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, October 18, 2015

Summer/Fall Recap

Summer went fast and today's snow prompted me to finally do another update.   This was a very bizarre year in that we didn't get a frost before the first snowfall....and we even had a little accumulation.   Anyway, back in early summer I noticed something "off" in terms of power production with the PV system.  Upon further inspection, it turned out that 1/2 of our 2.8kW array was not producing consistently and at times not at all due to a malfunctioning charge controller.  Outback Power was great though - sending out a new one within a week.  Another highlight this summer was that I crawled into the two West cisterns to scrub them out (maintenance that should be done every 2-3 years.  I'll do the East pair this spring after we draw enough water out of them.  Here is a quick recap of what we were up to this summer and fall.  Many of the major building tasks are now done and we are focusing on family life and developing our permaculture farm outside.  Here are the highlights....

We finished the final coat of plaster in the back hallway and bathroom but left a truth window to show the can walls.

Solara loves spending time outside - she's now 17 months old!

Lots of good produce this year! 

First time trying sweet potatoes.  They were huge!

Its that time of year where the west interior bottles light up.

Tap system installed with natural refrigeration!  This Earthship proudly pours Hopshire brews.

Firewood split and stacked!

We got a decent amount done on the wood-fired oven exterior.  Hopefully we can finish this up next spring.

Time to start cooking with wood again!

We built our hen-mobile and meat chicken tractor this year.

The tractor currently houses 11 turkeys.

We've moved all of the potted citrus inside for the winter....winter tomatoes just starting to form.

Our "in-ground" mandarins are starting to turn orange.

Saturday, March 28, 2015

Spring Update

We are very happy to see spring approaching.  Its been a cold, snowy, polar-vortex winter here in the Northeast.  The Earthship kept us warm though.  Many people and municipalities experienced burst or frozen water pipes this winter....far above average.  We, however, didn't have a problem in that department.  We had a day of -25 wind chill but it was sunny so the greenhouse was over 80F.  We burned about 2 full cords of wood in the wood-fired oven this winter for cooking and to bring the temp. inside above 70F.  The exterior earth-bermed hoop house performed OK but still dropped into the upper teens inside on the really cold nights.  Its currently on par with Zone 8 but I think i can tweak a couple things this summer to make it better next winter.  I'm excited to grow vegetables and root crops in there this year

25 hens have started laying lots of eggs.

Herbs and sown seeds.  We had tomatoes into Jan last year and plan to grow a lot of annuals alongside the various citrus and avocado.   Between the greenhouse and exterior hoop house should give us some serious food come harvest.

This spring we plan to finish up the remaining plastering jobs inside.  

Under the wood-fired oven proved to be a great place to start seeds.

Solara Jade....9 months in, 9 months out.

50 meat chickens!  First of 3 rounds this year for our newest endeavor: Tapped Earth Farm!  Follow us at http://www.facebook.com/tappedearth for the latest news and pictures.