Workshop – Basics of Earthbag Building.
The past few weeks we have been really busy preparing the farm to host workshops! In this time the farm even got its name 'Sweet Valley'.
Last weekend Sweet Valley held its first workshop on the 'Basics of building with Earthbags'.
We had 3 very keen young ladies attending the ½ day workshop run by Aaron, who is experienced in this method of building, and myself as assistant and chef.
The workshop started with the basic fundamentals and techniques of building with Earthbags, the type of earth that is best, how to make the right soil to cement ratio to form structures that are very strong and will last a life time. They are also practically indestructible by man, machine or nature.
Next was making the mix and adding the right amounts of water to get a good workable consistency and the right moisture content.
Aaron talked about laying the foundations to hold the bag together, then down to the fun stuff filling the bags with the earth mix and consolidating them to the right shape and size to make a good strong course of earth to keep building upon.
Now knowing all that is involved at the basic level of understanding of Earthbag Building; the girls are keen to go further and learn some more advanced techniques.
We all really got in to it and between the 5 of us had a good system going and managed to get 9 meters of a course finished before lunch!
A very satisfying morning all round and a huge feeling of accomplishment!
But enough from me here is what the participants thought of the ½ day Basics of building with Earthbags' workshop:
"Going into this we didn't know the first thing about Earthbags, but we were very excited to learn. Aaron was not only knowledgeable about them, but also very passionate about the whole process which made for a really fun and in-depth experience. He was really able to break down the steps into bite-size pieces that were easy to understand. We enjoyed the hands-on aspect: from testing the consistency of the mixtures to the finer points of getting the structure to look exactly how you want. The workshop was well paced, and everyone got to take turns trying their hand at each task.We highly recommend you find the time to get involved. You'll get a really good feel for the essentials and leave feeling inspired." – Emma and Anne
"I had a great time learning the basic of earth bag building from Aaron. He is a great teacher, patient and also very knowledgeable. The workshop itself was great in terms of balancing theoretical knowledge and practical applications. All in all was a great day!" Despina.
If this has whet anyone's appetite to learn about building with this technique please feel free to get in contact with me and we can start to arrange the next 'Basics of Earthbag Building' work shop where you will receive hands on training and instruction in the principals of earth-bag building, a take home fact sheet, and a delicious organic morning tea and lunch prepared by Kylies Wild Kitchen.