Jon & I trade off watching the kids when we visit all the fun museums in our fair city. When it was my turn to hang out in "The Building Zone", Jon told me I found an interesting book that you should read. It turned out to be "Sod Houses on The Great Plains" by Glen Pounds.
Everyone remembers Laura Ingells' dugout home in Plum Creek. Who knew how amazing these humble dirt homes really were? The indigenous building material was cheap and readily available on the treeless plains. The two feet thick sod walls saved the settlers from being "burned out" during the huge grass fires that were common on the prairie. Housekeeping in a sod home was a bit of a challenge. Ma Ingells had contend with puddles on the floor from a soaked roof every time the rain lasted over an hour and snakes "occassionally" fell through the ceiling while chasing the many field mice which inhabited the roof.
My favorite quote however related to the appeared of a well, loved sod house.
"It was possible to judge how long a sod house had stood from the height of grass and sunflowers growing on the dirt roof. The older the house was, the more it came to look like some kind of unusual florist's shop."
Something to think about the next time I pick up sunflowers at Safeway.