Transition Whatcom

natural building bellingham


natural building bellingham

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

Members: 45
Latest Activity: Mar 26, 2018

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

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

village life

Started by Rob Van Arsdale. Last reply by Laura J Sellens Oct 19, 2010. 2 Replies

I recently spent a month up at OUR eco village on vancouver island and a few things came to light for me and my reasons why Im a natural builder.First the background... I have been a part of OUR for…Continue

why natural building?

Started by Rob Van Arsdale. Last reply by Joseph Ford Aug 24, 2010. 7 Replies

Natural building, can be described as any construction process in which takes into consideration the embodied energy, ecological impact, and life cycle of materials used and techniques employed. As a…Continue

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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 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 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.

Comment by Jamie Jedinak on May 24, 2011 at 11:20pm


~ Later in the month our chances for dry weather increase!  July 16/17th, or 23/24th, 30/31st all good for me!  I'm in let's lock in a date soon, vacations get planned and then where does the time go?  A book I especially like for a good solid take on cob is - "The Hand Sculptured House" and you tube is filled with cob oven details...i just saw a great posting on facebook about a chimneyless cob oven and it stated heat loss as major factor...



Comment by Cynthia Livingston on May 23, 2011 at 12:00am

I'd love to get some practical experience with cob and meet up with people who share the same interests. Please let me know when you have more information:) 

Comment by Jamie Jedinak on May 21, 2011 at 12:25am


Kate, I am happy to help out.  I have been studying cob building for a while and have helped out on some local projects!  Nothin' like playin in the mud and makin somethin beautiful!!  :)

Comment by Sarah Robertson on May 20, 2011 at 3:44pm

I would love to come to this workshop as well. I am eager to learn!



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