February 27, 2009 · 7:00 AM
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Roald Gunderson is a Whole Tree Architect, a business man, family man, and a farmer, and probably hundreds of other things as well. I have been admiring his work for years. Roald uses whole trees as the structural framework of his designs. Whole trees have weight to strength ratio eaqual to that of steel in compression, and twice that of steel in tension!!! There is a wealth of information to whet your appetite on Roald Gunderson's website about whole trees themselves, and about how he utilizes their strength and grace in his buildings.
On Roald's land, there are a number of sturctures and buildings built with whole tree architecture, insulated with straw bales not only in the walls but in the roof! Imagine the strength of those trees!!
We will tour these buildings with Roald, and get to know him a little bit as well.
Dress for the occasion! The farm is in Stoddard Wisconsin, just south of LaCrosse. There is a direct Amtrack route to LaCrosse we could take, or we could carpool in a couple cars. That is 5 hours from Chicago by car.
In LaCrosse, that same weekend, there is a huge Organic Farming conference, one of the biggest in the country. Roald tells me that those that represent at this conference are the real deal people who have been right on the cutting edge of healthy foods for decades now. SOOOO....if you wanted to make a weekend out of it, Roald has offered to sleep people in the Interns' buildings on his land.
(What? Interns building?! Yes, (Nadirah!) he has an internship program of some sort, and he is making THE most beautiful and interesting stuff in the midwest. I might apply for it when I learn more about it! Lets go hear what he has to say!)
When I asked Roald what compensation he would like, he answered either a couple hours of work or a nice donation. Lets give him both!
Please chime in about how you see this weekend shaking out, whether you would be interested in carpooling, taking the train, coming at all...any of these things.