A Tiny House for Middle Earth


“Wind up, up, up the road to the tippity top of the hill,” read the directions, “and when it flattens out at the top, my house is a hop, skip and a jump away in the young alder woods.”

What magical place were we coming to, and who would write such directions? As we walked through the alder-shaded path, slender trunks curved like a canopy over the pathway, beckoning us in…to Greg Crawford’s enchanting wattle-and-cob tiny house. Right out of Middle Earth. Or right in it.

100823_greg2_175.jpgWe taped a conversation in the second-story open-air balcony / loft about Greg’s intuitive architecture. The process of building from green alder uprights stuck in cement-and-stone foundation. Weaving horizontal alder sticks to create undulating walls. Digging clay onsite to mix with straw, and applying the resulting cob to the wooden structure inside and out.

This summer season house has a dark and cozy spacious downstairs den (perhaps like the den Bear hibernates in?). And our favorite, a nest filled with pillows, the perfect soft womb to fall into. Above it, a two-story tower with inset windows of organic and ornate shapes. Ornamentation adorned nooks, chandeliers, candleholders, windows, niches.

Greg advocates building such intuitive, personal, organic structures…to sustain hearts and souls as well as bodies. And to show that with few tools, common sense, and by listening to our body’s innate wisdom, we can create our own sustainable and totally personal homes rather than make ourselves fit into the boxes built by others.

I hope you’ll be as enchanted visiting this magical place in video as we were taping it! Move over, Bilbo! Watch An Earthen House Built by Hand (episode 215).


  1. Any more pictures? Or is there a video on the way 🙂 Love this. I was visiting some friends in Turangi (South of Lake Taupo) last week, and will post a short video of their building methods – great stuff. Have put a video about their food initiatives here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GlbFnJuGkQo

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