One of our dreams after moving to Nevada County was to build a home on land in Nevada City and grow some of our own food. The vision was to work towards sustainable living by making green building choices for the home and applying permaculture principles to cultivating the land.
A few years ago we bought two and a half acres of raw land in Nevada City. At that time we couldn’t even walk anywhere on the property because it was covered in six foot tall blackberry brambles. I had hoped to write about the building process as it unfolded, but building a home was so much work that it didn’t leave me any spare time for blogging! John and I also have two young children as well as our real estate clients to support, so my intention of sharing the process of building a home in Nevada City didn’t quite happen.
But what did happen is that we built an amazing home! Complete with 27 solar panels on the roof, thanks to Sustainable Energy Group. The solar offsets nearly all of our electricity use even though our home is 100% electric. It helps that our appliances are high efficiency options like a heat pump water heater and a mini split HVAC system that also uses heat pump technology.
Building a home was a lot of work, but we survived, and we learned so much about the process. John is also a licensed general contractor, so we are very capable of advising our clients who are thinking of building a home in Nevada County. And now we are on to the next phase: creating a sustainable food forest here on our Nevada City land, which is much more relaxing!
We just mowed down a whole lot of brush (points for fire safety) and we are in the process of creating trails and plots for fruit trees, strawberries, blueberries, kiwi vines, and more! Our focus will be on perennials so that the gardens can mature over the years. We will also grow numerous species of herbs and flowering plants to support the pollinator population and to make healing teas and tinctures.