By Niki Raapana
February 8, 2010
scraps used for first 16' gertee, spring 2007
Gertees are basically standard yurts made from raw or salvaged materials. Unlike the Mongolian and Western versions (exquisitely crafted and covered in gorgeous fabrics), gertee is the budget variety. It utilizes many items that would otherwise go to the dump.
4 boards screwed together to form a rectangle or a standard door with a frame can be used, even if the walls are shorter than the door.
There is something very nurturing about living in a round room, once you get the hang of how to arrange the furniture. We now think in circles and "pies" and not squares and rectangles.
have electric and phone (usually) and the rest we do for ourselves. It's been amazing to see what kinds of things we need and how hard it is to find some of them. Sometimes it hits us how we could be making things we've always bought, like rope, and now we make our own. Gertee has caused me to try things I never imagined I wanted to learn, like my chainsaw, which I started using to cut firewood but now have made 2 doors and all kinds of structural changes with it.
The best part for everyone else like me who needs a home is, Gertee is an affordable, livable option that can be modified to adapt to any climate. Green by natural design, yurts have a low carbon footprint and are a proven sustainable house; the Mongolians have been living in them for more than 3000 years without it destroying their environment.
Our Gertee book is under development and will be available in April 2010.