Kangaroo Island Fire Proof Earthship & Food Forest

Our vast parcel of heritage listed bushland  in the remote north west was hit hard by the Kangaroo Island fires on the 23rd of December 2019, and then again on the 3rd of January 2020.  The fire burned through our pristine valleys and creek lines, devastating the endemic flora and fauna.  

Our small off the grid family business 'Bush Organics' lost 1/3 of our beehives, workshop with tools & hive supplies, organic orchard, food forest, irrigation systems, tanks and pump.  The fires have heavily impacted our local community and family, effecting our income, wellbeing and lifestyle. 

We need to re think before we rebuild!  The temperatures are increasing and wild fires are set to become part of our future.  After a couple of months of discussion we have decided to work with our family friend Dr Martin Freney to design and plan the build of a pod designed earthship.  Together with Phil Mather our resident horticulturist and stone masion we will redesign the organic orchard, food forest and look to plant fire resistant species in the landscaping.

Earthships are energy and water efficient homes that are made with upcycled waste materials and earth. They are self-sufficient in power, water and black/grey water treatment.  Ideal for rebuilding in bushfire affected areas as they are inherently bushfire resistant due to earthsheltered architecture in which the walls of the home are surrounded by a layer of earth many metres thick which creates a fire-proof barrier that is impenetrable to embers and heat.  Many Earthships also have a sod roof, earth roof or green roof which is essentially a layer of earth over the roof which similar to underground homes which are renowned for their fire resistance.  Only one side – the sunny north side – is exposed to the risk of fire.  This side is covered with large, toughened, double-glazed windows and doors which is important for solar heating in winter.  To protect this exposed part of the building, bushfire shutters and (or) a sprinkler system can be operated manually, remotely or automatically using existing technology.  During a bushfire this is critical because power and water are usually the first things to fail. Having your own off-grid power and water systems to protect your home, your family and can offer refuge to your friends and neighbours.   

Alongside Dr Martin Freney, our family with the supporting hands of our community will build a sustainable model and lead by example of how to live simply in high risk bush fire areas in harmony with nature.  We will open our earthship as part of the sustainable house days and provide educational, research and development residencies and community workshops.  We would be so greatful if you can help us to rebuild by supporting our journey and dream.

Thank you

Lara

www.laratilbrook.com 
www.bushorganics.com.au 
www.earthshipecohomes.com.au
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