GENERAL WORKSHOP INFORMATION
WHAT TO EXPECT - HOTCHKISS
Earthbag House workshops focus on sensibility, simplicity, affordability and the thrill of discovering options that are right in front of us.
We want guests to leave feeling empowered in knowing that there are resources and techniques that can help almost anyone build a Natural home their self. It can be a joyous journey that can reward you and your family for generations to come.
A typical day at one of our workshops will include about 6 hours of getting dirty interspersed with discussions explaining techniques. Each person is welcome to contribute as much as they feel comfortable with. No previous building experience is necessary and all ages are welcome.
The worksite is very different than you would find a traditional worksite due to requiring less power tools. Many days we find ourselves working in a pleasantly quiet space while we talk with each other plastering or just work alone enjoying the sound of birds.
Meals are arranged to the groups preference and might be a vegetarian feast with a fish side option or include meat. We email ahead each guests to learn their preferences.
The length and time of lunch varies according to the stamina, goals and weather. It may be a 1 hr break while everyone shares their stories. Or it may be a longer siesta for reprieve form the heat or cold. When this is the case we usually reconvene later in the afternoon when everyone is refreshed to either do some more earth works or book lessons.
Either way, meals make for a welcome bonding time and many lasting friendships come from the building, eating, laughing and bonding of our students. Often times we hear of them helping each other on their personal projects later. We encourage questions and love to hear about each person's appeal to and goals with their new earthen building skills.
Our workshops are small with about one instructor and 2 assistants for every 10 students. Tuition includes lunch for the weekend workshops and 2 meals for the longer workshops.
We tend to fill up so register early to reserve your spot.
Camping Please reserve early for a spot. It is primitive camping in a tent. Please alert us if you need camping supplies as we have a limited amount. Especially pillows and sleeping mats.
Flashlights, batteries and battery operated camping fans are a good suggestion to bring.
Water Ranch Crawford has water onsite.
Cell Phones will be a few outlets to charge cell phones with.
Special Lunch is provided. There will be some refrigerator space for the guests to share but not a lot.
Insects are more of concern in warmer seasons. Why do they just love some people though? Ugh! If you are on of those lucky ones you should be prepared to bring extra bug spray. Chiggers are a real nuisance and respond to a stronger repellent sprayed from the waste down. Bringing extra clothes to change daily can help keep chiggers away as well.
An anti itch cream like Calamine or Jason's TeaTree Soothing Gel is really nice if you're camping and tend to get bitten usually. Means the difference in a good nights sleep.
Long Sleeves even in hot weather. Yes, a light button up long sleeve is really nice to get wet and keep you cool and block the sun. Something that I learned from earth workers in Mexico is to wear a light long sleeve and keep it wet while working. It works wonders to keep you cool and minimize fumbling with sunscreen while you are muddy. Bring some light long sleeves to work in.
It is hot in the day and cold at night in Hotchkiss.
A Typical Day
We begin discussion anywhere between 7 and 9am and get right into getting dirty while we demonstrate and let students get as dirty as they wish.
We work at a stead pace until noon when we break for lunch. Each person can choose to participate in the labor at the level they are comfortable with. Some people want to really get into it while others learn by watching, asking questions and taking notes. All of the above is welcome.
Weekend workshops finish at 4 pm on Saturday and we all join each other again on Sunday for another similar day. Except at the end most people are so excited that we are celebrating and rushing to get each others contact information to keep in touch. It is bonding to spend 2 long days working, sharing and eating together.
Longer workshops share a similar day but tend to start talking while they have a light breakfast together.
We break again about noon and then again from about 3:30 - 6pm. Guests exchange stories while they help prepare dinner or relax at this time.
Conversation usually resumes at dinner with pencils being pulled out for sketching designs and asking more questions, for those who want to hang out together. Others may go on walks or explore the area.
About half of the evenings we will have an evening program for Natural Building Design. Other evenings we will sit around a fire with instruments.
What to Bring
This is an example of things to remember. We will email a reminder as well:
Tent (We have a limited supply. Please reserve ahead of time.)
Warm sleeping bag/pad, pillow, towel (We have a limited supply. Please reserve ahead of time.)
socks, old tennis shoes or rain boots can be helpful for sensitive
feet. We'll be doing a lot of stomping around in the mud.Many days of temperature appropriate clothing. We only have hand washing.
Plenty of clothes
Long sleeves, even in hot weather
Sturdy shoes to work in. No flip flops while working.
Swimsuit and towel
Biodegradable soaps for bathing are preferred. This is a grey water system.
Hat and sunscreen
Good insect repellent in hot seasons
Flashlights if camping
Battery operated fan (optional)
Lots of questions, sketches, drawings of your personal building goals.
Lots of good lotion. Clay and hard dirty work is very drying.
Work gloves. You can even find some inexpensive leather palmed ones at Dollar Stores
We love children being exposed to the Natural Building process. They have fun playing in the mud and sculpting as well. We do not provide day care but you are welcome to drift in and out as your child needs you. They are welcome to interact, build, listen and play.
Cost for Children:(unless otherwise stated)
0- 3 years old free. Please supply their food needs.
4 – 12 years old are $25
13 – 17 Half adult tuition
Deposits and Payment
In order to secure your spot in a workshop,please register. Weekend workshops require full payment before the workshop by check to Earthbag Building or the Earthbag Paypal.
Longer workshops require a non-refundable deposit per person by check or money order.
The remainder will have a due date usually posted before the workshop.
Once we receive your deposit we will send you a map and reminders
about what to bring.
We look forward to spending time with you!