JOURNEY TO A STRAW BALE HOUSE
The Long Road to Santa Rita in an Old Hispano Neighborhood on the Northern Edge of New Mexico
“Synopsis: This tale is the author’s life ramble that led to the adventure of building a cabin in the northern New Mexico wilderness. The place, called Santa Rita by its founders, was the site of a tiny settlement built by Hispano homesteaders a century earlier. One of Flint’s new neighbors was Baudelio Garcia, a descendant of original pioneers. Garcia partnered with the author to take on the unfamiliar task of building a straw bale house, beginning when the winter snows were still on the surrounding mountains and having the house under roof when the fall snows arrived. Garcia helped navigate the largely Hispano neighborhood to make the project succeed. The collaboration revealed the strong attachment of the local people for their home place, their patria chica, and the persistence of their ancient language and culture.
“Critique: What is it truly like to build a straw bale house with one's own hands? A handful of color photographs illustrate this atmospheric chronicle of not only constructing a simple home, but also befriending local inhabitants and appreciating cultural traditions handed down through the generations. Evocative and adventurous, Journey to a Straw Bale House is an armchair traveler’s dream—the vivid, vicarious experience of painstaking constructing a dwelling just as past homesteaders once did (without personally engaging in months of physical labor)!”
—Midwest Book Review