Welcome to the Freeville Earthship, located outside of Ithaca, NY! Please feel free to explore our site for thousands of pictures and in-depth posts about our process building an earthship.

Sunday, April 7, 2013

Outdoor Work

Hi Everyone...Chad Here.  This week, I've been busy doing things outside since the weather is appropriate now.  I've decided to put the garden directly in front of the Earthship to make use of the microclimate produced by the angled glass, proximity to the hose, and nitrogen inputs of the blackwater system.  We'll do annual crops on the West 1/2, perennial crops on the East, and non-edibles like flowers and pumpkins over the leach line and sand filter.  More pictures of this in the future, as not much has been done so far.

On Monday, my dad came with his Kubota to help divert surface water which comes from the North.  I'm following a permaculture system brought to my attention by Ben Falk of Whole Systems Design in Vermont.  He has a book coming out but not until June...too late for what I need to do right now, unfortunately.  I have fruit and berry trees coming next week, and they will be incorporated into our system.
Basically, we created swales - on contour - and seeded the bare spots with clover and other nitrogen-fixers for a cover crop.  On the swales, we will be growing a variety of fruit, nut, and berry-producing trees that will soak up the runoff, nitrogen, and organic fertilizers.

Mulch (donated by Windswept Tree Service in Cortland) and burlap will act as a weed guard for the trees, positioned at the top of the berm.  A lot of planning has gone into this as some trees need male pollinators, specific pH and sun requirements, and/or lots of space.

The chickens take advantage of the overturned soil to search for worms and grubs.  These free-range strutters are now producing about 10-13 deep-orange yolked eggs a day now. 

Wednesday, April 3, 2013

One year ago we were pounding our first tire!

     Both being teachers, Chad and I have this week off and now that it's getting a bit warmer outside we are able to do some more things around the house.  It's amazing how much our lives revolve around the sun now.  Sun for us means more electricity, heat, and time.  A sunny day means I get to vacuum, run the dishwasher, or wash a load of clothes (but never at the same time).  It means the greenhouse will rise to a toasty 95 degrees F even if it's freezing outside.  It means our bottle walls will shine like colored stage lights.  And hopefully, it means the days are getting "longer" and warmer, which means that maybe soon we can start up the cement mixer after it's winter hibernation and finish some plastering in the house (the entryway, pantry, and the back closet walls). 
     At any rate, here are our latest pictures, with more to come at the end of this week:

Chad started insulating the greenhouse ceiling with old pieces of rigid foam insulation boards we had blowing around outside from the build

Chad roped up several buckets for hanging strawberry plants in the greenhouse

I braided the four strings together for a nicer look

moved the couch for a nice open living/dining room

new dining room table with kitchen in background, and new stools at the counter from my mom!

fig tree is coming back to life


snap peas

we were worried our new avocado tree was dying (the leaves were curled up and slowly turning brown) but it now has new buds!

hooray for avocados!

living room bottle art in the sunshine

my favorite spot int he house, on the love seat recliner facing the couch and bottle wall

earthship moonrise