Natural Building

Building Foundation and Stairs – “Cob Cottage Company” Natural Building Apprenticeship at Spirit Pine Sanctuary

The house we are building will be a home to a family of four: Mom, Dad and two young boys. The task at hand is to build a solid cob wall around an existing yurt structure and to build an additional room on the side to serve as the parent’s bedroom.

When building with cob, it is best to build along the whole perimeter of the building at once. When cob walls dry, they become a monolith, like one giant house-shaped rock, really! I’ve read about this in “The Hand Sculpted House” book, but I didn’t really comprehend this until I mixed my first batch of cob and made a test brick. Once it dried, neither smashing it nor throwing it affected its brick-ness. No words to describe this phenomenon, only a personal experience of dried cob.

But let’s start at the beginning, and any self-respecting house begins with a solid foundation.


Dry-stone foundation with the first layer of cob – the base of the wall
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DAY 9: Community Finances or How To Never Pay Income Tax Again (PDC 2010 with Bill Mollison and Geoff Lawton)

Bill Mollison lecturing the PDC 2010
Today Bill and Geoff shared information about what may be the main questions we all have. How do we fund all these wonderful ideas we’ve learned. How do we navigate community and government structures; how do we organize people for action. It was not a topic we expected from a Permaculture course, but it’s a very important one. It stirred up questions and lengthy discussions, skeptical gazes and hopeful eyes.

Community Finances

There are two types of community economies: formal economy and informal economy.