It's now been one year and nine months since my wife Nantzy and I bought back the Solar Living Center from the Colorado corporation that I sold to back in 2000. As many of you know, the site was looking tired and run down like it needed a good dose of love to return it to its former glory days that it enjoyed from its creation in 1994 until its heyday in early 2000s. I'm happy to report that the transformation is nearly complete! Not that it will ever be totally complete; the Chinese have a saying for that: "House finished, Man die..." so we continue to create and express our vision for our 150,000 and growing Solar Living Center annual visitors. The accolades have been coming in all summer as the site has clearly perked up:
"Found this place and fell in love instantly. This store, ground, staff... EVERYTHING was amazing! I love it! I am planning on my next camping trip for next summer to come back. If you are eco-friendly and want a great place to shop - GO HERE!"-Heidi S.
"So, so, so happy that we stopped at this amazingly wonderful place; we're in love! Definitely will be coming back again and again and again!"-Lisa M.
"A soulfully touching experience for myself - and more so, for my ever-growing son. Thank you!"-Brittany B.
What's New at the Solar Living Center?
Here's a brief, incomplete list of what we've accomplished to enhance our visitors' experience over the last several months:
- A Pollinator Garden to enhance our Observation Bee Hive is thriving and exciting
- A Lavender Labyrinth has taken shape with 400 lavender plants modeled after a medieval European labyrinth and many people are walking it and getting clear and calm
- Our new Oak Grove is complete with 150+ new Valley Oaks, Interior Live Oaks, Cork Oaks, Italian Oaks, and much more
- 4 new showers are being installed before our big Permaculture Convergence event that we're hosting on September 14-18
- Our Children's Garden is in full bloom with plants for smell, taste, and beauty along with many "exploding cucumbers" about to pop as children touch them spewing their seeds everywhere
- Our new Aquaponics Display is nearly complete with filtration system and live fish growing basil and other salad greens capable of raising 500 pounds of fish per year and 5,000 pounds of vegetables
- New garden displays are complete outside the store by the oasis with luscious plants irrigated with brewed compost tea in movable grow bags
- A thriving Intern Vegetable Garden with a produce farm cart so visitors can take home fresh organic just-harvested produce to eat at home
- A new rainwater catchment system that was installed on the Tumbleweed Tiny House is capable of storing over 5,000 gallons of pure rainwater every year
- A refurbished bicycle generator display showing how much human power it takes to generate enough electricity to power the average American home. Come and hop on!
- Two new Tesla charging stations to augment our 1995-vintage regular EV chargers
- And lots more! Come and visit us if you haven't been here recently, or check out this drone photography taken in June 2016
More People Are Visiting the SLC Than Ever
And it's working! Our visitor numbers have been increasing recently. More than 100,000 people visited the Solar Living Center in just the first seven months of 2016. That's almost 50% more than for the same period in 2015! We're back on the map with visitors coming from all over the planet and enjoying the Solar Living Center as one of their peak experiences.
Won't you come by and visit? Do come and say hello personally...
For the Earth,
Real Goods Founder and former President