Transition Whatcom

natural building bellingham


natural building bellingham

a forum for questions, answers and community around earthen and alternative construction in Whatcom Co.

Members: 47
Latest Activity: Feb 9, 2014

Discussion Forum

Natural Builders and Teachers Wanted!

Started by Mark Thompson. Last reply by Tiffany Marie Geaudreau Feb 9, 2014. 1 Reply

We are a nonprofit camp near Lake McMurray WA. And we would like to add natural buildings to our property.  We would also love to host natural training in gardening, and eco-friendly practices.  This…Continue

Tags: Learn, Camp, Retreat, Teach, Consultant

Seeking Sustainable & Arts Collaborators for Music Cooperative/Community

Started by Patricia Herlevi. Last reply by Patricia Herlevi Oct 29, 2013. 2 Replies

I am not even sure how to word this project.  I am seeking partners and collaborators for a music combined with an urban farm cooperative.  The music cooperative's main mission is to foster healing…Continue

*Earth Oven Workshop, July 23*

Started by Kate Johnson Kiefer. Last reply by Kate Johnson Kiefer Jul 20, 2011. 5 Replies

Come help us build an earth oven in our backyard!Saturday, July 23, 1pm - 5pm.We will be having a cob-a-licious time, mixing with our feet,building with ourt hands, and enjoying the sunshine…Continue

natural building educator flies coop

Started by Rob Van Arsdale May 5, 2011. 0 Replies

well friends it has been an eventful spring, we built two new earthovens in bellingham,an i have moved on towards the southwest. I will be keeping some roots in bellingham as our cabin will be rented…Continue

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Comment by Kate Johnson Kiefer on July 30, 2011 at 4:43pm

Comment by Kate Johnson Kiefer on July 30, 2011 at 4:41pm

*BIG HUGE THANKS* to all who attended the workshop last weekend!

It was such a success, and so much fun!  You all are awesome! 

I scooped out the sand from inside the oven this week and have been letting it dry in the sun, and it's doing great!  I'd like to add some more layers in the future to add even further insulation and scuptural creativity...but for now it's functional and solid, and lookin' really good, so that's a great start!

I posted some photos from the workshop on my blog:  if youd' like to see :)


~ hugs to you all ~ kate

Comment by Mark Thompson on June 25, 2011 at 2:45pm

Natural Builders and Teachers Wanted!

We are a nonprofit camp near Lake McMurray WA. And we would like to add natural buildings to our property.  We would also love to host natural training in gardening, and eco-friendly practices.  This is a transitional period for us, as we are looking at reducing our footprint and encouraging others to do so as well.  You can check us out on the web at and find out more of who we are.

Is there anyone in our area who could help us build, teach and transition?  If you have any info we are eager to get started.

Thank you for your time,

Mark Thompson


Comment by Alison Kutz-Troutman on June 14, 2011 at 8:20am
Thank you everyone that came last Thurs night to my place to help with the ferrocement garden walls! We had a fun, and I think everyone got alot out of it! If anyone else is interested in a mini- workshop this Sat I will be mixing and packing walls Sat am 11-2! let me know please - we'll work on a new "hog ring" method of clamping wire together that should speed the securing of the walls! Alison
Comment by Kate Johnson Kiefer on June 13, 2011 at 10:53pm

Oooops!  Jamie, you are right!  I'm really tired and not all the way with it tonight.  Thanks for catching my typo!


The comment I left should have read:


*Oven Building Party* at our place the weekend of JULY 23.

As in, next month! :)  See ya soon!

Comment by Jamie Jedinak on June 13, 2011 at 10:41pm


HI Kate, I have it in my calendar as July, am I confused?

Comment by Mark Thompson on June 13, 2011 at 8:30pm

Alison or any one else interested,

I now work and live at Camp Brotherhood near Lake McMurry.  I would love to coordinate some natural building projects/ classes here on our farm.  We could use an oven and/or water storage. 

I don't know where to begin. I thought it would be great to invite people to stay and camp or stay in a cabin and learn natural building.  You cold check out what the camp is about at or contact me.

Looking forward to working together

Comment by Kate Johnson Kiefer on June 6, 2011 at 10:51pm

Wow, that ferro cement sounds super cool!

Sorry to have left y'all hanging in regards ot the oven - we had a virus move through our house the pst couple weeks and it got all of us!

So, as far as dates go to do an over project, it sounds like folks were talking mid-end of July?   I was thinking of hte weekend of the 23rd, but I thought I'd ask if that sounds good to those of y'all who are interested before I write it on the calendar ;)


Hope you all have a great week!



Comment by Alison Kutz-Troutman on June 6, 2011 at 10:36pm

Thanks Shannon for that post regarding the ferro cement action here.  I am excited to have the opportunity to share our experience with more people... and continue the learning curve. Might be a few coming from Seattle so I had better get the kitchen clean and find more pliers/wirecutters and knee pads! Tools of the Mud Girlz trade. I want to help with an oven or water storage project after we are done here~ Alison


Comment by Shannon Maris on June 6, 2011 at 8:55pm

Hey Y'all Alternative Builders.....

This Thurs. Roving Garden Party will be making Ferro Cement garden beds. A nice curvy line of hog wire, chicken wire and a wee bit of rebar at the top for re-inforcement, and you smear on gloppy concrete and finish with a trowel.

Come join the fun - espec. if you have never done this before. It ain't cob - mud and straw - but it sure looks similar when it's done.


SB Roving Garden Party - 6/9 - Chuckanut Village - 6:00pm

Join Sustainable Bellingham's 3rd annual Roving Garden Party series, where volunteers help their neighbors create an edible garden. These fun events consist of approximately 90 minutes of gardening, followed by a shared meal. Everyone is welcome!

This week we'll be at the home of Alison Kutz, in Chuckanut Village creating a curvy ferro cement wall for some interesting raised beds! A very curious technique that could have many varied applications. This work party is designed to expand our construction horizons, for sure! If you just want to come pull weeds in the perennial garden, please don't hesitate, but otherwise be ready to roll up your sleeves and learn. (Any early prep volunteers are welcome, as this project is requiring lots of coordination. Call or write, 739-9095 for more information.)

* Where: 3515 18th St. (down towards Chuckanut Creek). Heading South down Chuckanut Drive, take the Y to the right just  before Chuckanut Gallery on Old Fairhaven Ave. Take a left onto 18th St., and a left at the T onto Rainier Ave. (A few cars can park here if needed.) Then right onto the Alley, and it is the second house on the right at the creek! MAP:
* When: Thursday, June 9th, 6:00pm-7:30 work, 7:30 meal.
* Requested Items to Bring: Gloves, wire pliers/cutters, trowels, buckets with handles, or your favorite weeding tool. Bring instruments if you like for bonfire and music.
* Tasks: Adding the wire and cement mix to already functioning raised bed walls. There is plenty of weeding to do as well.
* Food: A vegetarian meal will be provided.
* Host: Alison Kutz,, 739-9095.


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