Hello Mud Enthusiasts,
We have been revamping The Natural Living School over the past several months and are ready to introduce some exciting new endeavors! I’d like to first introduce myself and give an update on the school. My name is Amanda Fischer, the new director of the school. I hold a Masters degree in Interior Architecture & Design, a Sustainable Building Advisor certification and have been specifically practicing and teaching natural building for the last 6 years through my sole proprietorship Muddy Hands. I joined Pablo Loayza at the Natural Living School in April 2018 and we have been working hard and diving into some new endeavors together. For the last years the school has been operating as a consultation company for home owner builders to create natural structures while supporting education on their land. We have now acquired a great team of experienced builders and contractors to advance the construction side of the organization. Pablo and myself are partnering up with Myles Danforth of Reclamations Natural Building Inc. to provide the Nevada County and surrounding regions with a natural building to code licensed, bonded and insured contracting construction services.
Pablo Loayza founded the school over 6 years ago and is now moving his focus over to the Natural Living Design & Build team. The design build team is the construction and consultation company specializing in natural and conventional hybrid building to code in Nevada County. The Natural Living Design & Build company will continue to support the school in its mission by offering paid positions for interns after they have completed the 3 month long internship program. For more information on the Design & Build contracting company, please visit: www.naturalbuildingtocode.com.
As new Director of the Natural Living School, I’d love to share with you all my vision. The new mission for the school is to hold non profit status in hopes of qualifying for grants and funding to provide low income families, fire victims and our communities with the option to build and live more sustainable. Education and empowerment will be a main focus throughout all projects. I am feeding my inspiration from organizations like: Community Rebuilds, Endeavor Center, Canelo Project and Yestermorrow. I’d also love to provide alternative internship options for qualifying university students. For 2019, I have been working hard to organize a 3 month long intern program focusing on natural building. I am also organizing community education classes on different topics within the realm of natural living. Please visit the website for more information.
The 3 month long internship program will be an intensive 12 weeks with at least 32 hours of hands on building and 6-8 hours of theory a week. Participants will dive into the art of natural building while constructing a round strawbale cabin. Techniques will include; rubble trench, earthbag foundation, cob, strawbale, earthen plasters, adobe and more. The program includes camping on the land where the project is located, outdoor kitchen and bathhouse amenities and a lovely pond to swim in. It is near to Grass Valley and a great way to dive deep into natural building. There are currently 3 positions still available. Applications can be found on our website and are due March 31st.
The community education series that I am working on will be at least one class a month and focus on various topics of natural living. The location and cost of the classes may change depending on the topic. Some topics include; what is natural building, explore your soil as a building material, food forest abundance, and more. The idea behind this series is to provide education to our community on topics that are essential to our well being and future. We want these classes to be accessible to everyone. The cost will be based on a sliding scale and we are open to alternative forms of exchange. If you can afford to pay more than the minimum, we encourage this as a way to support the school in its efforts to provide those in need with accessible education. Stay tuned for scheduled dates of classes!
If you or anyone you know would like to teach about a topic within natural living, please contact me. We would love to support and provide a platform for anyone who would like to provide education on a topic that they are passionate to share. I feel that it is vital that we share information as a human collective. Learning is most powerful with open minds and open hearts. All experience levels and walks of life are welcomed and encouraged.
I am thrilled to embark on this journey to provide our community with these educational resources and I appreciate all of your support!