Tiny Bamboo House

Step for step development of the new bamboo tiny house at PermaTree. Its a 6 x 3 meters tiny natural house. The roof is in tin the most used roof solution in the region here. The bottom structure is wood and the main house structure is 100% guadua bamboo. It took us a while to figure out how to build a strong structure.

The wooden floor we are most likely going to paint with some color. Probably a nice warm blue – so it will last longer. We need to do some further improvement for the floor structure in terms of how the weight is distributed. For those interested into each step there is a slideshow video on our youtube channel or the same photos in this short blog post here.

Most pictures have been taken with sun – but bear in mind that tropical climate is 3 times a day – tropical rain 🙂 Even more now in the so called rainy season. Thats why one of the biggest challenges with this construction was that the bamboo does not soak too much humidity/water from the heavy rain. We had to use huge plastics to cover up during the night and the days where the rain did not stop. To prevent from the worst.

You may have noticed that there are no walls yet just the structure. Well its not priority Nr.1 to finish the walls. The most important part was to get the roof done. Currently we are trying to finish some other projects witch are more important if compared.

Due to the tropical weather even if the natural material stays dry, thank the big roof there is a risk. Its called “polilla” its a small insect which eats the bamboo or wood. Similar to the termites which are also active around the house. So all the bamboo and wood parts got a treatment, its a liquid which prevents the polilla and the termites to eat the natural construction.

Okay this is not with the tin-roof on top. The next photo is from inside with the spectacular view.

What you see here is the Valley of  “Yantzaza” means “FireFlies” in Shuar language. And yes we do have quite a few fireflies at night.









More Vetiver Grass at PermaTree

Taking advantage of the current rainy season we have been planting some 5000 new vetiver grass seeds. Having already transplanted vetiver grass half a year earlier and seen the positive effect. We decided to plant more during the rainy season.


Technically Vetiver (Chrysopogon zizanioides) is a noninvasive perennial bunchgrass of the Poaceae family, native to India. The name comes from “vetiver,” a Tamil word meaning “root that is dug up.” The zizanioides was given by Linnaeus in 1771 and means “by the riverside.” As you would guess, the native habitat of this grass is in low, damp sites such as swamps and bogs.

Vetiver can grow up to 150 centimeters high and form clumps as wide. The stems are tall and the leaves are long, thin, and rather rigid. The flowers are brownish-purple. Unlike most grasses, which form horizontally spreading, mat-like root systems, vetiver’s roots grow downward, 2 meters to 4 meters in depth. FOUR meters deep roots !!! At finca PermaTree vetiver is a active part of the sustainable elements, we have implemented. There are many additional possible uses of the vetiver grass.

Vetiver grass at PermaTree

This vetiver gras has been planted about 6 month ago

So the most accessible part of finca PermaTree is from where it starts to get steeper and steeper – a real slope.

The reason Vetiver works so well for erosion control is it produces a massive root system that grows straight down rather than out from the plant. It creates a sort of curtain beneath the soil, trapping sediment and slowing down the movement of water. Because the grass grows down instead of outward, it does not become invasive.

Our focus with vetiver is to control the soil erosion

To fight against loss of land, reduced soil fertility, greater rainfall runoff, lower groundwater recharge, more sediment flows in river, higher contaminants in diminishing water supplies, lowered quality of drinking water, increased flooding, and diminished economic benefits and increased hardships to both rural and urban populations especially in developing countries, but also increasingly in developed countries too.

This is one vetiver grass seed we use to transplant.

We purchased the vetiver directly within Ecuador in so called “bultos”, each of the filled with about 500 vetiver grass seedlings.

We did use a lot of manpower. During 2 days no more than 5 planted all the 5000 vetiver

On this image you can clearly see the two rows of vetiver gras transplanted about 50cm before the “cliff” with the natural road.

Here you can see that we decided to plant them rather tightly together. If you compare with the first image at the top with the grown-up vetiver and the recycled tire stair you can image how high and wide this natural fence is going to grow.

Initially 10 month ago we had planted a few vetivers but had not managed to cut down the pasture grass witch grows up to 2 meter high. And so dosen’t let the vetiver get enough sunlight. So for now all is clean and there is no more pasture grass. It will re-grow within the next 4 weeks… But so will the vetiver and hopefully in 3 month from now the vetiver will have won the growing race.


Additional known uses of Vetiver grass

  1. Vetiver protected plots were consistently richer in nutrient contents than control plots. Nitrogen use efficiency was enhanced by about 40%
  2. Vetiver mulch conserves moisture and improves soil fertility
  3. A method of fermenting the harvested grass has been found to make an excellent medium for growing mushrooms.
  4. Vetiver is used as a wind break or to trap soil and sediment from washing away on terraced agricultural plantings as well as bare hillsides.
  5. The roots of the plant have been used for centuries as a source of essential oil that makes a wonderful perfume. It is also used for scenting soaps and other cosmetics.
  6. Rugs and mats made from aromatic Vetiver Root
  7. animal forage at a certain stage of growth
  8. Vetiver Plants are used to clean water from agricultural and farming operations