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Resilient home ... self-sustaining homestead ... sustainable living ... energy, food, water, security, amenities ...


Create a Resilient Home / Sustainable Homestead

If you have thought about how to live more sustainably or how to lock in the value of at-risk financial assets, then get busy turning your house into a resilient homestead. You can be largely self-sufficient in energy, water, and food without sacrificing the other amenities and pleasures of life. This tour shows the result of my efforts to do just that.

Take the full photo tour.


  • 2,200 sqft house on 2.8 acres
  • built in 2006
  • 3 bedrooms, 2 full baths
  • passive solar design
  • 5.4 kW of solar electric
  • battery backup
  • solar hot water
  • 12,000 gal rainwater catchment
  • 8,500 sqft of garden beds plus food trees, bushes, perennials
  • 12' x 20' garden shed
  • 8' x 16' greenhouse
  • food storage areas
  • alarm and camera systems
  • a beautiful combination of elegant appointments and practical systems


  • passive solar design (free winter heat from the sun) with large catalytic wood stove and beautiful thermal-mass wall in livingroom
  • 5.4 kW of solar electric on dual-tracking pedestals; grid-tied with battery backup
  • solar hot water (80-gallon tank; backup heating element)
  • geothermal (ground-connected) heating and air conditioning
  • ceiling fans and whole house fan for non-A/C cooling
  • high-efficiency building envelope (EnergyStar rating = 19)
  • custom double-cell insulating window shades
  • trellised vines on on east and west sides for summertime shading


  • city water service with private septic
  • 12,000 gallons of filtered rainwater catchment with dedicated pumps
  • remote hose bibbs and electrical outlets in garden areas
  • creek adjacent; reservoir within walking distance

Growing Spaces and Other Food Features

  • 8,500 sqft of garden beds—mostly framed raised beds, with 7 years organic soil amendment
  • perennials include asparagus; strawberries; blueberries; bush cherries; red, yellow, and black raspberries; blackberries; grapes; hops; herbs
  • 46 additional fruit and nut trees/bushes include apple, peach, pear, Asian pear, plum, cherry, apricot, persimmon, mulberry, figs, che, pawpaw, almond, pecan, hazelnut
  • 12' x 20' garden shed with shelves, workbenches, concrete floor, lights, outlets
  • 8' x 16' greenhouse, double-wall polycarbonate, aluminum frame
    -- potting bench, built-in racks, automatic venting, retractable sun-block cloth
  • picture of greenhouse dual-chamber solar composting toilet (attached to shed; tiled!)
  • "edible yard" design (without being over-planted)
  • fenceable side yard available for raising chickens or goats
  • multiple pantries for food storage, including large climate-controlled area
  • separate canning stove and cabinets/countertops in garage

Security and Safety

  • alarm system with window, door, motion, fire, and glass-break sensors
  • camera system with 11 different views; one-button viewing on TVs
  • 4-foot crawlspace serves as severe-weather safe area; incl. phone, lights, electricity
  • additional security features


  • all hardwood floors and tile
  • livingroom has vaulted ceiling, large window array
  • kitchen has solid-wood cherry cabinets; two sinks; porcelain countertop with full tile backsplash and granite accents; no-see electrical outlets; under-cabinet lights
  • dining room with large table and buffet
  • both baths have tiled surrounds and floors
  • master bath has granite shower bench & sink top
  • wired for multi-room TV, internet, phone, stereo, and satellite TV
  • lots of closets and attic & garage storage, all with switched lights
  • all brick exterior; standing-seam metal roof; zero-maintenance soffits
  • screened back porch; Trex deck; fire circle/pit; in-garden sitting area
  • yard is grass, gardens, paths, and trees, with great views in multiple directions

More Photos and Detail

  GP Main Site