That garbage is the material she’s using to building a home.
Hatch and the work crew have been building an earthship, a type of house made from recycled materials that aims to retain a constant temperature, with less need for traditional heating and cooling.
The design originated in the Southwest in the late 20th century, and it’s a “relatively new building concept in Vermont,” said Elle O’Casey, communications director at the state Agency of Natural Resources.
Until recently Hatch, a software developer, had been trying to live sustainably in her 19th-century Massachusetts home, at one point converting to geothermal energy.
“I have wanted to minimize my footprint,” she said.
But she wanted to go even further: off the grid. The earthship concept, pioneered by architect Michael Reynolds, seemed ideal.
With its small pockets of people, the Northeast Kingdom appealed to Hatch as a good location, and last June she bought 11.5 acres off Bayley Hazen Road in Greensboro.
She enlisted the help of Regenerative Retrofits — a building group led by Johnson resident Brenden McBrier — and since the summer the crew has been working three days a week on the planned 800-square-foot home.
The key idea behind earthships is to use abundant materials that would otherwise be discarded — namely scrap tires. In building earthships, tires are used like bricks; Hatch’s project calls for about 700 of them, and the walls of the home will eventually reach 13 tires high.