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Cal-Earth Field Trip

By Tara Zandra | April 11, 2013

Today we drove to Hesperia (yeah, that’s far) for a field trip to Cal-Earth. Even though I was there, I find it hard to explain. Basically the idea is that everyone deserves a home and they teach people how to build homes out of the earth (not dirt). They are called “super adobe” and use sandbags and barbed wire to make dome structures. Many of them are what I would call shelters as opposed to homes. But there were definitely some larger structures with rooms and even electricity and running water. At the end we got to go into an actual house made out of the earth. It’s 2000 square feet, 3 bedrooms, 2 baths, and a 3 car garage. Totally cost of materials used to build? $100,000. The earth was free (there’s a giant pit in the back where it came from) but there was tile, doors, windows, and the electrical and plumbing. Truly impressive.

We were also taught the principles of the arch and had to build our own arches out of bricks. Amazingly, all of them stood so I guess we listened well :)

Oh, and the kids were encouraged to climb on everything, so you can imagine how much they loved being set loose.

Definitely an interesting concept.





The juxtaposition of the sustainable structures with the housing development in the background really struck me







This is the house that was being worked on by people who had come for the long-term apprenticeship program. One was from North Carolina, one from Italy, and I think the third was more local. They planned to return home with their new knowledge after completing the program.

Our group’s arch worked!


Topics: Life |

One Response to “Cal-Earth Field Trip”

  1. Mel Says:
    April 14th, 2013 at 12:08 am

    Looks like a neat place to visit. Chuckling a tad bit over the $100000 price tag though. That much can get you a regular house here if you shop around, definitely for $150000 you can get a really nice place. But we’re in the sticks. LOL