Sufi Farm Trip
By: Sam Harshman
Last Thursday, my history class went to Dayempur Farm in Southern Illinois. Dayempur Farm is a "...land-based project of the Dayemi Tariqat, a non-for-profit, religiious and educational organization based upon the principles of Sufism." At the farm, they build sustainable homes and buildings for sustainable living. The first building that we were shown was a timber frame home built with little to no nails at all. It is a north-south facing building with most of the glass on the south side. Also on the south side is a overhang that blocks out the sunlight during the summer months and allows sunlight in the building for warmth during the winter months. The roof of the home also collects rain water and directs it to an underground rain water collection.
Here is a picture of the interior of the home, showing the timber frame.
The next building we looked at was my favorite. It was a one room building out in the middle of the woods, built out of square straw bales and a type of natural plaster. To form the walls, the straw bales are stacked on each other, sort of like Lego's. After the straw bale walls are up a plaster like substance is literally thrown onto the bales and later were smoothed out. This creates an eighteen inch wall so the room is insulated very nicely. There is no electricity to this building so it has to be livable in the summer and the winter months.
Here is a picture of the exterior showing the smooth plastered straw bales.
This picture is for all you who do not believe me about the straw bale walls.
This last picture is one of my favorites. During the construction of the building the builders put empty San Pellegrino bottles in the wall to create some opaque windows.