We've got big news: Real Goods founder and former president John Schaeffer is selling the 12-acre Solar Living Center (also known as the EcoTerra Center) to Mendocino-based cannabis distribution company Flow Kana.
John is thrilled to have found a buyer whose own long-term vision so closely matches his own. In John's words, Flow Kana CEO Michael Steinmetz "understood the vision of the Solar Living Center – everything from cob houses and biodynamic farming to farm-to-table organics. I think I could have searched for 20 years and never found anyone so in tune with what we're doing as the folks at Flow Kana. They're the genuine article. Everyone I've met is completely authentic. For me, it's the perfect marriage between the Solar Living Center and a great organization."
While the Solar Living Center is home to three tenants (Real Goods, the educational nonprofit Solar Living Institute, and Emerald Pharms cannabis dispensary), the sale of the Solar Living Center is not intended to disrupt any of those organizations' activities.
"We expect to keep all three tenants working harmoniously on the campus. None of our plans will be disruptive to them. They are totally independent from us," assures Steinmetz.
For Flow Kana, the intent of the purchase is not to use the Solar Living Center for a marijuana farm, but rather as an "educational demonstration site for Flow Kana" - a purpose the SLC is already well equipped to serve. It has been a demonstration site for renewable energy, sustainable living, and permaculture (and one of Northern California's most visited tourist destinations) for over two decades.
No immediate big changes are planned, and John will stay involved for the next two years to help with the transition and act in an advisory capacity. "I'm turning 70 this year, but I'm not quite ready to retire. We've had over 4 million visitors since we moved to this site. We're really excited to see it continue to grow, continue to thrive and really persevere into the future," he says.