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Natural Building and Living Apprenticeships on Lasqueti Island
June 1, 2014 @ 8:00 am - August 31, 2014 @ 5:00 pm Contact
On beautiful Lasqueti Island, become the person you’ve been longing to be. Choose between a 1 or 2 month apprenticeship; the one month position can start June or July 1st, while the 2 month position starts on June 1st, 2014. This is an apprenticeship that will help you grow skills that are difficult to acquire anywhere else:
- living off of the grid (electric-, water-, sewer-, highway-, consumer-grid);
- building a truly sustainable lifestyle;
- turning “work” into play;
- accomplishing much with ease and joy.
This year’s Natural Building projects include:
- building a small chicken coop, and
- finishing the Main House, which will have under floor heating, a cob floor, rock foundation, integrated plumbing and electrical, a built-in-to-the-wall unpowered “fridge”, metal and glass roofs, natural plaster and paint, and lots of built-in features like heated cob benches and cob shelving.
We have two options for you:
1) A 1 month programme scheduled to start June or July 1st, 2014;
You will leave this programme knowing how to build your own structure from start to finish.
2) A 2 month programme scheduled to start July 1st, 2014;
You will leave this programme knowing how to build your own structure and knowing how to run your own workshops.
Alternatively, it is possible to move the start and end dates forward and backward up to 1 month.
The Apprenticeship programmes include daily facilitation/guidance, accommodation in a prospector’s tent on a wooden platform with a queen sized bed, set of drawers, lots of shelves, a full but rustic kitchen, and a Cob outhouse. All your meals and snacks are provided while you stay with us.
Each week could vary, but the usual schedule is 5 full days from 8am to 6pm with a leisurely lunch and morning and afternoon snack breaks. The sixth day could be a full or a half day if mutually agreed upon. Breakfast and dinner precede and follow every working day. Sharing meals is optional on the seventh day.
You are expected to self-motivate throughout; this is not a holiday camp. All lasting learning comes through experience and hands-on activity. Keeping a balanced approach to each day helps keep our stamina strong. By finding joy in everything we do, motivation flows effortlessly.
You will live part of the time with a young child and her small dog. Both are easy to get along with but have their own routines and needs. My daughter’s needs take priority over everything else but also rarely compete for time and space. Our relationship has been formally used to display parenting skills that are often not found in our civilization so our hope is that you will benefit from that as well.
You will be an active part of the workshops that we will host this summer. Opportunities include instructing/leading small groups as well as being part of larger group projects. Benefits include meeting motivated and interesting participants and feasting on 3 meals and 2 snacks a day that are professionally prepared.
You will also interact with the Community, both through neighbours visiting and by attending Community Events. Nothing is compulsory.
We will feed ourselves mostly vegan/vegetarian fare, all organically grown. We will share this task, both in obtaining the food and cooking/presenting it. You will learn how to use the sun to cook and bake while our Cob ovens are used mostly as a backup for cloudy days.
Human silence is an important facet of our environment; there are millions of other species that fill the air but we humans will enjoy both silence, singing and anything in between. Listening skills are crucial.
Projects and Skills
We will work on all phases of a building project: design, foundation, walls, plastering, natural painting, floors (heated and non), windows, doors, basic 12V/24V DC wiring, simple plumbing, heating, cooling (natural fridge), and roofing. Every aspect will be using locally sourced and/or recycled/reused materials, which will be an integral part of the design process.
When all is said and done, you’ll know how to build most aspects of an energy-efficient home made out of the earth. The under floor heating design is very rare in North America; Koreans likely have more access to this technique, which is where I received the design from. You’ll have many opportunities to mix and build walls and integrate windows, doors, and interior fixtures. You’ll be ready to build yourself or someone else a natural building made out of cob when you’re done.
How can gardening/growing your own food be easy?
We garden with a year-round perspective and utilize natural systems in the garden rather than recreating them or fighting against them. We’ll also learn from professional full-time farmers/gardeners on the Island who have been growing successfully for decades.
We will also harvest wild foods where they still exist abundantly and try to relearn techniques for use that were lost when 90% of the indigenous population died within a generation on this coast (this is also called genocide).
The location is an inspiration in itself
Lasqueti Island is completely off-the-grid with no car ferry and unpaved roads. The community kept the 3rd wave of clearcutting mostly off the island and the result is a mature forest throughout. Our site is rustic and peaceful. Do not expect any of the services you enjoy in an urban environment; instead, we have a Free Store, 2 restaurants, and a gift store as well as many self-serve stands for local produce and baking.
The artistic community is diverse and deeply talented. The women’s community is strong and independent. A weekly Market brings many together to share food, music, and fun, as do many other festivals and events. The waters surrounding the island are clean and clear with swimming beaches within reach by bicycle.
Mosquitoes peak for a week and then are usually not noticed during the day. Horse/Deer flies will regularly visit for a bite but are easily thwarted.
The weather is usually dry and warm, sometimes hot, and always cool at night. The surrounding forest and ocean makes all weather easy to enjoy.