Building Your Solar Ark A Home for the 21st Century

What you'll learn:

.  What the Bible says about environmental stewardship.

.  Solar power for your home, from passive solar design to photovoltaics.

.  Rainwater harvesting, water purification and recycling.

.  Composting toilets and sanitation.

.  Maximizing food production on the homestead.


All training is hands-on.  Classes are tailored to meet your needs.  Training takes place on a working homestead in Rush, Colorado, fifty miles east of Colorado Springs.

Class recommendations: All classes are customized to meet your needs. Here are some suggested topics with time requirements:

Using Solar on the Homestead - 2 day minimum

You will learn the basics of passive solar design so that you'll stay warm in the winter and cool in the summer without spending money for utilities.  You will also learn the basic components of a solar electric system.  You will construct a basic 12 volt, direct current system.

Designing Your Homestead Home - 1day minimum

You will learn the basics of passive solar design.  Most of your time will be spent creating a practical design for your own home, incorporating rainwater catchment, composting waste systems, and food production systems.

Rainwater Harvesting, Water Purification
and Recycling
- 1 day minimum

You will learn how to capture every drop of water that falls on your property.  You will learn how to store, purify and recycle water.

Compositing Toilets and Sanitation - 1 day minimum

You will learn how to build and use the simplest, most practical composting toilet available today. You will learn how to build and maintain a composting bin.  You will learn how to dispose of contaminated water, building a septic system with free materials.

Food Production at Home - 2 day minimum

You will learn how to work less while creating more food.  You'll learn what makes great garden soil.  You'll learn how to save water.  You will learn the latest organic gardening methods.  If we can grow food at our altitude, with our windy, dry climate, you can grow food for your family.

Alternative Building Materials
and Methods
- 1 day minimum

You can build simple structures on your homestead.  We show you the basics of pole building, building with tires, straw bale building and construction with sand bags.  All classes are hands-on.

Note:  If you would like to learn homesteading topics that are not listed above, talk to us.  If we can help, we will.  If we can't help, we may know someone who can.  Just give us a call.

Training Dates and Costs

Training dates:

June 1 -  October 30 of each year.  Dates are available seven days a week.  All scheduling is first-come, first-serve.

Cost:  $100 per person, per day.  Many classes require at least two days.  Payments can be made by check or money order.  Your dates are reserved upon receipt of payment.


The Bunkhouse is intentionally designed to be very simple.  Electricity is provided by a 12 volt, direct current system.  There is no television.  There is a simple shower and a composting toilet.  The beds are comfortable.  Towels and bedding are provided.

What you need to bring:

Note:  The weather will be too hot or too cold, too wet or too dry.  The wind will be blowing.  We will work rain or shine.

Rain gear

Jacket - preferably with a hood

Hat that shades you from the sun

Solid work boots or shoes

Leather work gloves

Long pants

Long-sleeved shirts to protect you from the sun


Ear plugs

All needed medications


You pay for your food. Typically, we meet you in Colorado Springs and take you to the food store of your choice.  Time and materials are allotted for food preservation. 
We do have a cafe in Rush. The food is hearty and the homemade pies are WONDERFUL!

Note:  We live 50 miles from any store. If you forget what you need, it will waste at least a half a day.



The following flicker photo slide shows show both the Dody home and the Bunk house which are both created by Jack in Rush, Colorado.

Created with flickr slideshow.

Created with flickr slideshow.
Information about your teachers

Jack and Marilou Dody are associates of Equip International. They live in an "off-the-grid" home which they designed and built themselves in Rush, Colorado, making their own electricity, recycling water and waste, and growing food.

Jack has used his strategies to help missionaries and the people they serve to live safely and comfortably in the most difficult places on earth.

“The Solar Ark training is full of hands-on, straightforward, and understandable information that does not waste effort with fluff. Jack Dody is a capable teacher and communicator who lives with and uses each feature of the Solar Ark: energy, water collection and conservation, food production, and waste recycling and disposal. The training material and support after the training is excellent. If you might live or help others in difficult living conditions--don't miss this training.”

–J., Asia

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