The Natural Living School’s 2015 Programs

We are so excited to announce this years project:  The construction of a 1400 sq. ft. natural home for a local family here in the foothills of the Sierra Mountains.  This structure will be built using round wood timber framing, milled lumber from the land, straw bales and cob (bale-cob), and light clay.  The goal for this year is to build the foundation, get the straw bale walls up, timber frame the main structure, roof the home with the milled lumber, install all the windows and doors, and plaster the outside of the structure.  We will also be creating a permaculture garden and orchard for the homeowners.

2015 Natural Building Floor Plan

2015 Natural Building Floor Plan

Having one large project for the next two building season will allow the school to offer very unique programs based on the construction of a natural building.  This structure will be built following California’s building codes, which will give all aspiring builders a chance to learn how to build to code, using a majority of natural materials.  In our design, in collaboration  with the home owners, we will use; round wood timbers from the land, milled lumber from the land,  clay from the land, sand and stone from the local quarry, and rice straw from the valley. We will also use as much reclaimed building materials as possible.

2015 Natural Building Project

2015 Natural Building Project

We are honored to have this opportunity and equally as excited to share this project with all who wish to learn how to build a natural structure to code as well as deepening our practices of yoga, meditation, and self discovery.  We are looking to share this project with individuals whom have high energy, looking to work and learn in a spiritual environment.  Participants can join us for all aspects of the construction, or specific stages of the building process depending on when and how long they join us in the 2015 building season.

Framing for 2015 Natural Building Project

Framing for 2015 Natural Building Project

If you are interested in finding out more about our programs please visit our apprentice page, karma yoga program, or workshop page.  If you have any questions please feel free to contact us via email at info@naturalivingschool.com or call 530-268-5255.

We look forward to hearing from you…..

 

Permaculture… Past, Present, & Future

by Dave Schroeder – Natural Living School Permaculture Instructor

The term Permaculture has been making some serious headway. While it is not a new concept, there is much to be relearned. For thousands of years ancient civilizations practiced the principles and ethics of what has now been defined as permaculture. They valued diversity in their plantings working with perennial plants and trees and utilizing animals and their various characteristics to complement their land management practices. They placed great importance on the health of their soil as a staple in continuing viable farming through the ages. They planned for future generations and ensured the youth would have land to continue thriving on.

 

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Yogoata Dairy, a perfect example of a complete loop system

 

Their practices maintained natural resources and promoted the preservation of species. As we move into our present day situation we bear witness to a lifestyle and landscape much different from our ancestors. Landscapes torn apart and natural resources mined at an alarming rate. Setting aside any plans for the future, our priority seems to be a continuation of the economy at any cost. Seemingly, cheap energy and global access to goods has turned, what the beloved Buckminister Fuller termed our planet “spaceship earth”, on a path of peril. We are the navigators and all of our choices steer the ship. But hope is far from lost and we are beginning to remember another way. There is great joy in this change of direction and will demonstrate the true resilience of human beings.

Oliver water the green house

Oliver water the green house

 

We are nature working, and intuition is our guide. As we have begun shifting our beliefs of what is important and are finding value in promoting healthy land stewardship. This re-emergence of conscious design being fostered by folks such as Bill Mollison, David Holmgren, Dave Jacke, P.A. Yeomans, Eric Toensmeier, Geoff Lawton and so many more! Permaculture design gives us the eyes and tools of our ancient family. Rooted in observation of the natural cycles that move through the landscape, we are able to develop a plan that requires little to no input from the outside, supports the community tending to the land, and makes for a healthier space all around. Promoting a healthy soil, conserving water, saving energy through efficient design, supplying nutritious food for ourselves and animals, growing our fuel, fiber, and fertilizer. By utilizing perennial based food systems and multi-layered gardens that stack functions all human needs can be met and the land’s health preserved. We have the technology, tools, task force to make all necessary changes. With a good plan to re-allocate these resources toward a way of life that leaves future generation an earth to thrive upon. Adopting the ethics of permaculture – land care, people care, and setting reasonable limits on consumption we can meet or exceed our current state of affairs and provide a healthy life for all Earth’s inhabitants.

Join us this year,  and learn how you can design, develop, and manifest your own garden for self sufficiency in these uncertain times.

 

Permaculture workshop- Saturday May 31st- Sunday June 1

Working With Water: Slowing, Sinking & Storing

Water is everywhere!! Inside our being, above our heads, below our feet and all around. Life depends on water to continue thriving. There are many ways one can work with water to preserve and effectively use this sacred resource. This workshop will cover a variety of techniques that can be employed throughout our landscapes and within our households to manage our water supply. Prepare for some hands-on action as we begin constructing swales to demonstrate one method of efficient water management.