Note: As of 2022 we have moved to a very limited open tour schedule. Trying to cut back a bit, smell the flowers and so forth. This is, after all, all about sustainability. A limited number of group tours will be accommodated (see below).
In the meantime, join us online for a virtual tour (free). Not the same, but our number one priority is for everyone to remain safe, healthy and enjoying life.
Tentative 2023 Tour Dates (all Saturdays): (I guess in the age of Covid and global warming, everything is tentative)
- April 22nd, 2023 – (Goats and Kidding)
- May 13th, 2023 – (Spring Gardens)
- June 17th, 2023 – (Reuse and Repurpose)
- September 16th, 2023- (Harvesting)
- November 18th, 2023 – (Sustainable Holidays)
What you will see:
Visit Blue Rock Station to get ideas on how to create a sustainable living way of life, or just to marvel at the various construction techniques. The grounds currently contain 14 (at least) buildings made of repurposed materials, a solar array, a wind turbine, gardens, greenhouses and more.
Tour a portion of the Earthship – the 2,200 sq. ft. home made of tires, cans, bottles, salvaged lumber, mud, sand, sweat and tears. Annie & Jay will explain the various construction techniques and how the building uses the earth and sun to provide a comfortable place to live.
- ✓ Explore the vaulted Straw Bale “Chicken Chalet”. This building houses our rare breed chickens (you may even get a chance to feed them). It is built with a pounded tire foundation, straw bale walls, beer bottle front and back walls and a mud plaster finish.
- ✓ Check out the straw bale sleeping cabins (with living roofs)
- ✓ See the various innovative water collection systems.
- ✓ Take a look at the plastic bottle greenhouse, made of over 1,000 2-liter plastic pop bottles.
- ✓ See the solar shower (heated by the sun and powered by gravity)
- ✓ Marvel at the rocket stove – an amazing wood heater that incorporates a pizza oven, a sleeping bench and an under-floor radiant heat system into this inexpensive and very effective heating system.
- ✓ Learn about rare breed chickens. We will discuss the changes in agriculture in America that have lead to the near extinction of most of the most common and popular farm animals of our recent past.
- ✓ Meet the goats and their kids, our milk goats – and discuss homestead milk production, making cheese, yogurt and other healthy and natural products.
- ✓ Check out the rain garden.
- ✓ The “under $5,000” Tiny House project
- ✓ See our solar array (new in 2014, expanded in 2019) that provides electric power to Blue Rock Station.
- ✓ Explore how inexpensive solar generators can get you through those annoying (and potentially dangerous) periodic power outages.
- ✓ The Wind Turbine Tower (new in 2016)
- ✓ The Japanese Hot Tub, Solar Thermal System (new in 2016)
- ✓ Learn a bit about natural gardening. We are exploring a number of creative (and common sense) ways of gardening here at Blue Rock Station. Learn to work with nature, not against it. Also, discover how we keep our plants growing year-round in our wetlands and pop-bottle greenhouse.
- ✓ Rediscover or see for the first time some neat, good old common sense stuff like composting, cooking in a solar oven, weaving fences from brush, making maple syrup… or whatever other else takes our fancy that we happen to be doing at the time.
- ✓ Mostly you will just enjoy the tranquil peace and pleasant feel of Blue Rock Station.
- a proper cup of British tea for you and your group
- a more formal presentation (on anything from making a solar generator to marketing your small business)
- Creative waste workshops and contests (great for school or scout groups)
- Team building exercises
- Or warm cookies made in our solar oven
When word got out that we were building a house made out of tires, a lot of folks wanted to come see this place for themselves. Literally hundreds of people just showed up at all hours – making it pretty hard actually to get any work done. So we decided to set some hours that were open to the public, just to keep things a bit organized.
Well, literally thousands have visited (we estimate about 40,000) and to tell you the truth – it became a bit overwhelming. So we have decided to cut back and offer only infrequent tours or group tours by appointment only. While this may not be the most convenient method for small groups – believe me, it was necessary to retain our sanity.
What’s new in 2023:
In 2023 our plan is to only offer 5 open day tours – and each tour will be limited to 25 people. Each of these tours will include the tour of the Earthship and various other sustainable buildings and features of Blue Rock Station – but we will also spend a little bit of time exploring specific issues related to the time of year or season. Several times a year we will be open to the public (sign up for your newsletter to receive notice of these dates – or check our site periodically). Other than these rare occasions, and occasional workshops – you will need to schedule a private group tour if you wish to see the first Earthship east of the Mississippi (and we don’t plan on doing many of those). One of the foundational building blocks of sustainability is the “philosophy of enough” – so I guess we are trying to practice what we preach.
Open day tour fees are $20.00 per person (infants and toddlers under 5 are free but this is really not an event intended for children). Tours take about 3 hours (sometimes longer if there are lots of questions) and will include some light refreshments. Tours begin promptly at 1 p.m.
Open day tours are limited to 25 people (we can handle larger groups for a private group tour but really would rather not). Please ensure you will be able to go on the tour before purchasing your ticket. Most tours sell out well in advance and if your plans change and you can’t make it, let us know so we can give someone else a chance.
If you have questions about tour availability or problems registering, call us at 740-674-4300. Ensure your spot by registering through the date link above.*
Tours begin at 1 pm and usually end around 4 pm.
$20.00 per person (children 5 and under free, although this tour is not designed for children)
(*by registering, you agree to the terms outlined in the Waiver of Liability)
Blue Rock Station, repurposing for the future from Jorge Castillo-Castro on Vimeo.
Throughout the year we can accommodate private and/or group tours (up to 50 people at a time, although we prefer smaller groups for the full experience). A group tour must be scheduled in advance (e-mail us or call (740) 674-4300). Flexible rates for student groups.
We do have parking and “turn around” areas for large tour buses – and can accommodate up to 50 people at a time.
Group tours typically take about 90-120 minutes (although can be shortened to accommodate tight schedules), and can be extended to incorporate additional items of interest to your group (hey, we’re flexible).
Additional ideas we have incorporated in past group tours include: