A Sustainable Housing Community for Veterans in Need.
I have always been a fan of earthen buildings, but the idea for FOXHOLE happened on January 20th, 2014...
I had taken my family to The Greater World Earthship Community outside Taos, NM, in hopes of persuading my wife to let me build an Earthship for us. That was Martin Luther King weekend, and it was cold -- low of 14 Fahrenheit with 30mph winds. Even with no heating system the Earthship stayed 73 degrees inside and I was walking around barefoot on the concrete floor! I said to myself: “I want one of these... but many of our struggling veterans need one of these.” I shared the idea with some friends and excitement grew.
So, in October of that year, I attended the Earthship Academy to learn the technique of creating these incredible structures. The following spring we began our process of incorporation, and on April 25th 2015 several big things happened. That was the day of our local Earthday Celebration and we put together a booth -- just to spread the word about what we were hoping to do.
Toward the end of the day we met Daniel of Fiddler's Green Home who asked: “Do you have land to do this on?” We didn't. He invited us out to his house after the celebration to talk about building one at his organization just south of Tularosa, New Mexico.
I went home to clean up first and found our approval from the IRS as an official 501c3 in the mail. We met with Daniel that afternoon and struck a partnership to build our first demonstration home.
That summer I went to Colorado to complete the second phase of my Earthship Education.
On October 3 2015, we pounded our first tire on what we have come to call The "Desert Fox". An army of volunteers worked over the next several months and the building celebrated its grand opening on Feb 25 2016.
Over the next several months I traveled back to Taos to give a class at the very Academy I'd attended two years prior. In one of these classes I met Mitchell, who offered to front the money we needed to purchase the land for our community.
On November 11, Veteran's Day 2016, Board members signed the lease for the land where the first veteran community will be created.
In the summer of 2017, our team and many volunteers from around the country and world came together to create the first Earthship inspired structure on site.
This winter the Desert Fox 2 was completed in good fashion, as a demonstration and to serve as an office, information center and propagating the tree starts for the eventual Foxhole community orchard. This simple structure demonstrates our ability to produce sound structures in a time-effective manner.
The next phase with be the construction of a workshop out of tire bales to keep tools and equipment and facilitate future projects. By the time the "Shealy Shop" (In honor of Michael Shealy, a pioneer of tire bale construction) is complete, we hope to be on track to begin construction of the first veteran home.