I met Johanna in Aug, 2009 in Santa Rosa, CA. I saw her and her team working diligently at one of the sites creating a wonderful cob home and earthen ovens!! For past couple of decades, Johanna is sincerely working towards introducing the Natural Earthen Building techniques to the Main Street... to the common man of the US... to THE 99%. Using these earthen techniques, people can build there own houses using readily available and extremely cheap raw materials like Mud, Clay, Straw etc. Buildings made by these materials are found to be resistant to powerful earth-quakes and storms...! The teaching expertise is here, all they need is more funds and recognition, so that they can crank it up and make these awesome earthen building techniques available to more and more people. I thank Johanna for toiling so hard on behalf of all Humanity to strive and keep these earthen building techniques alive and for working really hard and try and introduce these techniques to more people to make them self-dependent! I sincerely urge everyone to please help her mission and help Humanity.
I volunteered to help (and learn how to) build a cob oven at our Local Grange here in Santa Cruz. My son and I had a marvelous time, both in the community spirit of it, and in the creativity. We made something beautiful and practical with mud, straw, stones, water, and ourselves. I Love and Honor the Integrity with which NV approaches all forms of Livelihood and Human Community Creativity. The beauty and clarity of NV work is self-evident, and so I sing it from the mountaintops to help more people know that something this wonderful is available.
I also contributed materials, prayers, and spread the word about the amazing projects in South Dakota on the Lakota Reservation.
My experience with Johanna has shown her to be stalwart in her passion and commitment to Natural Villages. She can teach you what you need to know and she will work side by side with you to make your projects succeed. Inexpensive, sustainable housing for all is an achievable goal and Johanna and Natural Villages can help you get there.
I have only met one of the leaders, and visited the website so I am no expert on Natural Villages. But, what I do know about, I am impressed with. First of all, the fact that such an organization, teaching sustainable housing skills and doing it in areas often overlooked, is revolutionary. i am heartened to know that not only is shelter built on the Pine Ridge Reservation and in other places, but community is created through the building process, and deep wounds of racism and oppression are surfaced and healed. Secondly, their website is highly educational about the existence of natural building techniques and the need to create village-like communities for the welfare of our world.