in Austin TX
Natural Neighborhoods

 Black Canyon of the Gunnison, 20 miles away

This Summer, 5 Day, 9 Day or 16 Day
Intensive Bag Blitz
Earthbag /  Strawbale / Natural Building 
Bag Blitz Workshops
Beautiful Hotchkiss, Colorado!

register here

We are so excited to be hosted by Randy Slater in his creation of a Natural Building EcoVillage in Hotchkiss, Colorado this summer! Hotchkiss is a small mountain community on the western slope of the Colorado Rockies! This charming permaculturally designed ecovillage promises to be a great building and learning opportunity for new natural builders. Those that call Hotchkiss home would say it's the best community Delta, County has to offer. Because of its elevation of 5300 feet, Hotchkiss has a rich and varied economy that includes traditional farming, ranching, organic orchards, vineyards and from days-gone-by, coal mining. Now it's become a dream wonderland for permaculture design and natural building with perfect cool nights and warm days for growing a wide variety of fruit. Apple, peach and cherry orchards and vineyards dot the valley. 

Join us this summer for and learn how to build your own super efficient Earthbag, Strawbale hybrid cottage in our Permaculture Natural Building BAG BLITZ!
Get dirty and learn about creating an ecovillage.


Mesa Lakes near Grand Junction
One of the 1100 sq ft homes in Moab by Community Rebuilds
Earthbag, Straw Bale, Permaculture
Natural Building Ecovillage Cottage Workshop Build
Bag Blitz Intensives

On the 'Ranch Crawkiss' Eco Village in Hotchkiss, Colorado
July 2016

register here
some partial scholarship and work trade positions available
Earthbag house Austin
June 2015 Earthbag workshop in Bastrop, Rubble trench foundation
Cabana to be built as first stucture at Randy Slater Eco Village
Hotchkiss 2016 SCHEDULE

Want to know if earth building and natural building is right for you? Need to learn about design differences, code issues and clay content? Want to see how electrical and plumbing tie in? Come get dirty and learn the extreme basics of building your own little earthen home.​ 

For the person serious really dreaming of building their own natural home or starting a professional Natural building career. In addition to learning about design differences, code issues, clay content and techniques, we'll go even deeper into designing and building an appropriate Natural home. You will learn about maximizing materials, time and budgeting to avoid costly mistakes with inefficient designs and techniques.​ As an apprentice you will be positioned to work on an array of Natural building projects and have connections for projects all over the country. As a homeowner you will leave with a broad base of connections and resources, knowing where to get advice in the future on your own project.

​EARLY BIRD TUITIONS before May 15th -  Additional $100 after May 15th

 DATE                                                                                  TUITION                                                               ADDITIONAL PERSON

5 Day July 15 - 19                                                                  $500                                                        Bring a friend, 2nd person $390

9 Day Bag Blitz Intensive July 16 - 24                                    $900                                                         Bring a friend, 2nd person $770

16 Day Bag Blitz Intensive July 16 - 31                                 $1600                                                         Bring a friend, 2nd person $1360

Pay on arrival. Please preregister with a participating adult. 
0- 4 years old free. Please supplement special food needs.
5 – 12 years old are $25 per day
13 – 17 years old are half adult tuition

DEPOSIT $200/person
Location: Hotchkiss, Colorado
Lodging: Tent Camping provided 
Meals: Thoughtfully prepared Vegetarian and Non Vegetarian included

Cancellation and Refunds:​
Extensive preparations go into workshop preparation. We aim to give our students an amazing experience by organizing workshops that build real buildings that will ultimately benefit someone, not just demos. For this reason please refer to our cancellation and refund policy.
In the event that you can not make it ( and you'll be sorely missed) please relay that message to us as soon as possible so that we can open your spot to another person on the waitlist. In the event that you are unable to attend your scheduled workshop you may apply your deposit to another workshop the same year by notifying Earthbag House or Natural Neighborhoods at least 2 weeks before course start date.

If you are unable to reschedule we can issue a full refund for the amount paid, minus a $50 non-refundable deposit, upon receipt of a written cancellation request received at least 2 weeks before the course start date. Refunds are issued after the completion of the workshop.

You may email your cancellation request to 
We can not issue refunds for registrations that are cancelled without 14 days advance notice in writing to 

PLEASE NOTE: Workshops require a minimum of 3 registered participants. In the case that the minimum isn't met, paid participants will receive a full refund. Notification will be sent one month in advance or earlier when the minimum is confirmed. 
An Intensive Bag Blitz gives you an amazing experience learning how to:
  • The basics of Natural Building design
  • Understanding if Earthbag building is right for you
  • When to consider hybrid Natural Building styles
  • Identifying your own native earthen clay soils
  • Foundation options
  • Creating proper drainage
  • Earthen Floors and other options
  • Earthen bag walls with Raschel weave hyper adobe bags
  • Straw bale basics
  • Timber Frame and light-clay basics
  • Permaculture Design basics
  • Mudding up to door and window bucks
  • Electric and plumbing in mud walls and straw walls
  • Box beam and solid lintels, rafters, flashing and eaves
  • Bond beam and hurricane straps for roof
  • Making and applying Natural plasters
  • Why plastering is one of the biggest expenses of the build and how to keep it in check
  • Permaculture design intro for Natural Building
  • How to manage your project 
  • How to stage materials and save work​

Amazing Places to Experience
 near Hotchkiss 

  • Black Canyon of the Gunnison, National Park, Deep, Steep and Narrow - Big enough to be overwhelming, still intimate enough to feel the pulse of time, Black Canyon of the Gunnison has the steepest cliffs, oldest rock, and craggiest spires in North America. With two million years to work, the Gunnison River, along with the forces of weathering, has sculpted this vertical wilderness of rock, water, and sky. The Gunnison River through Black Canyon of the Gunnison National Park drops at an average of 95 feet per mile. By comparison, the Colorado River through Grand Canyon National Park drops an average of 7.5 feet per mile.
  • North Fork Valley - The North Fork of the Gunnison River runs to the south creating the North Fork Valley. It's great for rafting and trout fishing. Just outside of town is the Hotchkiss National Fish Hatchery .It's a great central location for many outdoor activities
  • Locally owned shops and businesses of this truly "Friendliest Town Around" 
​And get your hands dirty with ......

  • applying permaculture design to your property
  • learning how to design for your climate and needs
  • how to incorporate hybrid natural building materials for best efficiency and beauty
  • how to harvest local clay and materials
  • building lintels and and arches
  • varied roof designs from reciprocating to living to traditional
  • the important basics of applying earthen and lime plaster
  • how to harvest and make your own plaster to reduce cost and create lasting beauty
  • project management
  • how to create working teams
  • what it takes to really build an earthbag, strawbale, cob or hybrid natural home. 

​​and more...
and ​
Miles to awesome cities on the western slope:
Gunnison - 79 miles (airport)
Grand Junction - 90 miles (airport)
Telluride - 106 miles (airport)
Crested Butte - 106 miles
Moab , UT 171 miles
             Crawford - 5 miles               
Hotchkiss - 6 miles
Paonia – 12 miles

Families with Children:
Families are encouraged to come and bring their children. We do not provide day care but we do encourage kids to interact and help as they wish. We understand that parents will need to flow in and out to meet the needs of their kids. Kids generally find playing and sculpting in the clay and being out in nature fun. Please send an email if you'd like to bring your kids so that we can do everything possible to help your family enjoy the week. We try to allow plenty of up and down time. 

We will schedule a childcare helper to be available if enough families with children attend. Luckily we see that as promising based on past workshops. We will update as the dates draw nearer.
Keep in mind that Hotchkiss is a mecca for out door beauty. National Parks are all around. It is a beautiful vacation and camping area. See below for amazing suggestions in this western part of Colorado. 

Randy Slater Eco Village 30 acres
Randy Slater Eco Village 30 acres

Curecanti National Forest   about 50 miles away
Human occupation of the Curecanti area dates back to at least 10,000 years ago. Archeologists have uncovered the remains of ancient structures called wickiups that date back 4,500 years.
Utes of historic times summered in the mountains and wintered near today's Montrose and Grand Junction. Like many of the area's earlier inhabitants, they were attracted here by the abundance of game in the dry hills and river valleys, and by the vegetation in the canyons and on the mesas.


Grand Mesa - Hotchkiss is a small town (there are less than 1100 people) bordered to the north by the Grand Mesa...the world's largest flat top mountain. There are over 300 lakes on Grand Mesa, and many hiking trails. About 90 miles away


                                                         register here:

​​limited space 
register early here
some partial scholarship and work trade positions available
What will you learn at an Earthbag, Strawbale, Natural Building Workshop this year?


Orchard Valley Vineyards, Black Bridge Winery, West Elks AVA,  "soon to be world famous" bing cherries and peaches. In season, check our website to see what's ready for picking, or visit us in our farm market and wine tasting room, situated along the banks of the North Fork of the Gunnison River. 

Assisting hard working in building affordable energy-efficient housing with Self-Help building education using a range of natural building systems and materials that place major emphasis on sustainability creating affordable, healthy, efficient homes. 
​​limited space 
register early here
some partial scholarship and work trade positions available