EcoTerra (formerly the Solar Living Center) is a 12-acre solar-powered training, demonstration, and event center for sustainable living that receives more than 250,000 visitors annually. Using intentional ecological design we have transformed what was once a lifeless, debris-filled plot of land with just one tree into a lush oasis full of thousands of species of organic edibles, wildflowers, and ornamental plants alongside demonstrations in renewable energy, natural building, organic gardening, and other sustainable technologies. Situated amongst a spectacular landscape of trees, vineyards, and mountains EcoTerra has been carefully designed to educate, inspire, and nurture all who visit. It is part eco-oasis, part event center, part school, and full of surprises. In addition to our Institute, EcoTerra is also home to the Real Goods Eco-Store and Emerald Pharms, a medical cannabis resource center.
Demonstrations in Sustainable Living
EcoTerra features demonstrations such as a permaculture vegetable garden, earthen buildings, a Tumbleweed Tiny Home, an aquaponics display, a lavender labyrinth, stationary bikes that use pedal power to create electricity, and one of Northern California’s largest solar arrays. Visitors and students are encouraged to join us for a tour (either guided or self-guided and discover all that is possible in a world where we design our living systems with sustainability in mind.
Real Goods Eco-Store
Founded in 1978, The Real Goods Store is the original purveyor of off-grid living goods. Originally envisioned as a one-stop-shop where people could find everything they needed for their remote homesteads, the store began with the sale of the first retail solar panel in the United States and the humble goal of changing the world.
The Real Goods Store has deep roots in Mendocino County, and proudly houses the world’s largest straw bale showroom. The amazing 5000 square foot space is passively cooled and heated; demonstrating the most effective techniques in sustainable design. The store sits at the center of the 12-acre EcoTerra Center, a brilliant green oasis alongside Highway 101.
Emerald Pharms Cannabis Dispensary
Dedicated to cannabis education, Emerald Pharms is a cannabis dispensary of the 21st century where all are welcome. It is a solar-powered medical & recreational marijuana dispensary and educational resource center that specializes in regional heirloom genetics and has an extensive selection of high quality, lab-tested cannabis products. It’s a one-stop shop for cultivation, relaxation, and holistic healing that overlooks our picturesque lily ponds and gardens.
Lodging and Accommodations
We offer a variety of accommodation options – for every preference and budget – that let you choose how you want to dream at night. Our living structures – a Tiny House and a Hobbit Hut – were built using natural building methods and materials. We also have a campground for those with their own tents and RVs.
Our yurt classroom, located in our vegetable garden is a cozy, simple space that features wifi, a projector, whiteboards, and can fit up to 30 students.