All About Cob FBF

All About Cob

Dates: June 23-27, 2009
Workshop starts with dinner on Tuesday and ends after lunch on Saturday.

Location: Full Bloom Farm, Jacksonville, OR.

Instructor: James Thomson

Cost: $450. All meals and camping provided.

Daily Schedule
About the Site
What to Bring
Register for a Workshop
About Bringing Children

General outline of the workshop

mixing cobThis 5 day, 4 night workshop will teach you all you need to know in order to start your own project. You will learn how to find the right materials, how to mix them and how to build structures with cob. Previous participants have built benches, ovens, garden walls, and even complete cob cottages! Mornings are spent mixing and building, while most afternoons we will teach about cob and cob related topics, such as design, foundations, plasters and floors. As part of the building experience, there will be hands-on practice with putting in electric wires, windows, doors, making arches, niches and other sculptural work. This workshop will also briefly cover earthen plasters and floors.

During this workshop we’ll be helping a family build a small cabin, so you’ll have the experience of working on a real house.

Daily schedule

Here is a basic idea of the daily schedule, which changes regularly, depending on the weather, the progress on the building site and the topics of discussion:

  • First thing — light snack, coffee, tea, juice
  • 7:15 AM: morning cob mixing
  • 9:00 AM: Breakfast
  • 10:00 AM: Cob construction and curriculum
  • 1:00 PM: Lunch and afternoon nap time
  • 3:00 PM: Afternoon presentation #1
  • 5:00 PM: Snack and afternoon building session
  • 7:00 PM: Dinner
  • 8:00 PM: Evening program: slide show, discussion, or movie

About the site

Looking at Dutchman's Peak from Full Bloom Farm

Dutchman's Peak from Full Bloom Farm

This workshop well be held at beautiful Full Bloom Farm.  Established in 2005, Full Bloom Farm is in the early stages of developing an intentional community and large organic farm in a lush, secluded valley outside of Jacksonville, Oregon. We’ll be working on building a cabin for Joe, Rosie and their daughter Ocean, 3 of the 10 full time residents on the farm.  The farm has 280 acres of meadow and forest, 2 creeks and a swimming pond, plus several examples of existing natural buildings.  Camping on site is provided as are delicious vegetarian (vegan option) meals, with lots of produce from the garden. The weather in June will most likely be hot days and cool evenings, with temperatures varying between 45 and 90 degrees. Occasionally we get a rainstorm or thunderstorm this time of the year.

What to bring to the workshop

  • Tent,
  • Sleeping bag/pad, pillow
  • Enough clothing for the workshop (clothing will get dirty, small hand-washings on-site are possible, closest Laundromat is a 40 minute drive)
  • Protection from the sun (hats, sunscreen, etc.)
  • Water bottle
  • Pictures, drawings, plans, ideas, questions
  • An 8′ x 6′ woven polypropelene (”blue”) tarp for mixing cob. Larger is fine, we will cut it to size
  • Lotion or cream for your hands and feet
  • Bathing suit and towel (we may go for an occasional dip in the nearby river)
  • Work gloves. We like the cloth ones with rubberized palms (One brand is called “Atlas.”)
  • Musical instruments
  • For sensitive feet (optional): An old pair of sneakers, duct tape or diving booties. We will be mixing cob by foot. To toughen up your feet a little, we highly recommend that you walk bare foot as much as possible before the workshop starts.


cob garden shedTo secure your spot for this workshop, go to the registration page and follow the simple instructions. We require a $150  non-refundable deposit per person, which can be paid with a check or money order. The balance is due at the time of the workshop and can be paid on site in cash or with a check/money-order. Click here to register for a workshop.

About bringing kids

Almost without exception, children and youth have been a great addition to our workshops. Our youngest participant was 6 months old at the time! Depending on their age and interest, kids build, listen and observe, play with the sand and clay, read, etc. We see a lot of good in exposing your children to natural building and community living and like to think that we can make a difference in the way they see life. This is also a great way to enjoy the workshop as a family and to prepare your family for being at a building site together. Needless to say that you will loose some workshop time while you are attending to the needs of your child; we cannot provide day care for you. The cost for children is: 0 – 4 years old: Free (we are counting on you bringing breast milk and/or baby food); 4 – 12 years old: $20 per day (just covering our food and infrastructure cost); 13 – 17 years old: half price.  Please check with us in order to make special arrangements. We want to make it possible for you!

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