Dome Homesteading In North Florida

The Man Behind A Local Blog That Reaches Worldwide

Written by Trish Michaels2 Comments

 

Mike Creedy cooks pizza in his rocket fueled COB oven

Mike Creedy by his newly constructed, rocket-fired oven made with clay, sand, hay and sand bags. We fired it up to enjoy whole wheat veggie pizza together. Delicious results!

Mike Creedy is one of North Florida’s self-sufficiency pioneers. He walked away from the corporate world to live off the land in Live Oak. He’s building an energy efficient Dome Home from sand bags – an innovative, rocket-fired COB oven for cooking and heating – and a Permaculture landscape for year-round food. People around the globe are following Mike’s progress via his blog at FloridaDomeHome.com.

“There are lots of like-minded people searching for this lifestyle and sense of inner peace,” Mike says.  “It’s a big underground movement coming to the surface now thanks to the Internet.  People are waking up, getting grounded and becoming more spiritual.  They’re tired of what the corporations, banks and pharmaceutical companies have done in the name of greed.  They follow what we do as I attempt to live without money as much as possible.  It’s fulfilling – fantastic!“

Rocket fueled heat feeder for COB oven

Small wood fragments feed Mike’s innovative rocket-fired, resource-efficient COB oven.

Mike approaches his homesteading adventure with a Brit’s sense of humor, an engineer’s ingenuity, a boyish curiosity, a vegetarian’s respect for all living things and a spiritualist’s depth of peace and patience.  He wants to live as close to nature as possible, gathering natural building materials from his environment and giving back more than he takes.

“I had all the toys, a profitable job, a plane, a beautiful home, etc.  They’re all gone because I don’t want them anymore.  I want to live grounded, back to nature and connected with what matters.  I’m happier in nature, minimizing my cash outlay, doing what I enjoy and giving freely to other people.  That’s why I put all this knowledge on my website  – to give back for everyone to benefit.”

 

COB temperature measurement

Even without the final layers of COB insulation, Mike’s oven easily reached pizza cooking temperature.

Rocket Fired COB Oven

This is no ordinary COB oven!!  It’s rocket-fired, allowing it to reach high temperatures with minimal wood. The base is constructed in sand bags. The oven is made from COB, an ancient technique combining clay, sand and hay.  Mike will add several more COB layers for insulation before its compete. Already it quickly reaches 700 degrees burning just a few sticks of wood – enough for us to cook a couple pizzas to perfection!

Mike’s experimentation with rocket-fired heat technology is one of the most popular pages on his blog. Apart from burning logs inside the oven, he fuels it with wood fragments from a small area at the base of the oven as an alternative source of heat. This unique heat feeder dramatically accelerates the oven temperature.  What else would you expect from an engineer?  Once complete, Mike’s oven will provide an energy efficient cooking source and heat for his Dome Home.  Click here to read more about Mike’s oven.

 

dome home workshop

Friends and blog followers attend Mike’s natural-building workshops to help construct his sand-bag Dome Home.

Sand-Bag Dome Home

Mike’s building his home in stages. The foundation is complete with plumbing and electrical. Exterior walls are about two feet high. It’s built with sand bags to maximize energy-efficiency and minimize the need for supplemental heating/cooling.

The first dome meets his minimal living needs – a kitchen, bathroom, living area and bedroom.  He’s leaving open areas in the exterior walls to easily add future domes when he’s ready to expand.  Click here to learn more about site clearing and dome construction.

The local utility provides electricity to his property and he plans to use it. “I

Last sand bag footer for Dome Home

Finishing the last footer on Mike’s Dome Home foundation.

don’t envision being completely off the grid.  That costs too much money for now.  But I won’t need much power because of the dome’s efficiency.  My goal is to live on $300 a month.  Out of that some gas, some power, some essentials.  I’m set.”

Occasionally, construction pauses while Mike returns to the corporate world to earn money.  Such are the challenges for this pioneer as he pursues a deeper calling to spirituality and self-sufficiency.  “The desire for this lifestyle comes from within, a spiritual calling – like the story of Buddha who after 12 years of meditation no longer wanted the royal life.  He gave his kingdom away.”  Mike’s spirituality is the driving force behind his dream and the cornerstone of his happiness.

Permaculture hugel ready for planting

Mike creates Permaculture hugels and keyholes using wood, scrub, leaves and manure that nourish the soil.

Permaculture, Edible Yard

A completely edible landscape is essential to feed this dedicated vegetarian year-round.  “What gives us the right to murder animals?  More and more people are awakening and turning vegetarian.”  He cooks Ayurvedic foods with Indian seasoning, which he finds both healthy and delicious. “Most of what I eat, I’ll grow on the property.  What I don’t need, I’ll give away to help others.  Giving is a big thing in my life.”   His edible yard is in the infancy stage with big plans for expansion.  He’s planted fruit trees, Hugelkultur beds and other areas are prepped for planting.  Click here for more about Mike’s Permaculture soil. 

 

sewing a full sand bag for Dome Home

Mike blogs about the many ways to fill and seal sand bags for his Dome Home

Mike’s World-Wide Blog Response

Experimenting with all things sustainable in his living laboratory, Mike has much wisdom to share.  People around the world connect with Mike from his ongoing blog.  “I get a tremendous amount of support and gratitude – lots from youngsters who are 16 & 17.  Mostly they want free advice.  I can tell them, if it doesn’t work, don’t go down that road.”  Click here to learn about Mike’s homesteading workshops.

 

Net Tydelik

Mike calls his Live Oak homestead “Net Tydelik.”  It’s Afrikaans for “Just Temporary.” He says, “Everything’s really just temporary, isn’t it?” It’s the name of a multi-million dollar estate near the South African diamond-mining community where Mike grew up.  Mike was turned off by the mining industry’s abuse of the area’s ecology and black workers.  “For what?” he asks. “The false sense of value in a diamond?”  He loves the irony in naming his humble homestead after one where there’s such disrespect for people and natural resources.

This pioneer’s motto?  “Never give up, even if you have to do to do it alone.  Just keep on going.  There’s life at the end of the tunnel.  Inspiration comes.”

Follow Mike Creedy’s homesteading adventures here at FloridaHomeDome.com.  A wealth of information lovingly and freely shared! 

 

 

By Trish Michaels

I’ve been gardening organically for 20+ years. I'm mostly vegetarian. I love cooking what I grow and creating recipes to incorporate whole grains, beans and seeds. In my Jacksonville home, I lower my carbon footprint with solar power, rainwater harvesting, composting, waste reduction, etc. I'm eager to do more!I launched Sustainable North Florida in 2012 as a way to donate my digital marketing skills to help promote the many sustainable events and people greening our community - and to connect with other locals who share my passion for protecting natural resources, eating healthy and living green.My vision is a more sustainable community that lovingly supports one another with knowledge and resources. Jacksonville is a great place to call home!

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2 Comments on “Dome Homesteading In North Florida”

  1. Experience:
    Have designed, built and installed over 100 waterless, sewerless, zero discharge, near zero maintenance, self sustaining waste mineralizing systems across the U.S. and Canada since 1980. Have personally owned and operated 8 of these systems under varied, loading and usage, field conditions since 1980. Some of these conditions include:
    Three- single family rental houses;
    One- single family rental mobile home;
    A four unit apartment building;
    A seasonal “Ice Cream” shop/ “sit-down” restaurant (200 customer/ day);
    A 2-story, four office/ assembly plant building.

    Goals:
    To continue to educate the human race and make it aware of the advantages and benefits of waterless/ sewerless sanitation over the archaic, harmful and dangerous water-borne, “flush and forget”, “sewage as usual” paradigms;

    To continue to develop, improve and promote the “waterless/ sewerless” alternative by continually demonstrating the rationale, logic, water savings and money savings economics and simultaneously protecting the health and welfare of the natural environment and the human race itself.

    Specialties: Since 1970 when my family and I purposely “dropped out” of the “corporate scene”. In 1973 w (wife & I constructed a 40′ diameter geo-desic dome house and lived there and raised children (off the grid by choice) for nearly 30 years. This gave us the unique and rewarding opportunity to be able to think “out of the box”. Some of the results of this wonderful opportunity have been: to “crystallize” chronological, progressive thought processes concerning where and how the human creature is suppose to “fit” in to the master scheme;
    Have developed formulae which enable Performance Based, site/ application specific, zero discharge waste treatment