COVID prevented us from donating first to local orgs where they would have gone to be diverted from the waste stream). But we did upcycle more than 75 percent of the teardown material we did not save. Some of it we went to great lengths to deliver to like-minded folks, too!

Something a white bro scoffed at me for saving to reuse was the "black tarpaper" from behind the old siding. Yeah it had a few spiders' nests on it. Seemed remarkably clean and sturdy for having been up so long. Plus paper; any plant material can be considered as sacred, I think; even a poor old tree that got mixed up in bitumen[1] by no fault of its own.

My gut was to lay this under the waterproofing material of choice (tile!) for the outside deck installation... an extra waterproofing layer, encase any supposedly dangerous material.

Turns out this was a good hunch b/c after I got this tile laid down the other day, found out that the chemistry of the tarpaper is such that it will likely increase strength and longevity of the thin-set layer of mortar under the tile. Cool, eh?

Turns out, folks from the EU are making business out of it [2]:

¨The refining process of Tarpaper Recycling converts the bitumen-rich roofing felt waste to a raw material .. that can be recycled 100%. This product can be used as binder in the production of new asphalt as it contains bitumen, the most valuable raw-material in asphalt. Roofing felt can replace bitumen to a certain point in the production of asphalt, somewhat depending on what type of asphalt is produced¨

[1] en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Asphalt

The Philippines have been experiencing more frequent and severe damage from storms at what can accurately be described as an ¨accelerating¨ rate.

People were getting sick of rebuilding only to have their work downed by the next storm.

So, in 2014, some of them decided to rethink/DECOLONIZE how housing and shelters are done, based on successful models in the US and Malawi. Rebuilding amid unpredictable storms was often futile, so they rethought their community around an model, adapted as a Windship.

This fascinating documentary (2015) interviews Earthship architect Mike Reynolds, and several young and old folks building self-sustainable biotecture projects that can be climate-specific for a region. amzn.to/3pFQnrm

¨The building is earth-bermed and the vaulted concrete roof allows wind to pass over but not lift up the structure.¨

Quite a bit of climate chaos since 2015, and no signs of it letting up, eh?

Living with the daily realities on a planet in retaliation mode means adapting outside of the ¨law¨ and government; these static things are inflexible and unresponsive to dynamic systems. They CANNOT keep pace with the realities of a dynamic and reactive planet.

Indeed, the worst parts of the project have been these inflexible things. Really enjoyed hearing about how Reynolds has successfully worked around outdated and inefficient government systems. (HINT: is easier to do outside of the US than in!)

We are not going to run out of trash or refuge material. Hurricanes, tornadoes, typhoons and landslides all decompose weak systems. Smart societies rebuild more intelligently.



Some extra root insulation for the _ants' greenhouse.

Plastic reuse to provide heat and thermal insulation. ideas to help the plants recycle water better.

Kick the fascist out of the whitehouse, kick the whitehouse out of the courthouse, put all the white-collar criminals' wealth in the homeless encampments.

Stop building vehicular transportation roads and fossil fuel transportation pipelines.

Recycling wood from the rebuild / teardown, turning it from interior base wood to outside finish wood with 焼杉板, or shou tsugi ban.

焼杉板 is technique for wood (usually Cedar or Cypress) that brings out the natural grain and finish. It increases fire resistance and water resistance (makes it last longer from weathering) by charring the wood and rinsing it with water before finishing. Some people say it can extend the life of wood siding up to 80 years! I dunno about that, but it is fun and beautiful. Also get to use a blowtorch to make it, so there's that.

Was half-humorously thinking we should post this to Indigenous Peoples' Day of Rage as an event: "Burning the Rabble of Colonialism" ... whatcha think? ;)

Have too many pieces to do on my own and going to hire some help or recruit volunteers. Yeah Craigslist again.


We were invited recently to Paul Rollins' anarchist permaculture garden. We dubbed it "anarchist" because it mostly lets the plants decide for themselves how to grow with and around each other. It also doesn't require most of the typical "work" associated with gardening, such as weeding and troweling. It literally uses every space available to produce food. If you live in a place that doesn't get much water, it's great because it doesn't even require watering! It also produces an incredible yield. It can fit a lot of food into even a small space.

Any open yard space or empty lot can do; his is in the front yard of a house he's renting.

Of the many ways to adopt concepts that increase Community Wealth and make an ecostead, this one would be effective for ending food apartheid. (@emsenn probably will enjoy this)

1. Mow down the grass or weeds.

2. Cover the ground with cardboard or several layers of craft paper ... plastic can be used as well. Anything that can hinder undergrowth works.

3. Add a layer of straw. How thick this layer need be depends on many things: one is the amount of rain you get. More rain = more straw. The straw will eventually act like a sponge, helping the garden share and re-circulate the moisture underground.

4. Add a thick layer of compost, or compost / dirt blend. This is where anarchy thrives best, among all the decomposing ruins of a system.

5. Toss a seed blend (cover crop) over the whole thing. Cover with another light layer of straw and compost... water and walk away.

6. (optional) Plant large sunscreen-type crops (sunflowers and corn) near your indoor windows for extra air conditioning power in hot climates.

Winds knocked down a teepee-shaped !!! branch today. Gorgeous but large mass that would likely have caught loose end to badly damage or destroy old structure.

Yá’át’ééh from the in the Grove ...

As the colonists' monetary system collapses (no need to cry; all broken and badly aged systems eventually need replaced), we should meditate and take care to iterate intelligently on what comes next. Here's a few of our bonsai trees to help. Other photo is of baby tree in ICU care.

Foundational improvements continue to be underway at the project in Forest Grove.

The tu'sati[1] includes our rebuilt mud/laundry/utility room. Yay better place for all the extra work needed for the sanitation, cleaning, and quarantine precautions necessary today.

Colonization is so quick to dismiss the intent and efforts of previous generations. Gotta look back much further than 100, 300, even 500 years to get the vibe of a space, gatherings of energies, etc:

:hacker_h: Honoring the ancient,

:hacker_a: acknowledging the native,

:hacker_c: confronting the wasicu[3],

:hacker_k: knocking out colonialism,

:hacker_e: expressing art elementals,

:hacker_r: revitalizing soil-based ecosystems.

[1] see screenshot of definition from mi'gmaq dict
[2] github.com/indie/ecosteader/bl
[3] ... wasicu are those who sneered at the offer to upcycle (help get upcycled!) our donated remnants of local old growth forest ... because they couldn't be bothered to take out a few old nails! Indie alone removed well over 1000 nails, but she cannot remove all the nails.

Some of the salvaged wood products from the deconstruction phases @ the ecostead.

Saturday's event was mostly quiet, until some driveby harassment(s) from somebody who wouldn't even exit their vehicle (all the while it was polluting fossil fuels) while idling on the street and shouting dumb questions at the worker in the yard.

Subsequent phases of the "build and finish" layers will use and donate some of these wood and salvage pieces.

Native Art Collectives receiving some supplies.

Dismantle what doesn't work.

Donate something to the arts.


No whitewashing these trees.

Colonist cash still means nothing.

Those with the most money are the most corrupt.

Probably, Larry and Sergey always regretted putting a landlord in their early-stage business. We no make that mistake.

Beautiful reclaimed wood used as siding, art, and floors ... cool idea.

The project has fallen way behind schedule ... architect plans for roof design were co-opted by truss building company's expertise. Still working it out, will post updates soon.

Construction jobs, like plants, require people who care.

flying insect with a bendable neck 

Showed up at the for a photo a few days ago...

Expired: Maximizing profits for colonized shareholders.

Wired: Maximizing immunity from anything diseased and colonized.

Inspired: Removing diseased Realtors' signs; adding permanent and irrevocable Land Acknowledgements of the region.

The hideous monstrosity of a house across the street from the has a yard covered in invasive English ivy. Some time during week, the Ecostead was robbed of construction tools we had on-site.

Coincidence? We think not.

My union-working bro just called to report the thefts. 😢

Your neighbors' invasive species are hazardous to your safety and community.

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Remap for the IndigenoUS

It is time to stop ecological and economic genocide. Tortoise Mountain and Turtle Island natives are the original Ecosteaders. Long before European and other settlers with delusions about government-subsidized development in "blocks" of colonizer cash infrastructure, Native Land Before Invasion was organic. And there never were opportunities or roles for any caucasian dudes as a "Chief" of anything or as any Executive Officer. The platform responsible for the most modern-day genocide on indigenous people is Zuckerberg's fascist Inc.