About The Author

I’m a landscape photographer, designer and builder of alternative architecture, and do a variety of more conventional building & remodeling, as well as some property management. Strong interest in alternative construction techniques that fundamentally make sense even if the ‘how-to’ phase hasn’t been accepted into building codes- because code allows so many people to live in drastically energy inefficient, burnable, rot prone structures that use a lot of materials which are suspect in terms of human health consequences. For more information in this vein, see some of the other pages, specifically the ‘Why I’m constructing alternative buildings’ page.

I’m also interested in offgrid living, permaculture, aquaculture, a variety of alternative power sources from solar and wind to low input heating (greenhouse, rocket mass heaters) and am building a cooling tower, with a water misting system at the top causing the falling air column to cool the home. Also thinking of a root cellar, and am in the process of building an aquaponic garden in the greenhouse, with a 1,500 gallon fish tank, reserve tank, and around 30 grow beds.

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I believe that self reliance will be what allows folks to thrive in a world of weather extremes, for you need not rely as heavily on money if you grow your own food, make your own electricity, have natural heating and cooling designed into your home, build it yourself without a mortgage, and pay off the property. My property was 25K in 1997, I paid it off in about eight years and then started building piecemeal, without a construction loan. It’s turned into the Winchester Mystery House of offgrid living, and looks like an off-world Camelot.

Some examples of my photography are below.  A friend once told me, “You have an artist’s eye; everything you see is beautiful, and that comes through in your work.” I’m drawn to nature, and have a penchant for capturing luminous skies, also love ruins and what I term ‘ghost cars’: abandoned in fields, rusted chrome, and grass growing out of the seats…

All images © John Annesley, all rights reserved.

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When I first moved to Arizona, I had a rolling home- an old school bus which I had raised the roof on, put in a sleeping loft, solar panels and built burl cabinets… I eventually traded it for a combination of cash, supplies, and tattoo work. It was 1999 and many were concerned about Y2K. I was running an underground newspaper at the time, and organized a food give-away after Y2K, donating truck loads of storable food to poor people in northern Mexico, many of whom had been starving.  Slideshow of the school bus:

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