Natural Building with Teens
Photo of St Mikes Students on top of Baldy Mountain
Teaching Natural Building to Teenagers
by Coco Bookmyer
St. Michaels teen students gathered around in curiosity and slight hesitation about what they were about to put a hand to, literally. We showed them the brown coat mix that we were going to play with that day: 1/2 part straw to 1 part clay to 1 part cow manure (from our beautiful cows). “There’s poop in this?!” One students asked with a gasp of disgust. They exchanged glances between themselves that showed their resistance to the project. Having a deep appreciation myself, of the manure and the adhesive qualities that it possess, I tried to spread the enthusiasm. For a moment I thought no one was willing to continue on the watershed that is close to being finished, and then only moments later we were all spreading the brown coat on the exterior walls, asking me to pass more “poop” to them so they could carry on. Whilst chatting and laughing the developed a rhythm and relationship with the magical ingredients. The worry of getting dirty dissipated as the students had the experience of natural building. Each person has their own technique, and the students showed up to learn and teach with us.