Prior Preparation Patience Practice and Perseverance Promote Preferred Performance

Just as it's easier to drive a nail with a hammer than a rock, a bag stand and slider assist in the ease of earthbag construction. To comply with the FQSS standard, we have developed a few specialized site-built tools and adopted techniques and a language that enhance the precision, quality, understanding, and enjoyment of earthbag building.

No matter how we build, building a house is a lot of work. Building a house is a process. What we learn from the process will be reflected in the product. The process proceeds smoothly when we pay attention to details, and attention to details begins with prior preparation.

Any professional builder or artisan will tell us that 75 percent of building time is spent preparing for the actual construction. That's why it is imperative to find joy in the process as well as the product. We spend most of our time and energy involved in the process, so let's make the most of it. In this modern world of instant gratification, the reality of a fullblown construction project can be daunting. Maybe there should be some sort of Home Builder's Anonymous organization that first timers could attend — kind of a 12-step program for acquiring a Zen philosophy toward building. The mantra would be: prior preparation, patience, practice, and perseverance promote preferred performance.

Whenever we've tried to cut corners, we ended up having to backtrack, undo, and redo. It's the price we paid for our impatience. It is far cheaper to pay attention up front than to pay later by doing it all over again. Living with results that make us feel good every time we look at them is far more satisfying than wishing we'd taken the time to do a nice job. And if we stick with it, we will be rewarded in the end with a

3.1: Tools of the dirtbag trade.

work of beauty and a wealth of gained knowledge. Impatience, whining, and complaining are exhausting. Another way to think of building is like having a first baby. The more we are prepared to take care of another human being, the more fun we'll have.

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Building Your Own Greenhouse

Building Your Own Greenhouse

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