Natural Building, Permaculture & Living Council 5-Week Apprenticeship


Monday, February 23, 2015 to Tuesday, March 31, 2015
Mon, 02/23/2015 - 9:00am to Tue, 03/31/2015 - 5:00pm

Marlow Hotchkiss, Leslie Roberts & Leif H. Skogberg 

Immerse yourself in nature, community and natural building at The Ojai Foundation Land Sanctuary for 5 weeks this Spring for an amazing opportunity to work with a team of TOF staff, elders Marlow Hotchkiss and Leslie Roberts, and special guest teachers to complete a Super Adobe structure made of clay, sand, straw, wood and stone. The apprentices will study and work 40 hours a week and the course will cover basic concepts of Natural Buildings from the ground up. Topics will include foundations, drainage and walls, framing, roofs, ventilation, passive cooling and more. The program will incorporate formal teachings, but mostly be hands-on learn by doing and direct physical experience in Natural Building and Permaculture Design, as well as the relational art of Living Council. Apprentices will get hands-on building experience in super adobe, wood framing, and integrated design in partnership and collaboration with an experienced team of ecological educators, designers and builders.

Apprenticeship Program will provide participants with:

*  Direct experience in super-adobe (earth bag), cob, natural plasters, wood framing, and some general eco-building techniques and practices
*  Presentations and discussions in Permaculture Design, principles and ethics, and learning to apply them to ecological construction projects
*  Experience in nature, council, community building practices and ceremonies to deepen our connection to self, others and the natural world
*  Intro to various eco-building practices demonstrated on-site, including straw-bale, earth-block, geo-domes, sacred geometry and more

Facilitators and Instructors:

Leslie and Marlow have lived and worked at the Ojai Foundation on and off for over 20 years, and had their hand in many of the beloved features of this Land Sanctuary, including the first legally permitted straw-bale building in Ventura County.  They are a part of the Beyond Boundaries program and have built earthen green council houses in both the US and Africa.

Leif is an ecological educator, designer and facilitator who has lived and worked at The Ojai Foundation since 2010. Formally trained in Environmental Horticulture Science & Sustainable Landscaping, he has over 12 years experience practicing and teaching organic gardening, edible landscaping, natural building, Permaculture, and ecological design. As Stewardship & Sustainability Director, he leads the Land Team in building and garden design, construction and maintenance.


5 Week Apprenticeship in Natural Building, Permaculture & Living Council has only 2 openings.  Register now! 

Apprenticeship Fee:  $1,250
Includes course instruction, camping (in your own tent and gear), all materials.
Apprentices will be provided a tent site, space in a shared off-grid community kitchen, rustic bath and shower facilities along with common spaces of TOF. 
Meals are not included in the cost of the program ... co-created community dinners will likely emerge.

For general program inquiries, or to register, contact Brooke Kettering, Volunteer and Hospitality Coordinator at The Ojai Foundation at (805) 646-8343, or email

For additional workshop details and building information, call Marlow at (805) 701-7846.