Natural Building Course
in Portugal

Come learn how to build with nature!

29th April - 5th May 2023

Olho branco, Aljezur, Portugal 

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Course Overview

Did you know that it is possible to build shelters and infrastructures using just what the land provides us with? Turning nature's gifts into our home is one of the most empowering and connecting things we could do as humans, and during this course you will understand how!

The course is open to everyone who has an interest in natural building. You will spend time on a traditional Portuguese farm, meet new people and learn from the land how to transform soil, water, and plants into what you need!

During this course you will get your hands dirty and learn how to build with local and natural resources. During the course of the week, you and your fellow students will build two structures (a wood fired oven and a bench) using different types of building techniques. This course will be mainly practical, to allow you to learn while doing with your own hands. Nevertheless we will begin with a few theoretical lessons to build a solid understanding of the basic principles and approaches of natural building.

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The program

 

What will you learn?

During our week together, you will gain practical skills in the following building techniques:

- Bricks and sample bricks

- Cob

- Clay building

- Rammed Earth 

- Woodwork and basic structures

- Dry stone building

- Introduction to Adobe

If you have never built something before, don't panic, you are here to learn and we don't expect you to be a proficient builder!

Schedule

Day 1: Arrival, Farm tour, visit of the pre-existing natural building infrastructure and theory lesson

Day 2: Study materials and how to extract building materials from the land - Building the foundation of a wood-fired oven using stones, sand and clay from the land

Day 3: Study of different clay bricks and their function - Building the cooking base and cupola of the oven using clay bricks, sand, clay and straw

Day 4: Plastering the outside of the oven with a layer of fine clay plaster - Building the foundation of an outdoor bench using straw and sand bags

Day 5Finishing the plastering of the oven with a coat of water resistant line seed oil - Covering the raw shape of the bench with clay and straw and beginning the layer of finishing plaster

Day 6: Study of optimal drying strategies for clay buildings - Beginning the drying process of the oven - Plastering and finishing oiling of the bench

Day 7Finishing touches - Painting with natural pigments - Decoration - Q&A session - Departure

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The location

Olho Branco is a family-owned traditional Portuguese Farm located at the natural park of the Costa Vicentina. It is 2.5ha of terraced land w/beautiful pond to swim and relax. The family grows organic veggies and you are welcome to come and give a hand in the garden if you feel or just help yourself and harvest your fresh lettuce and tomatoes for lunch!

We welcome you to come and discover the wild beauty of the SW of Portugal. The area is beautiful… dozens of amazing beaches, countryside and mountain, the South West corner of Portugal its the perfect place for a relaxing healthy vacations in contact with Nature.

Jan Prażuch, originally from Poland, has traveled for many years around the world gathering inspiration and knowledge about different ways of living with Nature. Since 2014 he has been co-creating a Natural Builders collective known as  Diggers&Dreamers. In 2019 he settled in Alentejo and has been working actively as a carpinter as well as teaching his skills to others.

The Facilitators

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Jan Prażuch, originally from Poland, has traveled for many years around the world gathering inspiration and knowledge about different ways of living with Nature. Since 2014 he has been co-creating a Natural Builders collective known as  Diggers&Dreamers. In 2019 he settled in Alentejo and has been working actively as a carpinter as well as teaching his skills to others.

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Cost

EARLY BIRD SPECIAL (for the first 7 students)
 

500 EUR for own tent camping

Full price:

650 EUR for own tent camping

For private accommodation, reach out to me!

We ask for a 250 EUR non-refundable deposit to hold your space, with final payments are due in cash on the first day of the live part of the course.

Scholarships available, please email for info.
 

Includes:

All course content, classes, activities and materials, lodging in your own tents and all meals.

Not Included:

Flights and ground transportation

Location:

Aljzeur, Portugal

Want to join?