homesteads en Unlocking prairie secrets from a sod house <p></p><p>Ecologists in Nebraska are trying to find out what the Great Plains looked like when homesteaders settled there in the 19<sup>th</sup>century. To do that, they’re working with a team of archaeologists and historians dissecting a sod house, a house built out of bricks cut from dirt.</p><p>Larry Estes has had a sod house in his backyard in Gates, Neb., for as long as he can remember. He never really thought anything about it until a year ago when a repairman asked him about it.</p> Wed, 16 Apr 2014 05:00:01 +0000 Jackie Sojico 30513 at Unlocking prairie secrets from a sod house 'Degeneration of the family farm' in photos <p>Rural roadsides are littered with neglected homesteads, long-ago abandoned. I see them all the time driving across Nebraska. Fallen farmhouses. Blighted barns. Overgrown fencerows. They even have a&nbsp;<a href="" target="_blank">fanclub on Facebook</a>.</p><p>For Randy Waln, a graphic design professor at Peru State University in Peru, Neb., there’s something about a rusted-out truck or weed-covered roadway that stokes the imagination.</p><p> Fri, 18 Oct 2013 05:17:27 +0000 Grant Gerlock 23099 at 'Degeneration of the family farm' in photos