Learn to Build a Cob Oven and Bake with it!

Cobbing doesn’t get any easier than at this 3 day Cob B&B (Build-and-Bake) Workshop, from September 27th to October 1st, 2011 on Lasqueti Island.

We’ll spend the first 2 days learning how to build a beehive oven out of cob, then we’ll learn how to use it and indulge in tasty treats as master baker Nadine Simpson shares her recipes and skill.

You’ll arrive on Thursday, September 27th, pitch your tent and settle in for a welcoming dinner.  The next 2 days we’ll hand sculpt an oven in the shape of a frog.  You’ll get a basic understanding of how to mix and use cob, an ancient building technique that is not only dirt cheap, it’s insect, rodent, earthquake and fire proof.  You’ll also learn how to mix and use natural plasters.

On our 3rd day, we’ll mozy on over to Nadine’s place to:

  • learn the basics of preparing the oven for baking,
  • discuss baking practices…mise en place, equipment, tools etc.
  • learn about breads, (yeasted and pre-ferments – sourdoughs, bigas, levain, etc.)
  • mix a sourdough bread (Rye)
  • learn to braid a challah and to make cinnamon buns
  • make and bake Pizzas/Calzones
  • bake sourdough and Peasant Breads
  • learn about using the oven for roasting vegetables, and other oven cooked meals.

Then, on Monday, October 1st, we’ll share our farewell breakfast and depart.

The cost of $350 covers all meals (3 hot, fully organic vegan/vegetarian meals for 3 days, plus the welcoming dinner and the farewell breakfast), on-site camping with running water, and hands-on instruction.

Here’s some of the feedback that we’ve received from previous cob building workshop participants:

Transformative and empowering!” – Kate ’10.

Very instructive and hands-on.” – Matt ’10.

Learning what we needed to know as we put it to practical use rather than spending a lot of time on theory was a useful approach for me.” – Terry ’09.

Your cob oven building facilitator (Dave Olsen) completed a cob workshop in 1996 and has had mud on his hands ever since.  He has also led workshops on many other topics since 1994.  On Lasqueti Island, he has organized and co-led 5 cob workshops and finished three smaller buildings; he feels very fortunate to have worked with many of the leading cob builders of our time.

Our baking chef, Nadine Simpson began baking professionally in 1979 at Rising Star Wholefoods Bakery in Victoria BC, first as a member of the worker’s collective (PSC) that operated the business and later, (1981) as owner.  Since 1994 she has been living and baking on Lasqueti Island and has led cob oven baking workshops locally and in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

What else makes these courses special?

  • You will see firsthand how humans can build with what nature provides, without destroying the beauty that is offered.
  • You’ll also have many opportunities to master making cob itself. You’ll learn the “traditional” technique, known to cobbers throughout our wet coast, and we’ll learn how to modify it so that you can mix up to 4 times faster!
  • Not only will you learn how to build naturally and affordably, you’ll learn how to do it efficiently enough to be empowered to build on your own and keep your community of builders interested and inspired to keep building.

Travel days to get to and from the workshop are Thursday, September 27th (we’ll begin with a welcoming, organic and vegetarian/vegan dinner that evening) and Monday, October 1st (a farewell breakfast will fuel your return to the ferry dock).

Every cob oven building day (Friday and Saturday), we start with a short meditative building session, followed by an organic, hot wholesome breakfast.  Two longer hands-on learning sessions sandwich a hot organic, vegan lunch.

Most evenings, after a delicious dinner, we’ll have a discussion or mini-workshop on related activities, from ecologically-sensitive transportation to building a roof with cedar shakes.

There are no machines or motors on site, so it is a safe and quiet place for anyone, younger or older, and interesting conversation and laughter is common. This oven site, and the materials for this oven, were selected to make it as easy as possible to sculpt an earthen oven.

For more information and background, please visit:

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/2011-cob-building-workshops/

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/2009-cob-building-workshop/

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/learn-to-build-naturally-with-cob/

To receive an application form, please email Dave: bike at resist dot ca.

Here’s hoping you can experience the beauty of natural building and cob oven baking soon!

Another 2012 Cob Building Workshop!

From September 13th to 17th, I’ll be hosting another cob/natural building workshop on Lasqueti Island. The cost of this 3 day workshop is $300 which covers all meals (3 hot, fully organic vegan/vegetarian meals for 3 days, plus a welcoming dinner and a good-bye breakfast), on-site camping with running water, and hands-on instruction.

Women and families are especially encouraged to apply.  Barters or trades are always possible.

Here’s some of the feedback that we’ve received from previous workshop participants:

I enjoyed how you let us experiment and fail and learn on the fly.” – Luke ’11

It was empowering!  I really feel like in a short week like I can get going on building my own cob house!” – Jodi ’11

Transformative and empowering!” – Kate ’10.

Very instructive and hands-on.” – Matt ’10.

You have no idea how excited I am that I now pretty much know how to build a house out of dirt.” – Kate ’10.

Learning what we needed to know as we put it to practical use rather than spending a lot of time on theory was a useful approach for me.” – Terry ’09.

Your workshop facilitator (Dave Olsen) completed a cob workshop in 1996 and has had mud on his hands ever since.  He has also led workshops on many other topics since 1994.  On Lasqueti Island, he has organized and co-led 6 cob workshops and finished four buildings; he has been very fortunate to have worked with many of the leading cob builders of our time.

Here’s some more feedback from previous participants, this time about the food:

The food was absolutely incredible!  I’ve never been to any event where the food was as healthy, abundant, delicious, frequent.” – Jodi ’11

I was surprised by how much variety there was as my preconditioned idea of a vegan diet was that it would be very plain without much zing.  However it was a treat each meal” – Luke ’11

Exceptional, really top drawer and beautifully prepared.” – Matt ’10

Delicious and superfluous.” – Kate ’10

The food was excellent!  Thank you Bethany. It was my first prolonged experience with Vegan food and I quite enjoyed it.” – Terry ’09

What else makes these courses special?

  • You will see firsthand how humans can build with what nature provides, without destroying the beauty that is offered.
  • You’ll also have many opportunities to master making cob itself. You’ll learn the “traditional” technique, known to cobbers throughout our wet coast, and we’ll learn how to modify it so that you can mix up to 4 times faster!
  • You’ll experience building walls the “old fashioned way” as well as a hybrid technique that uses reusable plastic “forms” to get our walls up twice as fast and “the brick” which gets them up even faster!
  • Not only will you learn how to build naturally and affordably, you’ll learn how to do it efficiently enough to be empowered to build on your own and keep your community of builders interested and inspired to keep building.

What will the focus be for this workshop?

We’ll be finishing a guest house/garden shed that started with very short cob walls on a stone foundation.  10′ logs are used to cantilever the sleeping space over the garden shed and we’ll cob up to a metal roof that will collect rain water.  The floor is pine, and the roof will be sloped to make the guest house seem like a loft over the garden shed.  The 96 sq ft. structure will be done by the end of the month!

We’ll also be plastering with a lovely natural plaster: a cob bench, greenhouse walls, outside and inside.  You’ll find the ratio of materials that work best for applying and lasting, which can be used on any type of construction.

On site, there will be the beginnings of a stone foundation to help you understand an efficient way of creating your own.  Our time is too short to work on it, but the concepts will be on display so you can absorb it all while you learn to mix fast cob and plaster naturally.

Travel days to get to and from the workshop are Thursday, September 13th (we’ll begin with a welcoming, organic dinner that evening) and Monday, September 17th (a farewell breakfast will fuel your return to the ferry dock).

Every workshop day (Friday to Sunday), we start with a short meditative building session, followed by an organic, hot wholesome breakfast.  Two longer hands-on learning sessions sandwich a hot organic, vegan lunch.

Most evenings, after a delicious dinner, we’ll have a discussion or mini-workshop on related activities, from ecologically-sensitive transportation to building a roof with cedar shakes.

Human-powered building is hard work. But since there are no machines or motors on site, it is a safe and quiet place for anyone, younger or older, and interesting conversation and laughter is common. This building site, and the materials for this building, were selected to make it as easy as possible to build an earthen structure.

The pace is casual but determined; the more effort you give, the more learning you will take away.  Natural Building is at least 95% experiential learning and you will be expected to self-motivate throughout the various scheduled sessions.

For more information and background, please visit:

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/2009-cob-building-workshop/ https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/learn-to-build-naturally-with-cob/

To receive an application form, please email Dave: bike at resist dot ca or write a comment below with your contact info (don’t worry, I won’t publish the contact info).

Here’s hoping you can experience the beauty of natural building and cob soon!

2012 Cob Building Workshops!

From August 18th to 23rd and August 25th to 30th, I’ll be hosting two independent cob/natural building workshops on Lasqueti Island. The cost of each workshop is $400 which covers all meals (3 hot, fully organic vegan/vegetarian meals for 4 days, plus a welcoming dinner and a good-bye breakfast), on-site camping with running water, and hands-on instruction.

Women and families are especially encouraged to apply.  Barters or trades are always possible.

Here’s some of the feedback that we’ve received from previous workshop participants:

I enjoyed how you let us experiment and fail and learn on the fly.” – Luke ’11

It was empowering!  I really feel like in a short week like I can get going on building my own cob house!” – Jodi ’11

Transformative and empowering!” – Kate ’10.

Very instructive and hands-on.” – Matt ’10.

You have no idea how excited I am that I now pretty much know how to build a house out of dirt.” – Kate ’10.

Learning what we needed to know as we put it to practical use rather than spending a lot of time on theory was a useful approach for me.” – Terry ’09.

Your workshop facilitator (Dave Olsen) completed a cob workshop in 1996 and has had mud on his hands ever since.  He has also led workshops on many other topics since 1994.  On Lasqueti Island, he has organized and co-led 6 cob workshops and finished four buildings; he has been very fortunate to have worked with many of the leading cob builders of our time.

Here’s some more feedback from previous participants, this time about the food:

The food was absolutely incredible!  I’ve never been to any event where the food was as healthy, abundant, delicious, frequent.” – Jodi ’11

I was surprised by how much variety there was as my preconditioned idea of a vegan diet was that it would be very plain without much zing.  However it was a treat each meal” – Luke ’11

Exceptional, really top drawer and beautifully prepared.” – Matt ’10

Delicious and superfluous.” – Kate ’10

The food was excellent!  Thank you Bethany. It was my first prolonged experience with Vegan food and I quite enjoyed it.” – Terry ’09

What else makes these courses special?

  • You will see firsthand how humans can build with what nature provides, without destroying the beauty that is offered.
  • You’ll also have many opportunities to master making cob itself. You’ll learn the “traditional” technique, known to cobbers throughout our wet coast, and we’ll learn how to modify it so that you can mix up to 4 times faster!
  • You’ll experience building walls the “old fashioned way” as well as a hybrid technique that uses reusable plastic “forms” to get our walls up twice as fast and “the brick” which gets them up even faster!
  • Not only will you learn how to build naturally and affordably, you’ll learn how to do it efficiently enough to be empowered to build on your own and keep your community of builders interested and inspired to keep building.

What will the focus be for this workshop?

We’ll be creating a guest house/garden shed that starts with very short cob walls on a stone foundation.  We’ll add 10′ logs to cantilever the sleeping space over the garden shed and cob up to a metal roof that will collect rain water.  The floor will be pine, and the roof will be sloped to make the guest house seem like a loft over the garden shed.  The 96 sq ft. structure will be done in less than a month!

We’ll also be plastering with a lovely natural plaster: a cob bench, greenhouse walls, outside and inside.  You’ll find the ratio of materials that work best for applying and lasting, which can be used on any type of construction.

On site, there will be the beginnings of a stone foundation to help you understand an efficient way of creating your own.  Our time is too short to work on it, but the concepts will be on display so you can absorb it all while you learn to mix fast cob and plaster naturally.

Travel days to get to and from the workshop are Saturdays, August 18th or August 25th (we’ll begin with a welcoming, organic dinner that evening) and Thursday, August 23rd or August 30th (a farewell breakfast will fuel your return to the ferry dock).

Every workshop day (Sunday to Wednesday), we start with a short meditative building session, followed by an organic, hot wholesome breakfast.  Two longer hands-on learning sessions sandwich a hot organic, vegan lunch.

Most evenings, after a delicious dinner, we’ll have a discussion or mini-workshop on related activities, from ecologically-sensitive transportation to building a roof with cedar shakes.

Human-powered building is hard work. But since there are no machines or motors on site, it is a safe and quiet place for anyone, younger or older, and interesting conversation and laughter is common. This building site, and the materials for this building, were selected to make it as easy as possible to build an earthen structure.

The pace is casual but determined; the more effort you give, the more learning you will take away.  Natural Building is at least 95% experiential learning and you will be expected to self-motivate throughout the various scheduled sessions.

For more information and background, please visit:

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/2009-cob-building-workshop/ https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/learn-to-build-naturally-with-cob/

To receive an application form, please email Dave: bike at resist dot ca or write a comment below with your contact info (don’t worry, I won’t publish the contact info).

Here’s hoping you can experience the beauty of natural building and cob soon!

New Date for the Cob B&B (Build-and-Bake) Workshop: Learn to Build a Cob Oven and Bake with it!

Cobbing doesn’t get any easier than at this 3 day Cob B&B (Build-and-Bake) Workshop, from August 21st to August 25th, 2011 on Lasqueti Island.

We’ll spend the first 2 days learning how to build a beehive oven out of cob, then we’ll learn how to use it and indulge in tasty treats as master baker Nadine Simpson shares her recipes and skill.

You’ll arrive on Sunday, August 21st, pitch your tent and settle in for a welcoming dinner.  The next 2 days we’ll hand sculpt an oven in the shape of a frog.  You’ll get a basic understanding of how to mix and use cob, an ancient building technique that is not only dirt cheap, it’s insect, rodent, earthquake and fire proof.  You’ll also learn how to mix and use natural plasters.

On our 3rd day, we’ll mozy on over to Nadine’s place to:

  • learn the basics of preparing the oven for baking,
  • discuss baking practices…mise en place, equipment, tools etc.
  • learn about breads, (yeasted and pre-ferments – sourdoughs, bigas, levain, etc.)
  • mix a sourdough bread (Rye)
  • learn to braid a challah and to make cinnamon buns
  • make and bake Pizzas/Calzones
  • bake sourdough and Peasant Breads
  • learn about using the oven for roasting vegetables, and other oven cooked meals.

Then, on Thursday, August 25th, we’ll share our farewell breakfast and depart.

The cost of $325 covers all meals (3 hot, fully organic vegan/vegetarian meals for 3 days, plus the welcoming dinner and the farewell breakfast), on-site camping with running water, and hands-on instruction.

Here’s some of the feedback that we’ve received from previous cob building workshop participants:

Transformative and empowering!” – Kate ’10.

Very instructive and hands-on.” – Matt ’10.

Learning what we needed to know as we put it to practical use rather than spending a lot of time on theory was a useful approach for me.” – Terry ’09.

Your cob oven building facilitator (Dave Olsen) completed a cob workshop in 1996 and has had mud on his hands ever since.  He has also led workshops on many other topics since 1994.  On Lasqueti Island, he has organized and co-led 5 cob workshops and finished three smaller buildings; he feels very fortunate to have worked with many of the leading cob builders of our time.

Our baking chef, Nadine Simpson began baking professionally in 1979 at Rising Star Wholefoods Bakery in Victoria BC, first as a member of the worker’s collective (PSC) that operated the business and later, (1981) as owner.  Since 1994 she has been living and baking on Lasqueti Island and has led cob oven baking workshops locally and in Baja California Sur, Mexico.

What else makes these courses special?

  • You will see firsthand how humans can build with what nature provides, without destroying the beauty that is offered.
  • You’ll also have many opportunities to master making cob itself. You’ll learn the “traditional” technique, known to cobbers throughout our wet coast, and we’ll learn how to modify it so that you can mix up to 4 times faster!
  • Not only will you learn how to build naturally and affordably, you’ll learn how to do it efficiently enough to be empowered to build on your own and keep your community of builders interested and inspired to keep building.

Travel days to get to and from the workshop are Sunday, August 21st (we’ll begin with a welcoming, organic and vegetarian/vegan dinner that evening) and Thursday, August 25th (a farewell breakfast will fuel your return to the ferry dock).

Every cob oven building day (Monday and Tuesday), we start with a short meditative building session, followed by an organic, hot wholesome breakfast.  Two longer hands-on learning sessions sandwich a hot organic, vegan lunch.

Most evenings, after a delicious dinner, we’ll have a discussion or mini-workshop on related activities, from ecologically-sensitive transportation to building a roof with cedar shakes.

Human-powered building is hard work. But since there are no machines or motors on site, it is a safe and quiet place for anyone, younger or older, and interesting conversation and laughter is common. This building site, and the materials for this building, were selected to make it as easy as possible to build an earthen structure.

The pace is casual but determined; the more effort you give, the more learning you will take away.  Natural Building is at least 95% experiential learning and you will be expected to self-motivate throughout the various scheduled sessions.

For more information and background, please visit:

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2011/03/30/2011-cob-building-workshops/

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/2009-cob-building-workshop/

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/learn-to-build-naturally-with-cob/

To receive an application form, please email Dave: eec at resist dot ca.

Here’s hoping you can experience the beauty of natural building and cob oven baking soon!

2011 Cob Building Workshop!

From July 23rd to July 30th, I’ll be hosting another cob/natural building workshop on Lasqueti Island. The cost of $600 covers all meals (3 hot, fully organic vegan/vegetarian meals for 6 days, plus a welcoming dinner and a good-bye breakfast), on-site camping with running water, and hands-on instruction.

Women and families are especially encouraged to apply.  Barters or trades are always possible.

Here’s some of the feedback that we’ve received from previous workshop participants:

Transformative and empowering!” – Kate ’10.

Very instructive and hands-on.” – Matt ’10.

You have no idea how excited I am that I now pretty much know how to build a house out of dirt.” – Kate ’10.

Learning what we needed to know as we put it to practical use rather than spending a lot of time on theory was a useful approach for me.” – Terry ’09.

Your workshop facilitator (Dave Olsen) completed a cob workshop in 1996 and has had mud on his hands ever since.  He has also led workshops on many other topics since 1994.  On Lasqueti Island, he has organized and co-led 5 cob workshops and finished three smaller buildings; he has been very fortunate to have worked with many of the leading cob builders of our time.

Our chef, Bethany Scott, first came to cob by way of the Mudgirls, hosting a work party and seducing them with her amazing culinary talents.  She has worked her magic at multiple cob workshops, both on and off Lasqueti Island, and hasn’t met a diet that she hasn’t nourished fully and deliciously yet!

Here’s some more feedback from previous participants, this time about the food:

Exceptional, really top drawer and beautifully prepared.” – Matt ’10

Delicious and superfluous.” – Kate ’10

The food was excellent!  Thank you Bethany. It was my first prolonged experience with Vegan food and I quite enjoyed it.” – Terry ’09

What else makes these courses special?

  • You will see firsthand how humans can build with what nature provides, without destroying the beauty that is offered.
  • You’ll also have many opportunities to master making cob itself. You’ll learn the “traditional” technique, known to cobbers throughout our wet coast, and we’ll learn how to modify it so that you can mix up to 4 times faster!
  • You’ll experience building walls the “old fashioned way” as well as a hybrid technique that uses reusable plastic “forms” to get our walls up twice as fast and “the brick” which gets them up even faster!
  • Not only will you learn how to build naturally and affordably, you’ll learn how to do it efficiently enough to be empowered to build on your own and keep your community of builders interested and inspired to keep building.

Travel days to get to and from the workshop are Saturday, July 23rd (we’ll begin with a welcoming, organic and vegan dinner that evening) and Saturday, July 30th (a farewell breakfast on the 30th will fuel your return to the ferry dock).

Every workshop day (Sunday to Friday), we start with a short meditative building session, followed by an organic, hot wholesome breakfast.  Two longer hands-on learning sessions sandwich a hot organic, vegan lunch.

Most evenings, after a delicious dinner, we’ll have a discussion or mini-workshop on related activities, from ecologically-sensitive transportation to building a roof with cedar shakes.

Human-powered building is hard work. But since there are no machines or motors on site, it is a safe and quiet place for anyone, younger or older, and interesting conversation and laughter is common. This building site, and the materials for this building, were selected to make it as easy as possible to build an earthen structure.

The pace is casual but determined; the more effort you give, the more learning you will take away.  Natural Building is at least 95% experiential learning and you will be expected to self-motivate throughout the various scheduled sessions.

For more information and background, please visit:

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/2009-cob-building-workshop/ https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/learn-to-build-naturally-with-cob/

To receive an application form, please email Dave: eec at resist dot ca or write a comment below with your contact info (don’t worry, I won’t publish the contact info).

Here’s hoping you can experience the beauty of natural building and cob soon!

Cob-building – from start to finish – August 30th to September 4th

Passive Solar Rocks!

Passive Solar Rocks!

Please click here for the latest workshop offerings

From August 30th to September 4th, I’ll be hosting another cob workshop on Lasqueti Island. The cost of $600 covers all meals (3 hot, fully organic vegan/vegetarian meals per day, plus a welcoming dinner and a good-bye breakfast), on-site camping with running water, and hands-on instruction.

Women and families are especially encouraged to apply.  Barters or trades are always possible.

Your workshop facilitator (Dave Olsen) completed a cob workshop in 1996 and has had mud on his hands ever since.  He has also lead workshops on many other topics since 1994.  On Lasqueti Island, he has organized and co-led 3 cob workshops and finished one building; he has been very fortunate to have worked with many of the leading cob builders of our time.

Our chef, Bethany Scott, first came to cob by way of the Mudgirls, hosting a work party and seducing them with her amazing culinary talents.  She has worked her magic at multiple cob workshops, both on and off Lasqueti Island, and hasn’t met a diet that she hasn’t nourished fully and deliciously yet!

What makes these courses special?

  • You will get your hands on every aspect of building: from foundations to roofing, all everything (plastering, windows, doors, plumbing) in between.
  • You’ll also have many opportunities to master making cob itself. You’ll learn the “traditional” technique, known to cobbers throughout our wet coast, and we’ll learn how to modify it so that you can mix up to 4 times faster!
  • You’ll experience building walls the “old fashioned way” as well as a hybrid technique that uses reusable plastic “forms” which will get our walls up at least twice as fast!
  • Not only will you learn how to build naturally and affordably, you’ll learn how to do it efficiently enough to be empowered to build on your own and keep your community of builders interested and inspired to keep building.
The previous project and the base for the next (greenhouse extension)

The previous project and the base for the next (greenhouse extension)

Most evenings, we’ll also have a discussion or mini-workshop on related activities. Topics will include sustainable and ecologically-sensitive transportation for individuals as well as builders (we’ll also have a night of bike repair) and how to build a roof with cedar shakes (we’ll even learn how to make those shakes).

Travel days for the workshop are Saturday, August 29th (with a welcoming, organic and vegan dinner included) and Saturday, September 5th (a farewell breakfast on the 1st is also included).

Every workshop day (Sunday to Friday), we start with an organic, wholesome breakfast, followed by an hour of interactive instructionals, then 3 hours of hands-on learning with a yummy snack break. After a hot organic, vegan lunch, we have 3 more hours of hands-on learning and building, followed by a break to swim and/or wash up for dinner.

Human-powered building is hard work. But since there are no machines or motors on site, it is a safe and quiet place for anyone, younger or older, and interesting conversation and laughter is common. This building site, and the materials for this building, were selected to make it as easy as possible to build an earthen structure. The pace is casual but determined.

For more information and background, please visit:

https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2009/05/16/2009-cob-building-workshop/ https://humanpowered.wordpress.com/2008/05/10/learn-to-build-naturally-with-cob/

To receive an application form, please email Dave: eec at resist dot ca or write a comment with your contact info (don’t worry, I won’t publish the contact info).

Here’s hoping you can experience the beauty of cob building soon!