Appropriate Technology

How Can We Make a Change in the World

How Can We Make a Change in the World

Everything seems to have been created by a higher intelligence that has designed this universe in mysterious ways for us to live off. We live in a perfect symbiosis with nature. Everything seems to have a purpose which co-exists with all that is around us yet we don’t have an explanation to all this perfection.

The Biodigester

The Biodigester

It's 5.30 am in the dewy morning rainforest of Mastatal – the cacophony of squawks and birdsong remind us that the winged beings have begun their daily business of foraging for themselves and their young, the toads have tucked themselves into the nook of a tree or within a pile of leaves to avoid the relentless heat of the new day, and one by one the guests at Rancho Mastatal stretch and yawn their way out of their abodes and ease their way towards their first cup of coffee.

How to Make a Simple Woven Basket

How to Make a Simple Woven Basket

One of my favorite hobbies is working with natural fibers. Soon after arriving here at the ranch as a new apprentice, I was eager to experiment with weaving a simple basket. The Ranch has an existing collection of beautiful baskets, which play an important role in storing food, while maintaining necessary airflow in this hot, humid climate.

How to Make an Earthen Floor for Your Sustainable Home

How to Make an Earthen Floor for Your Sustainable Home

Earthen floors add a great earthy touch to your sustainable home; whether that’s in your cob house or conventional stick frame home. They have more give than concrete or tile, meaning they are more comfortable and easy on your feet.

Contemplating an Uncertain Future: The Ranch and Climate Change

Contemplating an Uncertain Future:  The Ranch and Climate Change

Climate change, after decades of lulling at the bottom of the news cycle, has belatedly made it into the headlines as increasing numbers of people become aware, convinced and concerned about the environmental and social impacts of the Earth’s evolving atmospheric conditions.  I frequently think about disrupted weather patterns and what my role in this unfolding story should be.  

Timber Framing in the Tropics

Timber Framing in the Tropics

The rainforests of Central America might not be the first place that you think of when you hear the term “timber frame construction”, but with initiatives in Monteverde and Mastatal, Costa Rica is starting to make a name for itself in the region for this post and beam building technique. We started to build the infrastructure of Rancho Mastatal Sustainability Education Center in the small rural community of Mastatal, Costa Rica in 2001.