Lava Trees

English: Inside view of lava tree at Hawaii La...

Inside view of lava tree at Hawaii Lava Tree State Park (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


by Glen Swartwout

“I’m off to the Lava Tree…” said one hobbit to his fellow.

“Mind you don’t fall in!” came a retort of caution….

You see, lava tree moulds are holes in the earth that can easily be ten feet deep and up to two or three feet wide, a mould formed around a tree by a lava flow, leaving a void where the tree once stood.  At the bottom of the hole is typically a bit of a wider bell where the butt end of the tree broadened out into its root structure.


If you see a Lava Tree sign on a small building that looks like a hobbit’s hideaway, or maybe a tardis… It’s a pun (remember we are located in Puna): if it were a real lavatory, it would have hot and cold running water, not just hot (and actually the best place for that hot nitrogenous water is just beyond the drip line of the orchard trees, banana plants or best of all – coconut palms).  Since a tree mould is like a glass bottle, a deep one is a perfect container for long-term humanure composting.  When full, simply move the Lava Tree structure to the next deep gaping hole to fill, and plant a tree with a tap root.  It will be one happy tree! Read the rest of this entry


Lava Tubes and the Underground

Close-up of a skylight on coastal plain, Hawai...

Close-up of a skylight on coastal plain, Hawai`i Volcanoes National Park, with lava stalactites forming on the roof of the lava tube. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)


by Glen Swartwout

Lava tubes are fun!  Not to mention intriguing entrances to the underworld of the Mu…

Sculpting underground rooms is perhaps considered less fun by many, but there are those of us who enjoy this sort of challenge!  Just look at the underground chapel at the Damanhur community in Italy!

We are still searching for an entrance to the Mines of Moria, but we have discovered some lovely lava tubes that might be large enough for an Earth hobbit or a dwarf to inhabit… with a little sprucing up, of course…  Although a hard hat might still be recommended, especially for humans or the absent minded… Read the rest of this entry