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.

Thursday, January 9, 2014

Winter Update

 Things are going well in the Freeville Earthship.  We've taken some measures to eliminate the mid-summer humidity issues, including polyurethaning the pantry shelves and ceiling, and redesigning our walk-through closet, so clothes are no longer against the back wall.  We've found that the one or two times in the summer where it nears 90F with over 90% humidity, we get some "sweating" on the back 1' of floor and bottom 1' of tire wall.  However, most people in our region have similar issues and we can't attribute that to the fact that we're in an Earthship.

If we had sun every day in the winter we could probably get away without any heat source whatsoever.  I don't think its possible for the main living area to get below 55F...unless a door were left open of course.  We easily keep the main room in the mid-upper 60s with the wood-fired oven.  We just got done with -25F wind chills and the greenhouse stayed in the 40s at night.  The radiant floor heat setup coming off of the oven works well too.  After a few hours, the back hallway floor heats up to the mid 70s and sometimes into the low 80s - warming the East end of the Ship.
Our tomato plant is about 2 months away from becoming a "perennial tomato plant."

Our banana tree finally flowered and began growing bananas!

Cooking local.
Southern Tier Chili

We use the oven as much as possible....toasting, boiling, baking, frying, dehydrating, etc.  We had a $200 propane bill our first year and this should help lower that.
Looking forward to lots of canning next year.  I put my Fedco seed order in and we should start seeing the beginning of production from the orchard this year.

In other related news, Courtney is pregnant!  This is how we finished our last bedroom for a future nursery, with a raised-plaster sun, pallet-wood wall, and yellow, orange, and red bottles on the hallway wall:

And the Starry Night room, plastered and painted


  1. thank you for sharing with us!

  2. You visited our class today at The Harley school. That must be pretty cool living in a earth ship! I am wondering what happens if you need to use an appliance but your solar battery is really low? I think that is amazing you built that house... It must be really good for the environment because you used all those things that could've just gone to waste in the garbage. I liked watching your videos and I like how it looks when the sun shines through the wine bottles! From Bridge, 3B at The Harley school.

    1. Thanks for writing, Bridge! We really enjoyed coming to the Harley School and showing you our house!

      You have some great questions and comments. If our battery is really low, we just can't use that appliance. This includes the dishwasher, clothes washer, dryer, the vacuum, and our toaster. So sometimes I have to wait to do laundry until it's sunny. But you're right, it's so good for the environment! And we love seeing the pretty bottles light up when it's sunny out!

      Thanks for writing to us! Good luck in the rest of your school year!
      Mrs. DeVoe

  3. Hello,
    I'm doing some research on Earthships! I'd like to get in touch with you personally if possible!
    Can I have your e-mail or something?