We got the shell closed up in 2012 just in time for real winter to kick in. In May of 2013 we started up again and since then we have finished most of the rough in of the interior (plumbing, walls, bottle work, planters, earth berm and more). We have been working with a small crew of volunteers on a regular basis (contact us if you're interested). We officially moved in September 2013 and spent one of the most miserable winters Manitoba has ever seen inside trying to make progress completing the interior as well as living inside it. With no heating source besides that of the sun heating our thermal mass, we've managed to stay above 10.5 Celcius through all the -30 plus days with little sun we've had. To those who say this can't work in any climate, I say this one is proof it can. Sure it hasn't been as comfortable as having a heating source and a constant inside temperature but isn't living off the grid all about sacrifices to the expected normal comforts of everyday living? This is also the most extreme climate, that we know of, that this has ever been built.
To this date, March 5 2014, we still do not have hot water or working shower but have managed to live without these "wants" so far. It's amazing how many things you take for granted that you don't really need. To be frugal, we've also been filling our fridge with ice (re-frozen in the same 5 gallon container after it melts), emptying our sink water (destined for the septic tank) to water plants or just thrown outside (if too greasy) to save space in the septic.
Building the Earthship is only the first step (a big one) that we will make towards living in a sustainable way of living (awesome permaculture site). In 2014 we will start to create a farm based on permaculture principles.
Got questions or want to be involved in some way? Contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org. If we don't reply to your email right away, we're sorry, we get so many questions and emails that it takes time for us to muster up the energy to answer the same questions over and over again. We have a facebook page that is quite up to date and by scrolling through or asking questions on it, you're more likely to receive an expedited answer. Just search Manitoba Earthship Project on Facebook.
We are looking for some volunteers for the spring/summer of 2014 to help with some finishing touches on the earthship and to get some of our permaculture gardens started. So if you're interested send us an email.
There will also be a third member of our earthship family arriving in mid to late May so who knows how much work we'll get done after that. Nicole thinks she's going to very productive with the newborn, but I guess we'll see about that.