Natural Building School

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Natural building combines creativity, beauty and sustainability with the practical skills of construction.  When you learn natural building, you can use the nontoxic materials at your fingertips to create ideal structures specifically for your needs.  It’s a fantastic feeling to having the confidence and skills to build what you want in a way that’s in line with your values.  Populating your home or homestead with beautiful, handmade structures is satisfying and delightful.  

Our natural building school gets you ready to build with practical, hands-on instruction.

In-person Classes

Black woman using a palm sander to sand the bookshelf she made in a basic carpentry class

Women's Basic Carpentry

This class is intended to get ladies up-to-speed on basic building skills, working with wood, and using hand tools as well as power tools. Focus is placed on ... creating a safe, comfortable, relaxed and fun learning environment in which students with beginning to intermediate skill levels can thrive. Trans welcome.

Choose a 2024 session:

  • Apr 4-7 (filled),
  • Apr 25-28 (filled),
  • May 2-5 (filled),
  • May 8-12 (filled),
  • Jun 6-9 (filled),
  • Jun 27-30 (filled),
  • Jul 4-7 (filled),
  • Jul 24-28 (filled) or
  • Aug 8-11 (filled)
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team of people building a tiny house

Tiny House Building Workshop

Gain the skills you need to build your own tiny house from local, natural, or conventional materials. Tour beautifully crafted tiny houses and natural buildings, ... learn about each stage of building from expert lectures, experience hands-on learning as we build a tiny house from scratch, plus get lifetime access to extensive online video library

Choose a 2024 session:

  • May 24 to Jun 1 (filled),
  • Jun 14-22 (filled) or
  • Aug 16-24 (filled)
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processing wildcrafted greens for medicine making

Foraging and Medicinal Herbs Course

Identify and wild forage medicinal plants in the Appalachian mountains. Learn to make medicine and cultivate herbs in your garden. Make ... and take home herbal salves, tinctures, flower essences, decoctions, cough syrups, herbal liqueurs, oxymels and vinegars.

  • May 30 to Jun 2 (filled)
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rewilding woman making a whisk broom

Women’s Rewilding Retreat

Gather with other women for a long weekend of connection, learning, and rewilding. Basketry, medicine making, cheese and soap ... making, wild foods cookery, friction fire, and more In the mountains near Asheville, NC.

*What is Standby?
  • Jun 6-9 (standby only*)
  • Monthly or one time payment options available
  • Secure checkout
  • Full refunds available for up to 2 weeks after purchase
  • Sliding scale pricing based on income
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Permaculture Design Certificate Course

Permaculture Design Certificate Course

This permaculture class empowers students to become effective ecological designers and planners. You will ... come out of this class with deep knowledge about creating forest gardens, ecology, permaculture principles, plant species and variety choices, holistic forestry, and more.

  • Jun 16-29 (filled)
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A male student practicing making cuts in boards on a mitre saw at an all genders basic carpentry class at Wild Abundance

All Genders Basic Carpentry

Get deep satisfaction from learning carpentry In a culture that’s zooming toward virtual reality and digitizing the day-to-day, not everyone grows up learning ... how to use tools and work with their hands. Our woodworking class for beginners and folks who have used tools, but don’t feel totally comfortable with them is here to change that. No matter your lifestyle, you surely interact with physical objects like shelves, chairs, tables. Learning carpentry can be rewarding and satisfying whether you want to build for yourself, feel confident fixing things around the house, or interacting with folks you hire in a confident way

  • Sep 26-29, 2024
  • Monthly or one time payment options available
  • Secure checkout
  • Flexible refund policy
  • Sliding scale pricing based on income
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4-Month Carpentry Program

4-Month Carpentry Program

Get confident building for yourself and others. Our hands-on carpentry program is non-residential and takes place at Wild Abundance, located near Asheville, NC. It’s ... appropriate for beginning to intermediate level builders; no experience is necessary, just enthusiasm and a willingness to learn by doing. If you do have experience, there will be plenty of depth and advanced skills to dive into.

Choose a 2024 session:

  • Mar 19 to Jul 10 (filled) or
  • Jul 30 to Nov 20 (filled)
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gardening and permaculture apprentices in the garden

Gardening and Permaculture Apprenticeship

Learn to grow vegetables and tend food forests in this one-day-per-week program that spans an entire growing ... season. Non-residential permaculture apprenticeship.

  • Mar 19 to Nov 19
  • Monthly or one time payment options available
  • Secure checkout
  • Flexible refund policy
  • Sliding scale pricing based on income
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closeup of building instructor using chisel

Timber Framing Class

Learn how to lay out, measure, cut, fit, assemble, and raise a 16' by 20' timber-framed building through demos and hands-on practice. This class is appropriate ... whether you are an experienced carpenter, backyard deck builder, or excited beginner who just has a knack for craft.

  • Sep 1-7
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Online Classes

woman in front of tiny house with natural plaster

Tiny House Academy

Gain the confidence to design and get started building your own ecological tiny house — wherever you are, on wheels or on a foundation. This in-depth ... lecture series covers the basics and beyond, including natural building option.

*What is Standby?
  • Monthly or one time payment options available
  • Full refund up to two weeks after purchasing course
  • Secure checkout
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Every bioregion is different, and different natural materials and natural building techniques may be appropriate in each one.  Our natural building school doesn’t just take a one-size-fits-all approach. We teach in depth about the broad scope of natural and sustainable building techniques.  Furthermore, we explore which ones are right for lots of kinds of applications.  

Throughout our 9-month Permaculture Design Certificate Immersion (meets one 3-day weekend per month), we dive into the concepts of designing in line with nature.  If you’re excited about natural building and the many other elements of permaculture design, this is the program for you.

Our instructors have decades of experience.  Throughout our courses, they offer practical tips and personal stories.  In addition, they share examples of how to look at different situations and applications creatively.  When you take one of our natural building classes, you’ll come away feeling ready to tackle your own project, not just re-create what you worked on in class.  

learn natural building

The natural building workshop that gets you ready to build your own tiny house. 

natural building workshops log cabin

If you want to build your own handmade house, our tiny house workshop is perfect for you.  It covers the bases of tiny house planning and construction.  In addition to this, we incorporate natural and sustainable techniques, materials and design.  The workshop is a full 8 days, during which time we build an actual tiny house for a member of our community. We also get our hands dirty with natural building modalities like log-cabin chinking and earthen painting.  Plus we discuss many smaller-scale natural building projects like how to build a cob oven (specific projects change each year). 

Permaculture design informs all that we do, so our natural building school considers the bigger systems that buildings are a part of.  We love tiny houses because they are lower impact and more flexible than larger constructions. Combining how to build tiny houses with natural building is very complementary.  Both are important parts of the path toward sustainability.

Part of our natural building school is just for women and the female-identified. 

womens carpentry class instructor and student

Over the years, we’ve noticed that women feel just as excited about building as men, but fewer women feel comfortable with carpentry.  That’s why we offer a few building classes just for the female-identified.  Our basic women’s carpentry course is a primer on hand and power tools, using wood, and getting comfortable with the basics.  We also offer an advanced women’s carpentry course that goes a step further and includes structural building.  Both of these classes are part of our natural building school so that female-identified people can get up to speed and feel confident creating the projects that inspire them.