Heralded by a gypsy-pioneer spirit, we (Rex, Lorian and baby) moved to the Missouri forest two decades ago.  We lived in a tent for a while and built our straw bale and earthen homestead with our own hands and with the helping hands of wonderful friends and family.  We enjoy living off-grid in our hand-built straw bale octagon home, with our two children, chickens, ducks, guineas, peacocks, dogs, cats, horse, and all manner of wild creatures.  We strive to live more and more sustainably and have fun doing it.  After having built possibly the first straw bale house in Missouri in 1994 and living off-grid since 1997, we have found that what we truly love and what we want to emphasize is sustainable living in its many facets.  There are so many ways that we humans can live sustainably; we can apply our ingenuity and creativity to life and make something uniquely our own.

Rex is a horticulturist who creates attractive landscape gardens, installs solar power and is a BPI-certified energy analyst and auditor.  He enjoys tinkering and trying new ways of approaching life situations. Lorian is now a mudder and gal Friday (a social worker and agitator for justice in a previous life), who is excited by the many facets of creativity and life. She has home schooled their two beautiful children, who have many of their own accomplishments and a lovely life.

One of our goals in building our house was to demonstrate that almost anyone can build their own shelter.  We also believe that everyone has a right to affordable housing, and we want to encourage others to make home-building accessible to themselves by using sustainable and low-tech building methods and indigenous materials, all of which have a much lower embodied energy.  Just as important, working with natural materials is calming, and dirt makes us feel good!  That’s good for us, good for the planet, good to each other.

By being present with our thoughts and actions, we allow our dedication to the earth and all its inhabitants to inform our everyday decisions.  This ongoing presence of mind is what we need, to allow for a better way.

Happy Journeys!  ~ Rex & Lorian

9 thoughts on “About

    • Thank you! Yes, we too have been on this path for some time now, and it is wonderful to see so many more people interested in sustainability than seemed to be back in the early ’90s. I look forward to reading more from you, as well!
      ~ Lorian

  1. Hi Rex & Lori. I am Chris, Mary & Howard’s daughter. You lived next door to them a long time ago, in St. Charles. I always wondered where you guys wound up, and I recently came across a business card of yours. (yes, I kept it all this time) Thought I’d try to find you! Your website is fantastic and I havent even seen it all! Mom & dad are doing okay, lots of health issues but holding their own. I am very excited to find your website and see how you are doing. Take care! Chris

    • Hi Chris! We’re glad you found us too! It is so good to hear from you and to know Howard and Mary are doing okay. We think about y’all and have wondered how everything goes. Thank you for the positive feedback about our website; it was the first one I built. I will be adding more content and photos this winter. We would love to stay in touch with you, maybe meet up sometime in St. Charles? 🙂 Hello to Howard and Mary, and Best Wishes!

  2. Wow, I LOVE your blog, Lori! Jesse and I would love to be off-grid, but we know absolutely *nothing.* We’re like a couple of small children when it comes to things like that. Do you have your own little Wi-Fi hotspot? Or how does that work? This year, I do intend to learn to garden a bit. We’re really feeling the need to eat fresh, non-GMO vegetables and herbs. Fruits too, but I don’t know yet which ones would work well for Missouri that don’t require mature trees. BTW, have you ever considered offering a workshop for people who are interested?

    • Thank you, Amy! Baby steps are the best way to do things, really. You will enjoy tending a garden. However, I have grown to appreciate ways to minimize weeding. Love the fresh organic produce. Being powered by the sun has served us well, and we enjoy being off-grid; as the article states, https://silverseedfarms.wordpress.com/2013/02/02/sunny-skies-and-off-grid-living/, there is more maintenance involved, as compared to being grid-intertied. There are basically three choices you have for going solar, and you want to see which one fits you best. We would be glad to give you more information about it, but you can start with our descriptive webpage and links at http://silverseedfarms.com/solar-energy-services.html. (Just scroll down to “Types of PV Systems” and click on the link for each one for more description.) For our internet connection, we have “extended DSL”, which I hear is not as fast as DSL, but it is very good imo. We do teach a few workshops – are you referring to teaching about growing veggies and fruits, or about an off-grid lifestyle? Both would be pretty fun, actually. 🙂

      • Your blog is super-informative! I’m going to get pretty involved with the Sullivan Community Garden this year (hopefully I’ll learn a few things), but the next time you give a workshop for anything at all, just let me know. We certainly would like to know more about off-grid living.

        • Thank you! I’d like to know more about the Sullivan Community Garden. So far, we will be teaching/doing a workshop the first weekend in May on Cob Oven Building and an Introduction to Solar Energy workshop in August with an Advanced Solar PV workshop to follow. A description of them is on our website on the Workshops and Events page. It’s looking like we may do a workshop on straw bale building (fall) and one on wall building with natural materials (summer). I’ll let you know as things get closer and when we add more stuff. 🙂 Glad to know you’re interested!

          • Awesome! Jesse and I will try to make it to some of these workshops. The Community Garden is going to be a learning garden that will take place over by the Sullivan fairgrounds, very near the lake. We’re still in the planning stages right now, but we’re looking to get things rolling right away. Several people have volunteered to help garden visitors learn about gardening. Our goal is to help people realize how easy it is to start and maintain a garden at home, even in a small space. Like I mentioned, I know nothing at this point, but I’m very excited!

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