Our goal is to raise $30,000 to provide a space to educate our students throughout the coldest months of the year. The building will contain a small office, the farm/school store, a loft along the east wall, and lots of open space with several nooks and crannies for students to engage in small group activities. Amenities will include electricity for lighting and technology, composting toilets, and a rocket stove for heating.

The proposed building will be an example of many permaculture principles such as use and value renewable resources and services, catch and store energy, and creatively use and respond to change. The building materials will include local clay, sand and straw, as well as timber harvested from the farm. The south and east facing windows will capture sunlight in the cooler months, the straw bale walls on the west and north will provide insulation, and the living roof will capture rainwater and add to the beauty and longevity of the building. The building will have a simple pole barn structure but is designed with the flexibility to grow and change with the needs of the school. We will start with 1,000 square feet of space but over time will be able to add a welcoming covered porch on the north end, a greenhouse on the south, and extra classroom spaces to the east.

We are working with natural builder Chris McClellan, whose earlier projects, cob pizza oven and outdoor kitchen, straw-clay cottage, and pavilion fireplace have become focal points at Kelly’s Working Well Farm.

Day 2: Installing the posts

Day 1: Measuring and marking out the space