Oh, Give Me a Home
by Sharon Biggs Waller
Forget the golf-course community—make my suburban homestead in an organic-farm subdivision.
An eco-friendly hideaway at Tryon Farms Dunes Settlement
January 8, 2011
By Julie Dean Kessler
Going green in construction ranges from simple alternatives to sophisticated techniques. At Tryon Farm, all pond houses have green roofs that can include planted moss, sedum, and grass, cutting down heat gain and controlling and filtering water runoff...
Scratched your Toreauvian itch lately? If not, take a long, slow Sunday swing around the bottom of Lake Michigan. Just short of the Michigan border you'll find a place where fresh mown alfalfa perfumes the air, long legged herons circle overhead and wildflower dotted paths connect six intimate clusters of modern homes and the conservation minded homeowners who love them.
Download PDF [3.5M]
The Green Issue: Grass Roofs
Because the Noonans wanted to build a green community, they researched green roofs ... "We wanted to do this because they are environmentally terrific and the homes inside are so much cooler in the summer and warmer in the winter," Noonan says. Tryon Farm currently has three sod roofs finished and plans six more this year.
Green Acres -- How Tryon Farm developer Ed Noonan went green before it became a trendy movement
Ed Noonan has put a new spin on life down on the farm. The 67 families residing at his 170-acre Tryon Farm, in Michigan City, Ind., and the 83 families yet to come, each own 1/150th of the acreage that Tryon maintains as never-to-be-developed woods and farmland, where their houses are clustered and open land predominates.
A New Shade of Green: Farm Team
But what truly distinguishes Tryon from other conservation communities ... is that its development strategy is coupled with progressive architecture.
[Turned] the farm's 170 acres into a working sustainable development, complete with a natural wetlands sewage system, which operates independently of a municipal system, and biophilic berm houses that are embraced on all sides by wildflowers and native grasses.
The Wall Street Journal
For Sale: Condo W/Chicken Coop
May 17, 2007
Catering to Americans' desire to live "green," developers around the country are creating communities on or adjoining farms, pitching views of sorghum fields, grazing livestock, and local -- very local -- food, such as eggs residents collect from the property's henhouse ...
Gathering Together: Communities That Serve People and Planet
Located an hour's drive or train ride east of Chicago, Tryon Farm encompasses a prairie, farmland, ponds, dunes and woods within its 170 acres. ... While a traditional homebuilder might have bulldozed the dunes, filled in the wetlands and covered the prairie with tract homes, developer and architect Ed Noonan and his wife, Eve, had a different vision. They created homes that nestle into the landscape, disturbing it as little as possible. ...
Michigan City, Indiana was recently named one of 5 terrific & affordable locations. Smart Money
"Tryon Farm, in northern Indiana, breaks new ground for new-home development." Chicago Tribune
"It's a modern-day Little House On the Prairie... a conservation development dedicated to keeping its land as natural as possible." Chicago Sun-Times
"Tryon Farm (is) an environmentally sensitive farm-based development in NW Indiana that takes advantage of a growing demand for community, kinship, and distinctive homes amid wide-open natural spaces....at Tryon Farm homeowners can also see goats, herds of deer in the meadows, alfalfa in working fields and rare green herons prancing stoically in restored wetlands." New York Times
"The simple but elegant Tryon Farm is gaining national attention as the wave of smart future housing... it's also helping visitors unravel some of the conundrums of modern life." The Times (Portage, Indiana)
"Development usually clashes with preserving green space, but Tryon Farm has shown land can be set aside, not by government requirement, but because people want it." The News-Dispatch, (Michigan City, Indiana)
"Expansion of urban areas into the countryside seems inevitable. Thankfully, developments like Tryon Farm are proving that all new housing doesn't have to be in cookie cutter subdivisions." The News-Dispatch, (Michigan City, Indiana)
"The Dennis family first bought a little 600 square foot cabin in Tryon as a weekend get-away. After a few years of falling in love with the conserved land and the fabulous architecture that blends contemporary design with structures that are in complete harmony with the natural surroundings, they purchased a 2,000 square foot permanent home." On Common Ground (Winter 2006)
"The land exudes the quiet and stillness of a rural area...combatting the suburban malaise and preserving a bit of the natural habitat." Conscious Choice magazine
"You have the feeling that Thoreau would have approved of Tryon Farm. The principles of economy - of working with what you have - are honored...." Organic Style