Monique Trottier

BC's First Earthship is Still Standing Strong, and Growing Ever Greener

by , 07/28/14

In July 2009, Sandra Burkholder and her family began building an Earthship;  a sustainable house built with used tires and pop cans. Known as the Darfield Earthship, the home features green building methods, water conservation, organic growing techniques, and renewable energy. In 2011, this inspiring project won $5,000 in the So Nice “A Better Organic World” contest, and both the home and its surrounding gardens have been evolving beautifully ever since.

Family members and friends have all pitched in to help the home grow and evolve, from ramming earth into those old tires to create the foundation walls to building the greywater systems and establishing gardens all around the house. It’s amazing to see how the home has evolved from a nebulous arrangement of tires and glass pop bottles to an elegant, glass-covered, low-impact home in the mountains. The family is currently establishing a permaculture garden around the structure, complete with fruit and nut trees and raised garden beds.

Hugelkultur mounds dot the landscape around the house, providing great nourishment to heavy feeders such as squash and cucumbers. Melons, radishes, peas, beans and various lettuces are thriving, and the gardens will only grow healthier with each passing season. Sustainable permaculture gardening is a perfect complement to an earth-friendly home like this one, with all aspects of life existing in balance and harmony with the natural landscape.

It’s been amazing to see how their home has evolved over the last few years, and it’ll be exciting to watch it continue to grow over the coming years!

+ Darfield Earthship

Images via the Darfield Earthship Facebook page

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  1. joshuasulwer August 6, 2014 at 4:17 pm

    Thats pretty neat and seems like a lot of work. I originally thought it was an indoor biosphere like set up, or in other words a indoor self suffient garden dug down below the frost line and insulated so warmer area plants could grow year round inside but I’m still impressed by ur hard work. Wish there was more pictures of the finished inside amd rest of the area. Keep up the goood work thanks

  2. multifacetedval August 1, 2014 at 9:02 am

    Couldn’t the same type of structure be built with wisteria and kudzu plants?

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