A New Earthship Is Born In California!

Categories: Home Stories


Earthship-inspired greenhouse, Menomonee Falls, WI.

Stephanie and I left Wisconsin in late March 2013 after having spent the winter building the 300 sq. ft. greenhouse pictured at right. We left on a cold, rainy day and began our quest to buy land and build a home somewhere on the west coast of the U.S. Nobody believed we would pull it off. There was no way two, 26 year old kids with just a few grand saved up between them had any chance in hell at scoring land and building a house. It just doesn't happen…

We started in LA, then San Diego. We realized pretty quickly that SoCal wasn't for us, so we loaded up the rig and took the 1 north to Santa Cruz. From the beginning we half assumed California was unrealistic. Too expensive, too developed, too many rules. Our sights were set more on Southern Oregon. But then we found the Santa Cruz Mountains and fell head over heels in love.

The short version of the arrival story is this: through a fairly vague connection, we linked up with a property owner that just happened to be in the somewhat early stages of creating an intentional community. He gave us a tour of the land and took us to a site down the hill where he invited us to camp for the night. One night turned into a few nights, and a few nights turned into a week. He dug our ambition and was into the idea of Earthships, and with his permission and unbelievable support, we were able to stick around for good. That was June of 2013.

Within that first week we bought a yurt, built a deck to support it and threw a free bed from craigslist down on the floor. For the first time in our lives, we had our very own home.


The pictures in the bottom corners show the future Earthship site. The yurt, handmade from repurposed billboard signs, replaced the RV before it was replaced by the ship. I hooked up a temporary toilet and built an outdoor shower in the first week or two. There was a 15 year old solar hot water set-up over grown by weeds (mostly poison oak...we got well acquainted). Works great after all those years. 
It's important to note as well that I wasn't allowed to build anything until my lady was provided with a garden. So worth it...


  Page Turn