Tag Archives: holly beck

Our House Is Finished

This post is a long time coming, but in case you wondering, yes we did finally finish our house. It was mostly complete in time for Luna to be born back in September of 2014. Since then it’s been a … Continue reading

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Settling Into the New House

It’s been about 3 months and we’re loving our new home at Brisas Del Alma. We’re still very busy settling in, putting finishing touches on the house (building shelves to store all our stuff mostly), and embracing our new lifestyle. It … Continue reading

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The New Dipping Pool

The house is now mostly finished, and we have an 11 week old baby girl named Luna. Little Luna has occupied most of our time lately, so I’m way behind on blog posts. Eventually I’ll get a chance to take … Continue reading

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Beach House Progress – Plycem Walls and Bamboo Siding

We started building the beach house way back in March – or was it February 2013? The point is, it’s been so long that it’s hard to remember. The main delay has been caused by an irresponsible carpenter with a … Continue reading

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Our Caretaker’s House at Brisas Del Alma

Ok, I know you can barely see the house in this picture, but it’s just such a classic shot of me telling the dogs that they cannot eat our caretaker’s pet squirrel “Simon” (named for one of the chipmunks). You … Continue reading

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Finding Fallen Wood

Our wood dramas continue…. If you’ve been reading about the progress of our beach house construction you’ll see a repeated theme – we’ve been delayed by the local carpenter again and again. Now, the house is pretty much finished – … Continue reading

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Beach House Progress – Slow and Steady

The whole process has been really slow, but at least it’s been steady. We bought a beachfront concession lot back in April of 2012. It wasn’t easy and you can read the full story here. Since then we’ve been working … Continue reading

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Drilling a Deep Well in Nicaragua

We’re in the process of installing infrastructure for a small 16 lot housing development in northern nicaragua called Tierra Del Sueno. In order to provide water for the development we decided to drill a community well at the top of … Continue reading

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Bodega Progress

We are nearly finished with building our teak and concrete block bodega up on the ridge at Tierra Del Suenos. We’ll use it as a garage, storage unit, and workshop. Right now we’re finishing up the details – painting and … Continue reading

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Digging a Well in the Sand

If you happened to notice our post from a couple of months ago, we bought a beachfront concession lot in North Nicaragua. To catch up on that dramatic story, click here. After finalizing the purchase, the next step was to … Continue reading

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Building a Bodega on the Ridge at Suenos – Part 2

In part 2 of the bodega construction process the floor is poured and the roof is on. If you want to refresh your memory with the purpose of this building and our strategy for building it, click here to read the … Continue reading

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Teak Post and Concrete Block Bodega

We have begun building up on the ridge! First project – a place to store our tools, saddles, surfboards, wheelbarrow, and the building supplies that we’ll need to collect when we’re ready to start building the actual house. The name … Continue reading

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The New Living Fence on our Lot in Tierra Del Sueno

We bought an awesome lot in the new eco-friendly community in Northern Nicaragua called Tierra Del Sueno and are starting to make some improvements. The first step was installing a fence around the perimeter so we can more clearly see … Continue reading

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Phase 1 Roads at Tierra Del Sueno

It’s been a year or more in the planning stages but we have finally broken ground on the new roads that will service lots in Tierra Del Sueno. We had been waiting to finalize the lot lines before figuring out … Continue reading

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How to Make a Stubborn Passionfruit Vine Flower – Nicaraguan Folk Wisdom

We love passion fruit! Called calala or maracuya in Nicaragua, delicious passion fruit is awesome mixed with plain yogurt, granola, and a drizzle of honey. We buy them a dozen at a time and have been eagerly awaiting for the … Continue reading

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Steve and Danika Choose Their Lot

Steven and Danika Thomas lived in Nicaragua for several years and invested in a large piece of property over-looking the bay they liked to surf. They formed the dream of one day building a home on the hilltop and being … Continue reading

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“Volcan” Cacao-Cafe homebrew Stout

             The third, and possibly the best batch, in tropical home brewing adventures, almost met its end in the moldy rainy season condition of June. The rainy season brings clouds of mold that drift invisibly through the air landing on … Continue reading

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Windmills In Nicaragua

One of Nicaragua’s most valuable resources turns out to be wind.   Super strong (often hurricane force) and consistent winds blow across lake Nicaragua.   These amazing winds are basically Trade Winds that are funneled and amplified as the high pressure on … Continue reading

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Growing Guadua bamboo

We had been searching for it for nearly a year, since we learned about it in Ecuador.  Guadua bamboo (Guadua angustifolia and other species) is the giant bamboo species native to Central and South America.  It is one of the strongest … Continue reading

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Our garden grows

We started planting the garden in late October, 2011- lots of  chillies (habanero, jalapeno, arbol, New Mex, serrano and others), various greens, tomatoes, Thai basil, lemongrass, dill, tea tree, sunflowers and a bunch of randoms like purslane and indigo.  Some … Continue reading

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Extreme Driving to Extreme Luxury in Southern Nicaragua

We were headed down to Southern Nicaragua to check out Rancho Santana and talk about possibly using it as a location for an upcoming women’s surf and yoga retreat. The drive usually takes about 6 hours but we wanted to … Continue reading

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Hippy Hop Attack IPA

I’ll admit that I was a doubter. After participating in numerous homebrewing efforts over the years I learned that it isn’t easy, there’s a lot that can go wrong, and especially considering our lack of refined equipment I thought our … Continue reading

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Coconut-Rolled Cashew Honey Cacao Balls

We are all about the homemade – home-brewed IPAs, home-fermented honey wine, and now hand-rolled cacao balls!

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DIY Guanacaste Stairs

We moved into our new cabana about a month prior and had yet to take full advantage of the loft because we didn’t have any stairs.  We had considered several funky stair designs with notched logs and spiral things, but … Continue reading

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Building An Elementary School Classroom with Waves Of Hope

Imagine you’re a 12 year old kid growing up in a remote fishing village in Northern Nicaragua. You’ve spent most of your life barefoot, chasing chickens and skinny dogs through barbed-wire fences. You learned to ride a horse at age … Continue reading

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The German Mound Garden

As a 31st birthday present to myself I decided to build a garden. I’ve been reading through The Permaculture Garden by Graham Bell and thought the design for a German Mound looked interesting.

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Eco-Friendly Bee Hive Removal

While trying to install our signal booster antennae on our new house, we heard a buzzing and came across a buzzing mess lurking under the palm fronds. Kim grabbed a plastic bag and I got in place with the camera. … Continue reading

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Building a Cabana in Nicaragua – Walls up and Siding on

The walls are up, the siding is on, and our cute little 18’sq cabana is nearly finished! We had to leave Nicaragua at this point and are very excited to get back down there and put in the details like … Continue reading

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A Tiny House in Hopland

On our standard tri-yearly drive between Oregon and LA we finally stopped in the deliciously named Hopland to check out the Real Goods Solar Living Institute. The Tiny House was obviously appealing – a micro home on a trailer built … Continue reading

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Framing the Octagon Window

Designing the window placement was a fun experience that involved measuring, re-measuring, and measuring again, then erasing, measuring, and changing the dimensions multiple times. Our friendly red-headed framer was smilingly patient as we changed our minds back and forth. Right … Continue reading

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Building in Nicaragua – Concrete Floor, Tile, and Wood Dilemmas

Building in Nicaragua is both much easier and much more difficult than it would be in the States. This project in particular is easier than most since we’re building on Coco Loco property with full access to power (except when … Continue reading

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Designing an Eco-friendly Cabana in Northern Nicaragua

Using the Barefoot Architect by Johan van Lengen to get a few ideas during the design process.

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Building in Nicaragua – Palm Fronds for the Thatch Roof

Accessing the palm fronds for the thatch roof turned out to be one of the easiest things we’ve had to do so far. There’s a property nearby owned by a friend full of the right kinds of palms, so we … Continue reading

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Building in Nicaragua – Is Cutting Mangroves ever Sustainable?

Mangle, mangle, mangle! We were told we needed to get some varilla to support the palma (palm thatch leaves used for our roof). So we said “OK, where do we get that”? We could either buy it from a local … Continue reading

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New Ocean View Eco Community in Northern Nicaragua

It’s been brewing for a while and now we’re going for it. We’re planning an eco-friendly community on an amazing piece of land consisting of two ridges, a hilltop, and valley situated behind a bay with great waves and a … Continue reading

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Building in Nicaragua – Eucalyptus Plantation and Roof Assembly Video

The video footage of the Eucalyptus plantation experience and the start of the roof assembly.

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Building in Nicaragua – Eucalyptus Plantation Politics

The house progresses rapidly. It’s amazing how quickly the eucalyptus posts can be assembled into home shape. Our nine supporting pillars were bought, cut, delivered, and cemented into place within four days. For the rest of the roof structure we … Continue reading

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Building in Nicaragua – Shopping for Eucalyptus Video

A video summary of shopping for the eucalyptus posts that will become the pillars for our cabana in Nicaragua.

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Building a Cabana in Nicaragua – Eucalyptus posts

Lately our home base has been a thatched roof cabana at El Coco Loco, the Eco-hotel where we run our women’s surf and yoga retreats. Since the guys at Coco Loco have been letting us crash there in between retreats, … Continue reading

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Building with Bamboo – Making Esterilla

Esterilla is essentially flattened bamboo and can be used as flooring, wall paneling, and anything else where you need a strong flat material. In Ecuador we saw it used as walls in many local homes. We happened to come across … Continue reading

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Treehouse Envy

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Bamboo: Hip-E habitat?

The search for a sustainably built home has led us all over the place in the past months.  We’ve been learning a lot about various green building methods and materials, from hay bales, to clay, earth ships and bamboo.   … Continue reading

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The Best Beer in Ecuador

Hiking through permaculture farms and admiring bamboo structures makes one quite thirsty. Usually, quality hoppy libations are inaccessible in Latin America, which is why we were so ecstatic to happen upon Cafe Flor and Roche’s Brewery in Canoa, Ecuador. We’d … Continue reading

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Hiking the Jama-Coque Ecological Reserve in Ecuador

While visiting the Rio Muchacho farm we met a silvaculturalist (tree specialist) named Noah who suggested we check out the Jama-Coque Ecological Reserve. He gave us some vague directions and we followed a dirt road through some squishy mud, left … Continue reading

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Rio Muchacho Organic Farm Tour

Holly Beck and Kim Obermeyer tour the Rio Muchacho Organic Farm in Ecuador, milking cows to make cheese, carving mate bowls, climbing huge trees, and checking out the bamboo structures. http://www.riomuchacho.com

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Koh Ra Ecolodge Thailand

Holly and Kim in Thailand, hanging out at the Koh Ra Ecolodge and cruising Phuket.

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