Welcome to the Solar Living Center in Hopland, California, a twelve-acre demonstration site for renewable energy, green buildings, biodynamic gardening, and other sustainable technologies.
Maintained by the non-profit Solar Living Institute, this unique educational enclave rests upon a former dumping ground, a lifeless, debris-ridden stretch that was restored and transformed into a lush landscape with soothing waterways and thousands of organically grown edibles, wildflowers, and ornamental plants.
Guided tours service a steady stream of guests from all over the world. Visitors typically spend several hours on the premises, exploring an unusual array of exhibits and features, including:
- Oasis solar calendar & water fountain
- Artistic flow forms that cleanse and oxygenate water organically
- Children’s garden with exploding cucumbers and plants meant to be touched
- Grow-thru cars (huge trees growing through antique gas-guzzlers)
- Giant serpent horn sculpture
- Heart-shaped lily pond
- Bamboo tipi
- Fragrant thyme sundial
- Living conference room (with olive trees for walls and a six-ton rock table)
- Native medicinal plant walk
- Lavender labyrinth
- Aquaponics dome
- Classroom yurt for workshops on renewable energy, eco-design and cannabis
- Six-station bicycle generators Solar-powered
- Tesla car charging station
Founded in 1978, Real Goods specializes in solar power equipment, irrigation systems, organic fertilizer and soil amendments, and other tools for off-the-grid farming and sustainable living. This five thousand square foot straw bale eco-store stays cool in the summer because of its passive solar design and its creative use of recycled materials.