This is very good news for those who live on the east coast. Patti Stouter, now one of the knowledgeable leaders in earthbag, is offering $50 one day courses in New York. She’s been an enormous help on projects in Haiti and on my book, and has my full support. The text below is from her website (which is growing into one of the best sites).
Earthbag appears to be in a phase of quickly increasing spread. Earthbaggers willing to answer questions get more and more queries from people desiring to build cheaply in different parts of the world. Information about building with earthbag is available for free on the internet, but many funders seek an experienced builder to supervise their project.
Many owner-builders jump in and hone their skills on a small building. But aid organizations want to know their money won’t be wasted or their project fail over small mistakes. They’d like to see and experience this material they’re telling their donors to use. So much about building is a matter of discernment, and the two most basic questions remain:
Where can I see a real earthbag building?
Who can teach us how to do this?
Most earthbag trainers seem to live and work in the western US: CA, OR, WA, NM. Others are in Australia or Poland or Thailand. Some charge high fees for a week or longer introduction to earthbag. Homegrown Hideaways began an excellent weekend program in Kentucky this past year, helping to bring the earthbag center of gravity for the US into the midwest. I logged a lot of hours and miles going down to Kentucky to get some experience.
Since then I find myself doing a lot of long distance earthbag mentoring of builders working in Haiti. It’s time for some training on the East Coast, and an even less expensive option. I’m starting a series of Saturday workshops to introduce earthbag topics and teach important skills. No, you won’t be a master builder when it’s done. But for $50 a course you can learn and decide if it’s worth taking further. Take one or several, and see what you think. Popular sessions will be repeated, or custom sessions can be fit into a morning.
Current workshop schedule is at SimpleEarthStructures.com