A closer look at our first year:

We are very proud of our first year interns and the program that we created for them. From weathering intense thunderstorms at 11,000 ft. to indulging in apricot cobbler with homemade ice cream, our days were filled the fruits of the simple life lived well. Below is an incomplete list of the sustainable living activities we crammed into our month together, along with photos.

the group






Day 1: Getting here, getting settle, getting acquainted. Eric, Allie, Dev, Jack, Mel and Artec.




Day 2: Setting up and understanding the workings of a composting toilet.
Building a solar heated shower.

Day 3: All day visit with Eric Darby, inventor, story teller, artist, purveyor of the self-made lifestyle. (Afternoon berry picking and swimming).

Day 4: Sprouting and food drying workshop, how to use solar ovens, tour of a photovoltaic system.

on the way to apricots
Day 5: Harvesting vegetables for market with the Sikoras, a local family who make their living from a small garden plot and greenhouse. Afternoon of picking apricots and tending our community garden.


box of apricots


Day 6: A day with Lance Swigart, master gardener extraordinaire: Lance grows 95% of what he eats ("I only buy olive oil and chocolate," he jokes) on a relatively small garden farm in our valley. After a tour of his lush gardens, which create the impression of some English country estate, we learn to make compost, thresh and winnow wheat, and are treated some of his fantastic bread.

artec shucking corn

Day 7: The Lamborn Valley Farm Community: We start the day by helping the staff at the Lamborn Ladle cook a seven-course lunch made with local, organic ingredients. Later we buck hay, learn to drive a 50 year-old tractor, and, of course, go swimming (and eats lots of non-local mango sorbet, thanks to Greg and Taia!)







Artec shucks corn for the Lamborn Ladle, the community's restaurant.













Days 8 - 12: Backpacking in the West Elk Wilderness (photos and descriptions to come)

Day 13: Rest and Laundry.
Day 14: Radio Show at KVNF

Day 15: Canning and preserving fruits. Here we are making yummy apricot jam:
allie and mel canning eric and artec canning


Day 16: Building a large scale solar oven:
solar oven



















Days 19 - 28: Building a straw bale house:
making plans



raising the walls


jack hammer

mudding more mud