The Schley’s find the remaining 2.7-acres of an original wheat farm in Arvada that allows them to remodel an old estate to meet modern day high performance building standards, and try their hand at small-scale lavender and cut flower farming. This episode, viewers follow Rodman and Gina as they work with their architect to design a USGBC LEED Certified Home and learn the history of the property.
The Schley’s get grounded as they explore the composition of soil, starting with hunting for wild mushrooms with experts from the Denver Botanic Gardens. They learn how mushrooms are the fertilizers of the forest, and take these lessons back to their farm where they try to use mother nature to prep their new fields for planting.
After experiencing the heat and dryness of the desert sun, the Schley’s have a whole new appreciation for water, and with help from the City of Arvada, they explore the question of where exactly their water comes from. From the continental divide to their faucets and fields, they follow the Colorado watershed and learn that water should be used wisely in their new endeavors.
The Schley’s consider all the ways the sun affects their home, farm and life. From orienting the house to capture the most sunlight, to the size and placement of windows, roof, and even flower fields. They learn that paying more attention to the sun could have everlasting benefits. Rodman and Gina learn about window efficiencies, roofing options, and home solar versus community solar options.
The Schley’s take a road trip and immerse themselves in the heat of the sun by visiting the Colorado Sand Dunes. They discover the natural properties of sand, and learn how it is a critical component of the insulation that is used to keep the heat inside of homes in the winter, or outside of home in the summer.
The Schley’s explore the importance of clean air and how their living habits contribute to the quality of air in their lives -- from cleaning up their old fireplace to starting a local farm -- air is something that is everywhere, and they hope everyone can see it a little clearer.
The Schley’s go into the forest in this episode of Urban Conversion to examine the relationship between man and trees -- from eating their fruit, using them as shelter, and burning them for warmth and light -- they gain a better appreciation for sustainably harvesting trees that they use in their home and on their farm.
The Schleys wrap up the season with a new appreciation for the many essential community relationships they’ve built through the project and the importance of building a local sense of place.