Adobe Tiny House Project

YOU can give people the skills they need to restore the land and reverse the climate crisis.

YOU can make a difference.

Adobe Tiny House Update (4/20/20)

Due to coronavirus, our Americorps NCCC team was sent home early and the project was put on hold. Tears were shed as the team said goodbye, but the traditional adobe building skills gained by each of the 24+ project participants (Americorps team members and workshop participants) are still present. We made it to the halfway mark of the Adobe Tiny House Project, and we hope to resume construction in the near future! Yes, we can still use your support!

Why Adobe Tiny Houses?

Imagine a world where you couldn't afford to buy or rent housing,

... and you constantly had to pump up the A/C during the day and the heat at night

... and factory workers somewhere (you're not sure where) had to work tirelessly to make building materials that generated greenhouse gas emissions during manufacturing and shipping.

Now imagine yourself living in an adobe house made from the soil right under your feet! Adobe is a building technique used historically in our region that uses native soil to construct buildings with nearly no purchased materials and zero embodied energy. Adobe buildings keep cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter, compared to conventionally built buildings. The most remarkable part is that if you repurpose waste, the materials for one adobe tiny house can cost less than $300.

About the project

This spring, we began constructing two innovative adobe tiny houses on the Deep Dirt Institute campus! We broke ground on the project on February 24, 2020, when our Americorps NCCC team arrived for their 6 week service period. Americorps is a government program that engages 18- to 24-year-olds in team-based community service. Through a competitive grant application process, we were awarded an 11-member team!


The project has been led by program director Kate Tirion, intern Mackenzie Martin, adobe expert Erasmo Lagunas, and traditional skills expert Richard Connolly. We invited the local community to participate in workshops and tours alongside Americorps NCCC members, reskilling about 30 people in traditional adobe building and educating 200-300 visitors per year who interact with the adobe houses. And once the houses are built, we will be able to host more students and visitors on our campus for many years into the future!

Here you can see photos of our adobe "Mulberry House," built in 2015 with repurposed waste materials: urbanite (salvaged concrete aggregate), used brick, used satellite dishes, and discarded windows and doors. We are building our new adobe tiny houses in much the same way, except they are 12' in diameter (2' bigger than the Mulberry house).

How can you help?

When you give, you educate 285 people each year and leave a tangible legend that will stand for many years to come. So far, Deep Dirt Institute has educated over 4,000 youth and adults in land restoration and permaculture skills.

We need your help to cover the cost of housing the Americorps NCCC team, managing the project, compensating our natural building instructors, holding workshops and presentations to educate the community, and buying materials and tools.


Our foundational philosophy involves repurposing waste and stretching every dollar as far as we can. Rest assured that your gift will make a big difference.

Please Donate!

$8,000 Goal


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Deep Dirt Institute

Campus Address:

#76 Stevens Canyon Road

Patagonia, AZ




© 2019 Deep Dirt Institute

Deep Dirt Institute is a 501(c)3 nonprofit # 82-1550846 

Mailing Address (general): P.O. Box 765, Patagonia, AZ 85624

Mailing Address (donations): P.O. Box 121, Patagonia, AZ 85624