We are gearing up for a jet-setting 2017 season with EcoNests from Coast to Coast. Join us this spring in Warfordsburg, Pennsylvania as we begin construction on this beautiful nest at the Farm of Peace.
While the snow was trying to fall for the second time this week, I sat in this cozy Backyard Hummingbird EcoNest that is every bit as beautiful as it's story. . .
The International Institute for Building-Biology & Ecology (IBE) introduced a new certification track in 2016: Building Biology New Building Consultant.
"If any of you want to design and build a two man hovercraft this school year come to my class after school today." announced Mr. Oldenburg my 10th grade drafting teacher......
While we are still finalizing projects and dates, we are excited to announce some of our 2017 projects.
An excerpt from the EcoNest Cookbook:
I have always been around good food. It was one of my mother’s forms of loving and caring deeply for her family. Preparing delicious meals from scratch with fresh ingredients was the norm.
Whether you are feeding a family or a building crew, try our recipe for mulligatawny.
CBC Radio in Ottawa recently visited our workshop build site in Ottawa and interviewed owner, architect Bobby Ilg, builder Robert Laporte, and several of the students participating in the build.
The Women of EcoNest
Nearly anyone who has participated in an EcoNest workshop will tell you that, like the home they are building, the friendships that grow from the ground up contribute greatly to the rewarding experience. Students in our Boot Camp program spend 6 weeks working closely together. Bonds form between students of all ages and from all backgrounds because of one common interest: natural building. Some of our students have work or educational experience in construction and others arrive at EcoNest simply with a passion for learning more about healthy building.
2014 Intensive graduate, Neil Decker, and partner Stella, have recently completed the framing of their round hempcrete house in California.
Light Earth Building: A Handbook for Building with Wood and Earth (find it here) covers multiple techniques, illustrated by contemporary case studies of LSC building from around the world. It is also the most comprehensive publication on the physical characteristics of LSC to date.
Our Summer 2016 Boot Campers are arriving and sharpening their tools for an exciting summer build in Portland!
Our first 2016 Intensive Workshop graduates. . .
Designed by architect, Bobby Ilg, in collaboration with EcoNest, the plans are taking shape for our Fall 2016 EcoNest in Ottawa, Ontario.
Our Spring Workshops have gotten off to a great start near Mount Shasta, California!
With full and nearly full Timber Framing workshops for spring, summer and fall, we are adding another week of Timber Framing this fall!
Do you need a shop now with the potential to convert it into a home later? Introducing our new shop stock plan in the FolkNest series.
You are never too young or too old to learn the craft of building an authentic, natural home, or to learn the magic of turning straw into a beautiful wall.
Whether you are already signed up to participate in an upcoming workshop, or just thinking about enrolling in one in the future, here are a few experiences you can look forward to . . .
The dates are set for our Fall 2016 series of Natural Building workshops in Ottawa, Canada.
As we dive headfirst into workshop season, we'd like to share a reflection on the workshop experience.
Modern-day Precedents for Building-Craft Revival
Crafting Relationship with Your Home
The art and craft of timber-framing is best learned through a rigorous training under the watchful eye of an experienced timber framer.
We are excited to share the details of our Summer 2016 Workshops! We will be building a classic EcoNest Folknest design featuring an 1100 sf lower level and 500 sf loft. This humble footprint has a spacious feel created by the open timber frame plan.
A Razor-Sharp Chisel
Sharpening a chisel is a woodworker's meditation. It sharpens your mind, cultivating the focus to do precise wood joinery. In your first days in this apprenticeship, you will learn to create a razor-sharp edge on your chisel . . . a skill that took me 10 years to achieve on my own. Each piece of wood has a unique "personality." A woodworker's joy lies in expressing this inherent underlying beauty.
Justin Carvalho, a graduate of our 2015 Six-Week Apprenticeship in Ashland, Oregon, is taking the knowledge he gained at boot camp and is adapting it to his position as lead carpentry instructor at Kaua'i Community College in Hawaii.
"Robert, I am so fortunate to be able to start applying the knowledge I picked up from you just a year ago so soon. Although the tiny house is a different beast than the EcoNest, I find myself using tricks or tools I picked up in the boot camp all the time. Getting to work with you has greatly reduced the pit falls and setbacks we surely would have run into otherwise, although we have certainly had a few."
No other culture brings the forest element home as does the Japanese culture. Renowned Japanese Woodworker, Dale Brotherton, together with Robert Laporte, led students in this rare opportunity to bring together tools, trees, and tradition for an intensive woodworker's experience.
EcoNest Six-Week Apprenticeship Boot Camp Student
Recently, we sat down to chat with one of our EcoNest Six-Week Apprenticeship Boot Camp students, Felipe Ortiz Cordero. Felipe made the journey from Costa Rica to Oregon with a contagious passion for natural building, in particular, plastering.
Congratulations to the graduates from the EcoNest Intensive and Apprenticeship this Spring of 2015!
Ryan drives first peg in his new EcoNest! A new owner/builder excited for a new, healthy home.
Excerpt from EcoNest's new book!
As aspiring artisans we have an undeniable urge to create beauty. Mastery of a craft is a journey of a lifetime. It makes sense that if we love this craft of building and we aspire to reach its mastery, we should strive to maintain a healthy, strong and agile body that will support us.
Japanese Tools & Joinery
The Japanese Tools & Joinery Workshop begins in a little over a month on June 15th, 2015 here in warm Ashland, Oregon!
Calender of the Workshops in Gravenhurst, Ontario
View the workshops taking place in Ontario, Canada here.
Calender of Workshops this Spring 2015
View the Workshops available in Willow Creek, California this Spring of 2015 here!
Designing and Building a Light Straw Clay House
Over the years we have had many requests for an up-to-date “How to Build an EcoNest” book. Since Robert first wrote the original Mooseprints: A Holistic Home Building Guide in 1992, our processes have evolved. More than 1,500 students have participated in an EcoNest Natural Building Workshop over the past 25 years, and each has made a contribution...
In January, Robert and Paula returned to Costa Rica to complete their work on the test nest. View the finished product which lives and breathes through bamboo wattle and daub beneath natural plaster.
Spring 2015 Workshops
We are very excited to offer the Spring EcoNest Workshops series as we build the shell of Ryan Holcomb's new home in Willow Creek, California.
For 4 weeks of the most recent EcoNest summer intensive and boot camp, I was fortunate to work again side by side with Robert Laporte and a group of his eager apprentices, students and volunteers. Next to the EcoNest home and headquarters in Ashland, we built Robert’s new shop/garage, which will also house future workshops on Paradise Lane.
25th of August I joined board the ship "Ghazal". It's always difficult to me leaving the home, but now I am so motivated. When I went back to Portland, I bought Tedd Benson's book, same book which you showed us. I completed reading that book and now I almost done with the EcoNest book. Highlighting everything, they are so interesting...
16 day intensive graduate Dillon Creasy called upon a fellow graduate Len Bliss to help him construct the timber frame of an EcoNest home now going up in Orleans CA. They have built a timber frame that makes us very proud!
Eight years ago I was one of 35 woodworkers visiting Japan with Osamusan one of the founders of Hida Tools. Each day revealed a beauty deeper than the previous.
If you are thinking of building a home and if you are interested in building a natural, healthy and ecological home, then this seminar is designed for you. In the seminar you will learn about the Building Biology Principles for health and ecology. We will explore and compare various alternative nature-based ways of building and most importantly my goal is to awaken and inspire your unique nesting instinct so that you can get the very most out of the incredible process of creating your home.
Spring/Summer Intensive 2014
My name is Buba Katsitadze. I come from a very tiny country named Georgia. It’s thousands of miles away from the USA. My profession is a seaman but in fact that’s not a kind of job that I have dreamt of. Since my very childhood I loved to deal with the wood, carpentry…. There was one very good master in my town, who worked at the theatre workshop. I used to go and watch him working when I was maybe twelve years old…
About Working with Dale Brotherton, our Honored Japanese Wood Working Teacher by Ken Hall
Does your heart and soul struggle in a world turned topsy turvy? Do you ask, “how can we make ourselves whole and right side up, when everything in our world today is fragmented and upside down?”
1800 sq. fit. 3 Bedroom, 2 Bath EcoNest Home - Now for Sale!
The shell of this beautiful home was the summer EcoNest workshop project for 2013. It features a hand built masonry oven, east dining trellis,entry breezeway with adjoining 2-car garage. The workmanship in impeccable. It is now completed and on the market.
For most of us it’s easy to forget that our modern approach to learning is very different from that taken by the majority of humans throughout history. Even when pursuing a traditional craft like woodworking or carpentry, the tendency is to study as much as possible, then, relying heavily on the perfect tool, carefully attempt to produce the “perfect” finish from day one...