We are an under-construction artistic playground in the Mojave desert. The mission is to build & maintain a sustainable, affordable, and nurturing environment for people to retreat, develop, and present their art with total creative freedom.
DIY and building projects
Creating/ Cooking family meals
Help with Eco Projects
Help around the house
Volunteers will learn the principles of earthbag construction, and gain special insight just from spending time in the inspiring landscape of the Mojave desert. Volunteers are encouraged to bring or develop an art project while visiting. The local dive bar (the only business in town) is an enchantingly weird place where neighbors and artists commune, carouse, and share their work at the Friday open-mic.
We've built one earthbag (SuperAdobe) dome and have just finished construction on a second with four underground chambers. Earthbag building is hard work, but easy to learn and can be done by anyone who can comfortably lift 20lbs. There is also a small off-grid cabin in need of a few final finishes. We generally do ~3hrs of work a day, so there's plenty of time to make art and explore the wonderful sights of Joshua Tree National Park the Mojave desert wilderness.
This is a remote location with some constraints (hauling water from town, 5-volt solar electricity for phone charging, no wifi). Visitors should limit their stay to 1-3 nights and be prepared to work ~2-3 hours a day either in the early morning or evening. I provide some food and lunch/ingredients (but not 3 meals) and plenty of recommendations on cool places to explore. If you are an experienced outdoors adventurer / hiker / vanlifer/ leave-no-trace camper, and have your own vehicle, pay me a visit! Driving out for 1-3 days to help work on the earthbag dome is a worthwhile experience. The work can be as simple as digging sand and filling sandbags, or as complex as designing and building water catchment and solar power systems- depending on your skillset. You can camp in a well-staked tent (3 available on site) or in your vehicle. You must have a vehicle to visit- no exceptions.
It can get very hot here in the summer and there are sometimes strong winds, but the low humidity means that it's usually cool in the shade even when it's hot in the sun, and cool at night. Winter nights are usually in the 40s. The land is surrounded by beautiful mountains and the special light conditions of the Mojave desert, make it a stunning place to be at sunrise and sunset and in moonlight. And when there's no moon you can see all the stars- all of them! There are radical high and low desert attractions within a 1-2 hour drive in all directions -- mountain hikes, oases, abandoned mines, geological curiosities, sculpture gardens, far-out artists. (A national parks pass is helpful for getting into Joshua Tree.) Twentynine Palms and Yucca Valley are full-service towns. Stater Bros in 29 Palms is the nearest grocery store, but if you're driving here from LA, San Diego, or Palm Springs, stock up at a Winco near LA or in Indio. Bring two 5-gallon jugs in your car -- fill them up for free at the Oasis of Mara visitor center on Utah Trail in 29 Palms (water fountain with jug spigot works 24/7).
Limited internet access
We have pets
We are smokers
Can host families
More than two
Maximum 2-4 hours a day, 3-4 days a week- 10 hours/week
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