Earth Song Discovery Farm's main structure is an underground, 4000 sq. ft. self-heating/ cooling eco-center. Inside is a bio-dynamic greenhouse, integrated with a waterfall and aqua-culture (fish-growing) pond, and a special garden for grey water cleansing.
An extensive variety of food crops will be grown to supply meals year around. There is a kitchen for nutrition classes, restroom with composting toilet, two smaller learning/ creativity centers, the main office and support facilities.
We use an integrated rain water collection, purification and storage system. A large multi-purpose room can be used for yoga, tai chi, dance and more. Also included in the greenhouse is a meditation/ energy healing space.
The structure is built of surface-bonded, dry-stacked concrete blocks with an earth-covered, timber-frame roof. It is earth-bermed mainly on three sides with the south side exposed as a greenhouse. Floors are both earthen and wood plank.
The center is designed to illustrate many green-building and alternative energy ideas. It is minimally powered by solar and wind energy and is not tied into the outside electric grid.
Alternative heating technique....
The center is heated for free with no moving parts or fancy technology. Facing due south, the underground greenhouse just soaks up the summer sun. This technique, called passive annual heat storage, automatically flows excess summer heat through air tubes into the area all around the building.
A million pounds of dirt are gradually heated and this heat is retained through an insulated and waterproof “umbrella” that extends at least 20 feet out around the house. The heat radiates back into the home all winter, again with natural ventilation currents, creating a giant thermal flywheel to even out the seasons.