Building Moore Passion

Story and Photos by Emma Marie Chiang

Published by the Missouri Photo Workshop, MPW.68 / Cuba

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Lorian Moore talks to Ron West who is the co-founder of Leasburg Revitalization Organization with whom she is scheduled to meet in the small town of Leasburg, Missouri. 

Lorian Moore talks to Ron West who is the co-founder of Leasburg Revitalization Organization with whom she is scheduled to meet in the small town of Leasburg, Missouri. 

 

Lorian Moore, 55, walks her talk. 

As a pioneer in the small town of Leasburg, Missouri she unites communities to care about the earth, natural building and preserving the history of her town. Known as straw-bale people, Moore and husband Rex Rohrer have been married for 28 years and together with friends they constructed their straw-bale home in 1994 from donated recycled material.
Moore encourages others to live off the grid or grid-tie (connected to a utility company). "Being off the grid is the simple life, but it requires hard work," Moore said. "It's freeing to be making your energy from the sun.” She is assisting her friend, Tracy Brennan, in the building process of her own off the grid home.

Twice a week she spends hours educating visitors of the earth’s wonders guiding tours at the Onandaga Caves State Park in Leasburg. In between her role as a wife and mom of two previously home-schooled children, Sage, 23, and Kai, 17, she works toward the revitalization of Leasburg with a population of 350. With the help of others she formed a non-profit in hopes to purchase vacant storefronts, organize events in the community and upgrade public facilities.

Moore lives with passion for the earth, natural building, and love for all.

This story was published during the MPW.68/2016 Missiouri Photo Workshop in Cuba, Missiouri. 

 
 
   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Lorian Moore and Ron West inspect vacant buildings in downtown Leasburg where only one business, a knife shop operates. Moore and others hope to unite the neighborhood community to care about the future of their town by restoring historical buildings for public and commercial use.

Lorian Moore and Ron West inspect vacant buildings in downtown Leasburg where only one business, a knife shop operates. Moore and others hope to unite the neighborhood community to care about the future of their town by restoring historical buildings for public and commercial use.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Lorian Moore's son Kai Rohrer, 17, cuts tomatoes for dinner while she staples black construction paper on the window before placing a layer of cob clay.

Lorian Moore's son Kai Rohrer, 17, cuts tomatoes for dinner while she staples black construction paper on the window before placing a layer of cob clay.

    Lorian Moore touches a plaster mold, covered in a colorful scarf, of her pregnant belly from her first child, Sage.  

  Lorian Moore touches a plaster mold, covered in a colorful scarf, of her pregnant belly from her first child, Sage.  

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Lorian Moore and her husband, Rex Rohrer, share an intimate moment while she massages his forehead before he leaves for work.

Lorian Moore and her husband, Rex Rohrer, share an intimate moment while she massages his forehead before he leaves for work.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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  Lorian Moore, who works at the Onondaga Caves State Park stands in front of the approximately 500,000-year-old stalactites called “The Twins.” She works at the park two days a week giving tours and organizing events for Onondaga Friends Association, which is the park’s non-profit organization that she helped establish.

Lorian Moore, who works at the Onondaga Caves State Park stands in front of the approximately 500,000-year-old stalactites called “The Twins.” She works at the park two days a week giving tours and organizing events for Onondaga Friends Association, which is the park’s non-profit organization that she helped establish.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Students from North St. Francois County R-1 visit the Onondaga Cave State Park for a field trip. 

Students from North St. Francois County R-1 visit the Onondaga Cave State Park for a field trip. 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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  Lorian Moore cordwoods her friend Tracy Brennan's off–grid house with others in Berger, Missouri. Cordwood construction includes short pieces of debarked tree trunks that are embedded in masonry and cob mixtures to build a wall. She assists and encourages others to build sustainability.

Lorian Moore cordwoods her friend Tracy Brennan's off–grid house with others in Berger, Missouri. Cordwood construction includes short pieces of debarked tree trunks that are embedded in masonry and cob mixtures to build a wall. She assists and encourages others to build sustainability.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Cordwood, short pieces of debarked tree trunks, is embedded in a masonry and cob mixture on the exterior of Tracy Brennan’s house. Cordwood will be constructed on both sides of the walls of her home. 

Cordwood, short pieces of debarked tree trunks, is embedded in a masonry and cob mixture on the exterior of Tracy Brennan’s house. Cordwood will be constructed on both sides of the walls of her home. 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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  Lorian Moore smooths out cob clay, a subsoil of water, and other kinds of fibrous organic material on her window behind the kitchen sink. The family lives in a straw-bale house that they constructed on part of their 43 acres of land in 1994 out of recycled materials in the small town of Leasburg, Missouri.

Lorian Moore smooths out cob clay, a subsoil of water, and other kinds of fibrous organic material on her window behind the kitchen sink. The family lives in a straw-bale house that they constructed on part of their 43 acres of land in 1994 out of recycled materials in the small town of Leasburg, Missouri.

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Lorian Moore eats dinner in her living room with her husband Rex Rohrer (right) and their friend Barry Bookout (left). 

Lorian Moore eats dinner in her living room with her husband Rex Rohrer (right) and their friend Barry Bookout (left). 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Lorian Moore teaches Rex Rohrer walking meditation in their kitchen. Moore attends meditation at Lisa Hoovers house every Wednesday morning. 

Lorian Moore teaches Rex Rohrer walking meditation in their kitchen. Moore attends meditation at Lisa Hoovers house every Wednesday morning. 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Nessie, one of the family pets, plays with photographs taken of the construction of Lorian Moore and Rex Rohrer’s straw-bale house built during 1994-1997. The family has a total of six cats and four dogs. 

Nessie, one of the family pets, plays with photographs taken of the construction of Lorian Moore and Rex Rohrer’s straw-bale house built during 1994-1997. The family has a total of six cats and four dogs. 

   
  
 
  
    
  
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   Lorian Moore and Rex Rohrer hug each other outside of their home. They have consider each other best friends and have been married for 28 years.

Lorian Moore and Rex Rohrer hug each other outside of their home. They have consider each other best friends and have been married for 28 years.