Boulder CO Sustainable Home and Living
Ward, CO 80481
- Price: $475,000
- Status: For Sale
- Style: House
- Bedrooms: 2
- Bathrooms: 1
- Total SQFT: 1840
- Land Size: 4.95 Acres
- County: Boulder County
ELEGANT AND SUSTAINABLE EARTH BERMED SANTA FE STYLE HOME NESTLED IN THE FOOTHILLS OF THE ROCKY MOUNTAINS. BACKS TO NATIONAL FOREST WITH ASPEN MEADOWS AND TROUT FISHING IN THE JAMESTOWN CREEK! THIS AMAZING OFF THE GRID HOME IS ONLY 20 MINUTES TO LYONS AND 45 MINUTES TO BOULDER COLORADO. ULTRA EFFICIENT CONCRETE/EARTH BERMED CONSTRUCTION. RADIANT IN FLOOR HEAT. ARTESIAN WELL, 20′ GROW DOME, MULTIPLE WATER AND LPG STORAGE TANKS. 5 OUTBUILDINGS FOR FOOD, TOOLS AND ANIMALS. GUEST QUARTERS. SOLAR POWER WITH BATTERY BACKUP! EXPANSIVE PRIVACY.
• Abuts aspen meadow on Roosevelt National Forest Land
• Expansive privacy, many native healing plants and wildflowers growing, cedar, ponderosa, aspen, scotch and lodgepole pine forests, lots of wildlife, natural rock outcroppings.
• Small stream flows through property, and James Creek waterway is 400 yards from property
• Private hiking and horse trails nearby, hunting and fishing
• Low light pollution: you can see the star constellations at night!.
• Many built-in features in home- with two unique Mexican Hacienda doors, Mexican bar, Mexican vanity, earthen clay bench, Santa Fe style fireplace, gas cooking stove, wood stove, spiral staircase (non-conforming), rugged hand hewn wooden beams from the property, 20’ indoor planter, Mexican marble sink, stained glass windows, balcony on second floor, earthen plaster walls, unique lighting with stained glass, small chandelier, child’s bunk bed, satellite TV & internet.
The greenhouse is called a Growing Dome from Growing Spaces (www.growingspaces.com). Essentially the growing dome is a solar-heated greenhouse designed for year-round growing, which contains large amounts of thermal mass- including two water tanks, soil mass, and cement bricks beds. Can grow food for 5-6 people. The grow dome is 22′, with rodent barriers to prevent entry of rodents, our beds are 2′ high with pathways so that plants are easily accessible, black gold (dirt!) from our own property which has accumulated over the years as we are at the bottom of a basin of rich, black topsoil. In the greenhouse we also have undersoil ducts through which hot or cool air is blown from a solar panel and fan, vents (opening windows) complete with automatic openers, and an insulated entry door and door framing.
What makes your home a Green or Healthy Home?
All new passive solar, solar thermal, with active radiant floor heating, plenty of thermal mass, 20 (9’) south facing windows, 2 Outback power conversion inverters, 24 water-filled, heavy duty solar batteries to store power, (48 amp system that translates into 120, therefore all appliances are 120 plugs), 12 Sun Tech STP 170-AB solar panels, 4 solar thermal panels, lightening storm protection features, rain gutters
• Artesian well—450’ deep for fresh clean drinking water,
• 3,000 gallon drinking, bathing water cistern.
• (3) 1000 gallon LPG tanks, Kohler generator- hard wired backup energy system.
• Independent 3,000 gallon fire protection water cistern.
• 22’ Diameter Dome Greenhouse, 14 feet high with raised beds and water tank, water collection from roof fills water tank, rich, black soil from property. 2 fruit trees, cold frames.
• Wood stove fired, outdoor steam sweat lodge with cedar bench
• 5 outbuildings for storage, tools, animals, hay, feed, etc.—perfect for horses, goats, llamas, chickens, dogs with large fenced-in area, outdoor water field pump for animals.
• Another outbuilding solely for food storage with shelves and 2 propane powered freezers
• Separate Accommodations with solar electric and knotty pine bedroom and deck for Ranch Hand
• Pole Barn with cut, split, and stacked local wood
The colorful Rocky Mountains near this home have many special features during any season:
In the summertime, the 4th of July is marked with a town parade and bluegrass festival in the nearby mountain community of Gold Hill. Celebratory singing and dancing are the order of the day. The town of Gold Hill still looks the way it did in the 1800’s when prospecting for gold was all the rage. The Gold Hill Inn provides a quaint setting for fine dining and a murder mystery theater series.
This earthship style home is a living, breathing organism. A planter in the center of the home creates some of the moisture and oxygen necessary to keep this home functioning properly. Because we are completely off the grid, we use the power of the sun for heat and electricity. Our home is built into the side of a south facing hill; we use the earth’s mass along with a concrete floor to provide thermal mass for heat. Eighteen, nine foot windows on the south face let the sun in. Radiant Heat.
Boulder Valley School District highly values its community collaborations with partners including Impact on Education, I Have a Dream Foundation, and Workforce of Boulder. Some of the most sought-after academic programs are found in BVSD, including Talented and Gifted, Computer Literacy, Bilingual Education, English as a Second. Nederland Elementary, Middle and High Schools in Nederland, CO. are out local schools. Nederland school bus picks your child up at blacktop, 3 miles from this property.
Fantastic Morrocco’s Restaurant in Ward for fine dining, Eldora Ski Resort is 27 miles south from property, Rocky Mountain National Park is 27 miles north from property, Nederland 14 miles away. Gold Hill Elementary School is 11 miles away (a very quaint, one room schoolhouse where the older children help to inspire/teach the younger children), however the school district is Nederland Elementary, Middle and High Schools in Nederland, CO. Nederland school bus picks your child up at blacktop,
On the property is a 1979 Canadian Bluebird school bus which has been
converted for guest quarters and sleeps three people. This double decker
bus has a knotty pine bedroom on top with double bed, propane heater and
small deck. Down below is a kitchen for cooking, toilet, small sitting area
and single bed, and is equipped with wood stove, fridge and freezer, cooking
stove and oven. There are plenty of shelves for storage with a large deck
for tai chi practice. Solar electric lighting. Propane hookup for fridge
We lived in this bus while our earth bermed home was being constructed.
Because it is on wheels, it remains legal as a mobile home. This bus has
been used for various kinds of solitary, spiritual or writing retreats. It
is nestled in acres of National Forest with miles of trails and the James
Creek nearby. You can even catch some brown trout for a special morning
breakfast. There is fresh artesian drinking water from the well and plenty
of wood for heating as well as a 1,000 Gallon LPG Tank.
Next to the bus is a sweat lodge with wood stove for Native American (First
Nation People) sweat ceremonies. These ceremonies allow us to access the
ancestors and The Great Spirit. This lodge is a sacred place to purify,
pray, heal, and learn. Mitakuye Oyasin (All My Relations).
The colorful Rocky Mountains near this home have many special features
during any season:
In the summertime, the 4th of July is marked with a town parade and
bluegrass festival in the nearby mountain community of Gold Hill.
Celebratory singing and dancing are the order of the day. The town of Gold
Hill still looks the way it did in the 1800’s when prospecting for gold was
all the rage. The Gold Hill Inn provides a quaint setting for fine dining
and a murder mystery theater series. It also has a unique one room school
house for elementary children ages 5-10. The older children take delight in
being models for the younger children. This is a very connected, unique
community of young and old.
If you travel north on the Peak to Peak Highway, Estes Park with its many
shops and restaurants is a popular destination. Along the way, stop into
Charles Eagle Plume’s Indian Museum and Gallery. Be sure to see his
collection of old pawn jewelry as well as some of the paintings by Arthur
Short Bull of the Lakota Tribe who resides in Estes.
Of course Rocky Mountain National Park can be accessed near Estes Park, but
you can also hike several trail heads in the Brainard Lake, Mitchell Lake,
St. Vrain, Mt. Audobon, and Mt. Meeker area. Many of these peaks are 14,000
In the fall it is not uncommon to be awakened on County Road 100j in the
early morning by wild turkeys or elk bugling for their mates. The aspen
trees turn gold in the fall, spreading their golden coins over the rich
forest floor. Several artisans show their works in mountain communities.
Travelling the Peak to Peak Highway to see the fall colors is quite a
In the winter, snow shoeing, cutting your own Christmas tree, or riding on
the track vehicle through the snowy woods adds a delightful touch to living
on this property. Nederland’s Eldora Family Ski Resort is close by for
cross country or downhill skiing. You will enjoy coming back to a home
warmed by a Santa Fe style kiva fireplace. There is such a cozy feeling
when watching the winter elements create a display of ferocity during a
snowy blizzard, when looking out from this home’s (20), 9 foot windows.
This warm and tightly built home is not daunted by the cold.
In the spring, the wild flowers and plants begin to bloom again on this
property and nearby. The medicines of Arnica and Osha grow wild in the
valley here. The bear love to roll in the Osha which gives them a special
licorice scented smell to attract a mate. The arnica flowers can be made
into a salve that can soothe one’s sore muscles after shoveling a spring
snow. Wild strawberry and raspberry begin to grow again and produce their
fruit. Large moose take refuge near the creek and herds of elk move from
the lower valleys to higher country. An all-white humming bird has also
been seen from the living room windows of this home, announcing the spring.
With regard to this property taking form as a FARM-
FORM:P/29.Rev.03.07.13. g: publications/planning/P29 KeepingAnimals.pdf
because this property is zoned forestry, 2 animal UNITS per acre are
Which means: 4 cattle or 4 horses, 20 swine or ostrich, 20 goats, sheep, or
llamas, 200 poultry are allowed. This property could also be converted to
agricultural status (which would allow more animals to be kept). There is
also a meadow/pasture land and many acres of National Forest Land which
could possibly be used for grazing or browsing, given permission from the
Forestry Service, but would need to be checked out.
There are 4 metal (bear proof) outbuildings (18’x 8’x 8′) to house animals
There is another shed for tools, supplies and equipment.
There is a pole barn which currently stores wood and equipment.
A 120 square foot, food storage shed with shelves and two propane freezers.
22′ dome greenhouse with raised beds using cement blocks for thermal mass,
700 gallon water tank for thermal mass and aquaculture, solar fan for
heating and cooling, rain water collected from home roof and gravity feeds
into 350 gallon cistern tank in greenhouse, propane gas heater for added
heat if desired.
Permaculture garden with (2) young (high altitude) fruit trees: Zestar apple
and Shipova pear , (1) sea buckthorn tree. 7 rose bushes that thrive at an
altitude of 8600 feet. Wormwood, yarrow, mountain salvia, catnip, poppy,
comfrey, daisy, iris, borage, delphinium, sedum, black eyed susan, forget me
not, wild rose,
12′ Cold frame, goat manure compost; black soil from property.
Using the Freeze Response to Help a Traumatized First-Time Mother
Goat Bond to Her Kid
Silva Ling is the name of our hermitage and goat farm. Silva means “of
the woods”, and it reflects the valley we live in, surrounded by blue
Spruce, Ponderosa and Lodge Pole pines. We live in the Colorado Rockies
along with wild elk, deer, black bear, moose, mountain lion and lynx. We
have twenty two Boer and Saanen goats and two Great Pyrenees dogs for goat
protection. We make hard and soft goat cheese, yogurt, butter, and soap.
Herbs and vegetables are grown in a dome greenhouse as this is the only way
we can continue to grow at 8600 feet in the winter. A permaculture garden
allows us to grow flowers and herbs to make medicines for the health of our
When we became conscious of the fact that we were tired of leaving a
large footprint in the world of materialism and consumerism, we left the
world, became hermits, and built an earthship home on our property. The
building of the earthship and farm also became part of a homeschool learning
project for my husband, son, and me.
The earthship style home is a living, breathing organism. A planter in
the center of the home creates some of the moisture and oxygen necessary to
keep this home functioning properly. Because we are completely off the
grid, we use the power of the sun for heat and electricity. Our home is
built into the side of a south facing hill; we use the earth’s mass along
with a concrete floor to provide thermal mass for heat. Eighteen, nine foot
windows on the south face let the sun in and heat the floor as well. As a
result, our home stays at an ambient temperature of 68 degrees whether
winter of summer. The arc of the sun in the winter is lower, thus bringing
more sun into our home, whereas the arc in the summer is higher, keeping the
home cooler. We also have a “thermal cap” dug into the hill, 5 feet below
and behind the earthship, which consists of sheets of rigid foam insulation.
The heat from the house, moves through the thermal wall and the soil, hits
the insulation, and travels back toward the house for additional heat. The R
factor of this house is: 150 units. The building department thought our
engineer made a mistake when he came up with the R factor, but that wasn’t
We catch rain water from our house roof which is piped into our
greenhouse cistern, then gravity fed into our thermo- mass heat exchanger to
water the greenhouse and keep it warm in winter. The greenhouse has tubes
under the soil, and using a solar fan, we can cool or warm the soil
depending on what is needed. We also have a 450 foot well, dug through blue
granite to reach an artesian waterway.
Although neither my husband nor I were farmers in our past, we were
interested in raising goats for their milk and products. We needed hardy
animals as our winters can be quite cold in the mountains. We were
fascinated with the history of goats, being among the first domesticated
animals, ten thousand years ago. We were delighted when we learned about
the first time cheese was probably discovered, when a goatherd put milk in
the udder of a deceased goat and carried it across the plains, only to find
it had curdled in the shaking process.
Learning to be our goats’ veterinarian, caretaker, milker, and midwife
was a steep learning curve in the beginning. Because we do not want our
goats to be filled with chemicals, we grow our own wormwood, mugwort, and
stevia to make a de-wormer that keeps our goats healthy. We grow comfrey
which we use in the sad event that a goat breaks a leg. The comfrey
poultice made the bone heal twice as fast as other goats we didn’t try the
poultice for. We use wild raspberry leaves and make a tea for our soon- to-
be mother goats to help tone their muscles during pregnancy. In the spring
we gather wild arnica to make a salve for our own sore muscles from the work
on the farm.
Our hermitage at times is a refuge for people needing a safe haven.
Some of these people stay on the farm, practice meditation, make connections
to our animals, work in the garden and greenhouse, and perform various sorts
of farm tasks. The work on the farm provides them with simple activities to
synchronize their minds and bodies. Depressions lift and spirits revive
with the wholesome activity of working together.
Last year we had a Boer goat mother (Charlotte, or Charrie) who was the
daughter of a champion pure bred mother with papers, who birthed a baby male
goat. We called this kid Scrapper, because he was determined to get enough
to eat by any means. The unfortunate truth was that his mother did not bond
with him when he was born. This first- time mother seemed frozen and
staring into space after she birthed him. She refused to clean up her kid,
which begins the natural bonding process. Her stubbornness to respond could
be likened to the freeze response in animals. It seemed that the pain of
the birthing process was so traumatic to Charrie that she was not able to
get past the trauma to do what was necessary to bond with her kid. She
wanted nothing to do with him even after numerous attempts on our part to
help make this bonding connection. Luckily for Scrapper, he was tough from
Because our milk goats had not birthed any babies yet this year, we
didn’t have any extra goat milk available to feed Scrapper with, as we don’t
milk our Boer meat goats. This means that we had to either catch Charrie
and milk her ourselves, or give Scrapper a formula that in the end we knew
wouldn’t make him a strong, healthy goat. The year before, we had another
first- time mother who also refused to bond with and feed her kid, and we
took on the task of bottle feeding this kid. The kid had a hard time
growing and being part of the herd, and he died a year later.
Because neither of the choices above was optimal, we decided to try to
help Charrie in further ways to bond with and feed her kid. Our first
obstacle was that Charrie was skiddish with humans- and goats being flight
animals like horses and deer, she was hard to catch and calm so that we
could hold her while her kid milked.
At milking time, every two hours in the beginning of Scrapper’s life,
we had to put a leash on her (later we kept it on), flip her on her side
(with quite a bit of struggle I might add; this was her fight response in
action), and pull Scrapper in and put him on her teat. She would fight and
squirm until we used the “mountain lion posture’ with her- holding her down
and putting our hand on her neck, where she would then freeze, thus allowing
the kid to drink from her teat. After he was full, we would let her go, and
she would shake her body for several minutes.
In studies of animal behavior when animals are attacked but were able
to get away from the predator, they would seemingly shake the trauma out of
them and then go about their business. Animals that did not shake out this
trauma died, (Scaer, 2005, p,213.)
Did our routine practice of capturing her but then letting her go, help
her to remove some of the birthing trauma she experienced and become a good
mother?? I will never be able to ask her- but to some degree I will know as
I watch how she is as a mother this year.
As you can imagine, this was a tiring endeavor. After the first two
days of two strong adults taking down a feisty, kicking, fearful goat
mother, I began to wonder if there was another way of accomplishing this
feat. I decided to ask my husband not to help me, and instead I tied the
leash around a pole next to a wall in the shed, and pulled it tight so that
she couldn’t move her head. In essence this was like holding down her head
in the lion posture. I pressed my body against hers, against the wall, to
still her as best I could. This kept her from horning me or the baby- and
again she seemed to go into a freeze response. I could then put Scrapper on
her teat. He became strong; his sucking instincts were good. For several
days we did our milking routine this way- which was a lot easier than the
two-person, “mountain lion capture”. I would sit, unnoticed in the shed for
hours, watching to see if Charrie would naturally begin to feed her kid
without my intervention. This did not occur.
By the end of the first week, I was able to leash Charrie, but not pull
her head tight on her leash, Scrapper was able to latch on to her teat
without my help, and Charrie would actually stand for him to milk. The next
week, Scrapper was able to find the teat because Charrie had accepted that
Scrapper was her own, and would stand placidly while he ate. I only watched
the process. no leash, no leaning on her from me, or freeze response was
noted at this time. This behavior transferred over to the barnyard feedings
as well as the shed. As we watched the bonding of these two later in the
months ahead, Charrie was definitely responsive to Scrapper when he called
to her, wanted to milk, or seemed to be in danger and in need of her
protection. Our dogs were also incredibly protective of the kids, at times
breaking up horned fights between mothers with kids in the center of the
action, but that’s another story.
So what did we learn from this experience? That traumatized goat
mothers can overcome birthing trauma and bond with their kids. (I should say
that most goat mothers, even first time ones do this naturally and without
help). It is said that many times a mother will not nurse her kid due to
congenital problems in the kid that the mother seems to know instinctively.
However, I also wish those new to goat- rearing to consider the birth
trauma in new mothers as another possibility of not attaching, which I feel
in Charrie, was the case. If Scrapper had not been so intent on getting the
milk he needed, I would reconsider my statements. (At times after the first
few weeks, he would also sneak up on other mothers and feed before they
realized he was not one of theirs.) I also feel that because Charrie was
able to shake out the trauma, or discharge the freeze in her body, she was a
good candidate for eventual bonding and milking of her kid. Therefore, I
would like to propose to goat farmers that before they give up on a
first-time mother who is not bonding to her kid, to consider the
possibilities of birthing trauma and its effects on the new mother, and try
ways to help a new mother using the freeze response to facilitate the human
in helping the goat mother to bond with and feed her young.