Cob Outdoor Kitchen – $900

June 25th-30th

This workshop is a great introduction to natural building materials and methods. We will build a wood-fired cob bread/pizza oven from start to finish. Students will build the stone foundation, firebrick hearth, cob structure, and finish the oven with earthen plasters. We will also build an attached cob wall and a cast-in-place concrete countertop. You will learn the skills to go home and build your own oven!

What to expect:

Our days will be spent engaged in hands-on building and learning with natural materials. Expect a rich weekend of natural and community building with the group. We’ll work, learn, eat, and relax with each other in a positive, hard-working, fun atmosphere. Conversation on natural building will provide constant background chatter throughout the weekend. Evenings are typically unscheduled so folks have time to enjoy the site, explore nearby towns, or relax around the fire.

We will make time for a few focused discussions on related natural building subjects such as straw-bale construction, passive solar design, wood framing, roofing, permits and codes, and more. Michael may give an interesting slideshow presentation.

The Site: 

Black Land Ownership property in Richfield Springs, NY

Meals/Food preferences: 

We will serve three meals daily, cooked on-site by staff. The food will be mostly vegetarian with a vegan option. Many of the ingredients will be sourced from local farms. Please indicate any food allergies upon registration.


The workshop will begin at 9am on Saturday the 25th. We will break for lunch around 1pm and work again until 5pm. The evening is informal and unscheduled, although a campfire hang-out will be available. Breakfast will be served at 8am with the workshop to follow. Saturday we have to end early, around 3pm to accommodate a wedding that day. Participants may arrive Friday evening to set up camp, but no meals will be provided until breakfast Saturday.


Michael McDonough is a Troy, NY based building contractor, designer, and educator. His work can be found at the North Carolina Museum of Life and Science, Bonnaroo Music and Arts Festival, Oxmoor Farm, and a number of happy homesteads around the east coast and upstate NY. He has taught about 20 natural building workshops.

What to bring: 

* Camping equipment including tent, sleeping bag, flashlight

* Work clothes and shoes. Slip on/off shoes are recommended, such as crocks, sandals, etc.

* Work gloves

* Sunscreen, bug spray, hat, water bottle, rain gear

* Notebook, building plans or sketches to discuss

To Register: 

Tuition is $900 and includes the camping fee, workshop experience and materials, and all meals. Group rates, discounts for previous students, or for taking multiple courses are possible.

You may register via paypal by sending the tuition to [email protected]

Or mail your tuition check to the address below and we will confirm your registration via email.

Rising Earth Natural Building

363 3rd St.

Troy, NY 12180

Call or email with questions: 

(919) 685-0123 

[email protected]