Tour the Darfield Earthship

If you would like information about an upcoming tour of our earthship (2 hours approximately) please join our email list to the the right (at the end of our blog roll if you are on a mobile device)!

We’ll be sending advance registration details of the tour to our email list before opening it to our general audience.

Talk to Chris about engineering issues and see the construction principles that we used to build our “in-progress” sustainable home.  Listen to me talk about realistic deadlines and raising a family while taking on a huge building project.  Code, design, lifestyle…you name it!  You’ll be able to ask us questions about all of it.

Remember to get on the email list now. Details will go out in a few days.

The season is changing and so are we!

Welcome to our modern homesteading adventure at The Darfield Earthship! With the fall season upon us we have been busy putting our new yard to bed and working hard to revitalize our web site.  New site and new directions!

Almost two years have passed since the hard part of construction was finished and many of you will have noticed that our blogging activity slowed down when we moved the last kitchen appliance into the earthship.

And yet…..we seem to be busier than ever in this crazy earthship community!

In the last two years we’ve had an increase in requests to share our experiences and insights. Our email activity is often so high that all I can do is acknowledge I’ve received an email and provide links to appropriate blog posts on our site.  During spring and summer we receive two or three requests per week for tours.  I get many requests every week about whether I know if there are earthships in a particular province or region of Canada.  Often Chris receives emails asking specific engineering questions and in his thoroughness and generosity, he will spend 30-60 minutes crafting a reply.

We were starting to ignore many requests because we simply didn’t have the time. That really bothered us because we believe that wherever possible, communication should at least be acknowledged.

We decided there had to be a better way.

We’re going to package some of our information in various formats…newsletters, blog posts, leaflets, books, webinars, goto meetings, workshops, books…anything we can do to help people out as we always have. Much of the information we share will always be without cost and everything you saw on the old site is here as well.  For those committed to taking their earthship or homesteading dreams further, there will be products and services we will offer for purchase.  Being able to earn a bit of income from sharing our knowledge will allow us to keep spending the time doing what we love.

We’ll be branching out a bit as well. Since moving into the earthship our lives have expanded to include interests we didn’t have the time to entertain in the previous five years…farming, permaculture, food security and preservation, technology, frugality…we are excited to be integrating these other passions into our daily lives.

You will also notice an email sign up box!  We hope to send a monthly newsletter (to start) of some of the interesting things going on around us. If friends/colleagues or others are holding workshops or get togethers, we will try to include it in the newsletter. We will probably put bits in the newsletter that just don’t make it to the blog roll. This will have a national flavour so although we are pinned to the west side of Canada, please share your news with us, even if you are in the Maritimes. Anything homesteading goes — alternative building, renewable energy, rocket mass heaters, waste veggie oil applications, food preservation, soap making, livestock husbandry, permaculture, living debt-free, minecraft/raspberry pi, arduino, theatre, music….these are all things that are part of our homesteading pursuits.

Once you’re on the email list you’ll not only receive the newsletter, but other offers and news. You can bow out of the list at any time…our feelings won’t be hurt. In terms of privacy…well I’m not tech savy enough to know how to use your email nefariously…and Chris is too full of integrity to entertain the notion…so your information is safe with us!

One of the features we are most pleased to offer is our map of Canadian Earthships…go to the top menu bar and select Map of Canadian Earthships.  Until today I’ve been keeping track of all earthships in Canada (known to me) on an excel spreadsheet. This was my go-to document when I would get emails about where the earthships were hiding.  Now it’s here on our site for whenever you need it. There’s a bit of a blurb below the map. Please read it and enjoy!  You are still welcome to contact me if you have questions and I always appreciate new and corrected information that I can add to the map.

Many of our loyal followers may be dismayed at our slight change of direction but we want to assure you that all those things we’ve offered freely will still be here. The Darfield Earthship is still open to share information with you…it’s just going to be better…The Darfield Earthship Plus.

Many thanks to Javan Bernakevitch of Permaculture BC and Gord Hiebert of Element Eco-Design, who sat with us at lunch during our permaculture site visit in May 2014 and convinced us about what we kind of already knew…we could take our experience and knowledge and share it with people, it could keep us living on the land, and we could have fun doing it!

Please share all your comments with us.  We are interested in what YOU find interesting about earthships and modern day homesteading.  If you find a bug with our new site please send us a message so we can fix it right away!

We are looking forward to the next few months. Dare I say it?  We are even more than a little excited.

Building permit cleared!

Although we didn’t get much time to celebrate, Chris and I and the kids managed to complete outstanding permit jobs to close the permit about 10 days before our workshop started.  As we were gathering mulch, topsoil, and manure, we were putting in relentless days building, shoveling, plastering and generally ticking off the last 13 items from about 18 months ago when we moved in and had the inspector come by.

I am not embarrassed to say that I danced like a wild woman down the hallway as soon as the inspector’s tail lights disappeared down the driveway.  What a relief!  I liken it to the feeling in 2005 when we paid off our small mortgage and became debt-free. Truly a weight removed.

Since receiving the paperwork, we’ve had little time to talk about next projects for the earthship.  Preparing for and actually taking part in the most awesome workshop so far in the history of our construction pretty much consumed us. For the last week we have been tidying up small jobs to do with the workshop, primarily designing a drip line irrigation system, gathering more mulch and cardboard for the pathways and doing all the little things we didn’t have time for.

Last night, despite tentative plans to visit, we decided to stay home, set up the patio table and umbrella in the middle of our new yard and enjoyed a really nice dinner as a family complete with placemats, napkins and frosty drinks. Very civilized compared to our usual Newton rush.  We need to do more of that.

We are unclear where we are headed next.  We are setting time aside to mull things over and to talk about directions we may go in. I’m excited about a few possibilities that may be in our future…possibilities that may keep us closer to home and more engaged in our modern homesteading adventure!

permit photo