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whole life skills for a radically different future

Ecological and Natural Building

August 16-20, 2017Mollie Curry

at Earthaven Ecovillage
near Asheville, North Carolina


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SOIL and Earthaven Ecovillage are proud to partner with MudStrawLove for this experiential workshop.

steve-natural-buildingHands-on Education

Learn about the most common natural materials and techniques for designing ecologically sound buildings. Gain hands-on experience with natural building techniques such as cob, earthen plasters, and paints. Tour natural buildings constructed using these techniques to see sustainable possibilities for foundations, roofs, and wall systems, as well as site selection and passive solar design. This introductory course to natural building empowers students to create energy efficient, beautiful, and Earth-friendly structures.


Tuition includes catered organic meals for 5 days (14 meals total) included. Our cooks prepare mostly omnivorous meals that provide simple, unprocessed, home-grown deep nourishment. As much food as possible is sourced from Earthaven and its surrounding organic farms and gardens, with some ingredients sourced from local grocery stores. Grains, beans, and nuts are often pre-soaked; vegetables are served raw, fermented, and cooked; soup stocks are made from the bones of our livestock; fats are high-quality animal fats (butter, lard, and tallow), coconut oil, and olive oil (with no trans fats, synthetic oils, or processed vegetable oils); and sweeteners (raw sugar, molasses, honey, and maple syrup) are used minimally.

This meal plan is gluten free. Vegetarian and vegan meals are available upon request. Please contact us about accommodating any other dietary needs.

Accommodations and Amenities

Participants will camp in the Earthaven campground. Most campground sites are for two-person tents; some can accommodate larger tents. Several RV spots (no hookups) are also available.  The campground offers clean drinking water, a tarp-covered kitchen with propane burners for cooking and heating water, and an outhouse with composting toilet and hand-washing station. A flush toilet is available in the Council Hall nearby. (Other private or dormitory housing may be available; contact SOIL for further details.)

Earthaven Ecovillage is off-grid and therefore not supplied by public utilities. However, electricity is available from solar panels and two small hydropower stations. There is minimal internet access and no cell phone reception, although landline phones are available for short phone calls or emergencies. Living at Earthaven offers a balance between comfort and adventure.


Participants are accepted on a first-come, first-served basis. SOIL expects to fill this course. Register by June 1 and save $50.

Tuition is $750 ($700 until June 1). This cost  includes food for the entire program, camping, field trips, instruction, certification, and all materials. Indoor lodging is available for an additional cost; please contact us for more information. Transportation is not included.

Students who also register for the Permaculture and Ecovillage Immersion save an additional $50 on tuition for Ecological and Natural Building. This two-month immersion, which ends the week before the course, gives students deep experience with a community that extensively employs natural building.

How to secure your space

APPLY: Fill out the registration form. Please give yourself plenty of time to complete the application, because it cannot be saved until submitted.




ACCEPTANCE: You will receive a registration confirmation within one week. Payment is required within one week after acceptance to reserve your space.

PAYMENT: Tuition can be paid by check, money order, PayPal, or credit card.

Send your check or money order payable to the following:

School of Integrated Living
11 Full Circle Trail
Black Mountain, NC 28711

Use PayPal or pay by credit card below.

Cancellation Policy

If you cancel, you may transfer your place in the program to someone of your choosing (they will need to register online), or you can donate your place to someone to someone who would not otherwise have been able to participate.

  • If you have paid tuition in full, 50% is refundable until June 1, 2017.
  • If you have partially paid tuition with a payment plan, 30% is refundable until June 1, 2017.
  • After June 1, 2017, there will be NO tuition refunds.
  • Indoor lodging fees are 100% refundable, minus a $100 office fee.

If SOIL cancels the Ecological and Natural Building Workshop for any reason, 100% of your tuition will be refunded.

Contact Gabriel at connect@schoolofintegratedliving.org with registration questions.

Check out Helpers Mentoring Society

Salvatore Gencarelle, a friend and colleague of SOIL, recently launched an educational organization called Helpers Mentoring Society. His courses focus on cultural ceremony and draw from nearly two decades of immersion in the wisdom of indigenous cultures across the globe.

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