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Cob Oven Weekend

June 19, 2021 ∞ 9:00 am - June 20, 2021 ∞ 4:00 pm


In this class we will build a wood-fired cob bread/pizza oven from start to finish. Students will build the stone foundation, firebrick hearth, cob structure, and finish the oven with earthen plasters. You will learn the skills to go home and build your own oven!


What to expect:

Our days will be spent engaged in hands-on building and learning with natural materials. Expect a rich week (or weekend) of natural and community building with the group. We’ll work, learn, eat, and relax with each other in a positive, hard-working, fun atmosphere. Conversation on natural building will provide constant background chatter throughout the week. We’ll work on-site every day with a scheduled mid-week rest. Evenings are typically unscheduled so folks have time to enjoy the site, explore quaint nearby towns, or relax around the fire.

We will make time to tour the finished natural buildings on-site, and have a few focused discussions on building subjects such as foundations, passive solar design, wood framing, roofing, permits and codes, and more. Michael may give an interesting slideshow presentation on a rainy night.
The Site:

Our site is Heart Song Sanctuary, a beautiful 45 acre property with beautifully constructed natural buildings. The site features many acres of woods, a cleared meadow, swimming creek and pond. Accommodations for camping include an outdoor shower, compost toilet outhouse, and firepit gathering area.

Meals/Food preferences:

We will serve three meals daily, cooked on-site by staff. The food will be mostly vegetarian with a vegan option. Many of the ingredients will be sourced from local farms. Please indicate any food allergies upon registration.


Work on-site will begin following breakfast the morning of the date listed. Participants are encouraged to arrive the preceding afternoon or evening to set up camp, and commence the week with an informal dinner and visiting with the team around the fire.


Michael McDonough is a Troy, NY based building contractor, designer, and educator. His work can be found at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Oxmoor Farm, and a number of happy homesteads around the east coast. He learned a great deal by working with leading natural builders including Ianto Evans, Clark Sanders, Thea Alvin, Ben Simpson, and Greg Allen. He has taught 15 natural building workshops.

What to bring:

* Camping equipment including tent, sleeping bag, flashlight
* Work clothes and shoes. Short rubber boots or old sneakers for cob, gloves * Sunscreen, bug spray, hat, water bottle, rain gear
* Toolkit including tool belt, knife, tape measure, pencil, hammer
* Notebook, building plans or sketches to discuss

To Register:

Tuition includes a week of camping, workshop experience, meals.

Group rates, discounts for previous students, or for taking multiple courses are possible, let’s chat.


June 19, 2021 ∞ 9:00 am
June 20, 2021 ∞ 4:00 pm
Event Category:


Heart Song Sanctuary
658 Co. Rt. 6
High Falls, NY 12440 United States
919 685 0123


Rising Earth Natural Building
(919) 685 0123
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