Sod Room, Not Sod House, Keeps Cool in Summer, Warm in Winter

While not a sod house, one-room block house is expanded using sod.

| Good Old Days

When we came to our homestead in Barton County, Kansas, 76 years ago, there was a little one-room block house on our place with a roof of brush and hay. Father had to get a neighbor to make the long trip to town to get some lumber for a roof.

While our home wasn’t a sod house, Father built on a room made out of sod. Always that room was nice and warm in winter and cool and pleasant in summer. Every stick of furniture we had was made by my father. He made a bedstead, a table, a chair for Mother, and a bench for us children.

Later there was an extra little room where we kept corn for the hogs and chickens. My brothers had to sleep on top of the corn! We lived this way for 10 years before we could afford to build a stone house.

Father had a team of oxen, and Mother had to go along when he plowed to lead them. In winter, it took one person's full time to cut the cornstalks and sunflower stalks to feed the fire. My mother refused to use prairie coal (cow chips).

We children had to walk 2 1/2 miles to school, and our lunch usually was a piece of bread and some fat bacon. But we all grew up to be strong and work hard, and every single one of us reached our 70s.

Louisa Wondra
Odin, Kan.

mother earth news fair 2018 schedule


Next: October 13-14, 2018
Topeka, KS

Whether you want to learn how to grow and raise your own food, build your own root cellar, or create a green dream home, come out and learn everything you need to know — and then some!