The 2019 REPORT includes


Gratitude to all the volunteers, donors, and”gifters” that make this place, and programs possible !

Thanks to SEEDS for Fiduciary Sponsorship

Teacher – Deanne Bednar unless otherwise noted.

Jan 5 – Feb 5, 2019 Winternship 2019 included the 4 workshops below, held for the public as well as the intern. Month-long Onsite internship / worktrade BLOG
Jan 12-13, 2019 Thatching & Reed Collection 2-day workshop
For Intern & public. See Blog above.
Jan 19-20, 2019 Round Pole Framing Basics  2-day workshop
For Intern & public. See Blog above
Jan. 26-27, 2019 Fire Workshop: Rocket Stove, Earth Oven
Guest Teacher: Chris McClellan
Feb 2-3, 2019 Earth Plaster 2-day workshop East Wing mural.   See Blog above
Mar 23, 2019 Fermenting Fun Class Sourdough wrap, kraut, butter +
Mar 24, 2019 Fermenting Class (repeated) BLOG
 mead, vinegar & kombucha
April 1-30, 2019 April Internship
 Interns, 12 Pay worktrade, Wwoof.
Apr 3, 2019 Baker College Architectural Ann Jacob’s Design Class
Tour buildings & grounds re sustainable design.
April 11, 20219
April 30, 2019
Detroit Waldorf Field Trip  Justin Trombly’s Class                                                                 Upland HIlls School Field Trip   5th grade class of Michael Mallon
  • 3rd grade Students toured, made model structures & gathered rocks for their school cob bench. 
  • Students tour, mix earth, play!
May 1-30, 2019 May Internship / Worktrade Natural Building, classes, re-skilling
May 2019 Strawbale Bench at MSU – Collaboration of Pekham, RCAH & Strawbale Studio. Steve Baibak’s Project with technical support from Deanne
May 5, 2019 Joy of Foraging Class / log demo Deanne Bednar & Kelly Theide
May 17, 2019 Joy of Foraging Plants & Mushroom Deanne Bednar & Kelly Theide
May 18, 2019 Joy of Foraging & Full Moon Deanne Bednar & Kelly Theide
May 20, 2019 Detroit Waldorf School. Cob Bench Construction  – Justin Trombly’s class.
Deanne teaches 3rd graders Cob mixing & sculpting on their bench.
May 23-25, 2019 Memorial Day Weekend  Living Roof, Rocket Stove, Earth Plaster, Strawbale. Students camped & learned a variety of natural building techniques.
Jun 10-15, 2019 Minna Hokka Finnish Instrument maker
Guest artist visit, teaches skills.
June 14-15, 2019 Rocket Mass Sauna Heater Workshop Chris McClellan, lead teacher
Jun 1, 2019 Sense of Place – Permaculture Workshop Bridgette O’Brien, Dr. Charlie Brennan
Jun 4, 2019 Oakland University Student Organic Farming Class of Fay Hanson, Jared Bogdonov Hanna
Tour of buildings & grounds with a sustainable design focus.
Jun 25, 2019 UHS Fieldtrip 4/30/19 Teacher, Michael Mallon Deanne Bednar
Jun 29, 2019 Strawbale & Earth Plaster Wksp
Strawbale Build with Andrew Morrison. Selena Lucas home in Ann Arbor

Steps in the Cob Wall

July 1-31, 20219 July Internship / Worktrade
July 21-27, 2019 Strawbale Build in Chelsea, MI led by Andrew Morrison. Hosted by Selena Lucas.
Deanne + other workshop participants installed the strawbale wall system on her new home.
Jul 28, 2019 Natural Dye Shiboro Workshop led by Corinne Denomme & Gaylyn Kaufman Dyeing of cloth with plants, some foraged from the land.
Aug 1-30, 2019 August Internship / Worktrade
Aug 14, 2019  Oakland County Permaculture Meetup + Full Moon Potluck Strawbale Studio hosts these 2 events on Aug. 14th.
Aug 18, 2019 Strawbale Studio Exhibit at Hazon Food Fest, Eastern Market SBS exhibit table, hands-on cob sculpting at this amazing fest.
08/24-25/2019 Healing Self – Healing Land Facilitators Bridget O’Brien, Charlie Brennan Ph.D
Aug 30, 2019 Phragmite Sculptures Consultation for Sarah Kavage.
Environmental grant from the National Wildlife Foundation     
Sep 1-30, 2019 September Internship / Worktrade Natural Building & Sustainable Skills
Sept 6-8, 2019 Twigloo Natural Building for Kids at The Herb Faire, Chelsea Michigan Youth enthusiastically made structures of sticks and found natural items !
Sep 28, 2019 Renaissance Wedding hosted on the land for the marriage of William & Alezandra Carter Guest & wedding party dressed in Renaissance theme clothing !
Oct 19, 2019 Fermenting Fun & Food Preservation Class Make and taste Kimchi, Butter, Sour Dough Wraps!
Oct 20, 2019 Fab Ferment Class – a repeat of Oct 19 class. See demo & taste test Kombucha, Fruit Scrap Vinegar, Mead
Nov 14, 2019 Strawbale Bench MSU (see May) Earth Plastering One-day hand-on help from Deanne
Dec 7, 2019 Candle & Holiday Gifts Class Hand-dipped bees wax candles & more
Dec 8, 2019 Candle-making & Holiday Gifts Class (repeat) + decorated matchbox & candle holder – local nature.
Monthly Full Moon Monthly POTLUCK & BONFIRE Family-Friendly Community Event
June – September Friday morning gardening at East River Farm
We had a “working CSA Share”, paying a discount rate for a weekly box of food from the farm
New Media Strawbale Studio 3 min Vimeo is created by Sarah Angelini 
New Media  Midwest Natural Building Facebook Group Created by Matthew McCoul 361 members



GUEST TEACHERS Chris McClellan, Bridget O’Brian & Charlie Brennan, Kelly Theide, Gaylyn Kaufmann, Corinne Denomme, Minna Hokka. Much thanks for your teaching and the joy of your presence.
CONSULTATIONS / GUEST ARTIST — Strawbale Bench at MSU/ for Steve Baibak.
— Reed Sculpture Consultation for Sarah Kavage
— Waldorf School Strawbale / Cob Bench
Deanne gave technical assistance and teaching support for these projects.
Jan 7 – Feb 7, 2019 Pascal Huynh Montreal, Ontario Ca
Jan 7 – Feb 7, 2019 Sarah Kavage Seattle, Washington
Jan 7 – Feb 7, 2019 Robert Zverina Seattle, Washington
Jan 7 – Feb 7, 2019 Stephanie Blessing Jefferson, Ohio
Jan 7 – Feb 7, 2019 Ronnie Cain White Lake Michigan
April – Sept INTERN  
April – June, 2019 Jim Bremmer New Orleans, Louisiana
April, 2019 Lena Maude Mohawk, Michigan
April, 2019 Eben Gardner Rockford, Michigan
May 6, 2019  “How Sustainable”  Eben’s Blog
Thanks Eben
June, 2019 Stephanie Sykes & Malte Johns Germany / Wisconsin
Blog by Stephanie and Malte Germany / Wisconsin
May 28 – June 12 Louie Pella Michigan
July 1 – Oct 15 Jacob Gnath Brighton, Michigan
September, 2019 Meghan Ancari Stelle, Illinois
September, 2019 Jeff Tenza Ann Arbor, Michigan
2019 DONORS Thanks again for financial support, gifts & volunteering!
Getaway Cabin Windows IMPROVEMENTS – Infrastructure
New hinged windows & screens ! Openings cut to fit antique windows, window frames constructed & hinged. Screens hand-made. Frames sanded and stained ! Gene Vilenni, brought his tools and lead the way, teaching woodworking skills to intern !
“Skill Building” reinforced.
With a large roof & small wall system, this little practice structure built by intern in 2018, needed more stability. Gene Vilenni initiated the project and lead the way, with intern assisting.
Bog Bench Surface Oiling
Continued oil applications are making this unprotected outdoor Earthen Cob Bench survive the winter freeze and thaw cycles.  Interns applied oil patiently !
Sleeping Loft – West Wing
Nate Fisher & Mark Reynolds, Wintern, designed & constructed the loft & ladder ! The cantilevered plywood sleeping deck is supported by  round pole braces constructed with notches, wooden pins during the Round Pole Class.  The lashed ladder is great.
Wood carving, wood chopping, sourdough, kimchi, cording, Rocket Cooker and Mass Heater earth oven & haybox & solar cooking. Fiber harvesting, cording, Lashing, lashed ladder.
Land Clearing by Peace Pole
Wow, the fallen-down crab apple area became very wild with volunteer plants. The wood was cut up, plants and roots dug out, the area covered with a tarp. Paul Beaudet, Spencer Price, Shannon & Drew !
Shiitake Mushroom Logs
Living Oak Trees are harvested. Cit to 30 “ lengths. A few weeks later, holes are drilled and mushroom spore inoculated plugs are tapped in & sealed with wax. Mathew McCoul leads out on this project, bringing his chain saw and doing all parts of the process:
LIVING ROOF CONSTRUCTION!  A layered roof was put on the Skill Building, using  a membrane of black plastic followed by cardboard, old straw, =leaves, composted horse manure, soil, gravel for the drain area, and plants.
AGRO-FOREST trees protection. New metal cages  & mulch, replaced the initial Tree Tubes. Stephanie & Maite did this project along with an amazing GRAPHIC SIGN shwoing the location & names of all trees.
VISITORS Stardust Emily back from Alaska, Marybeth and her dog, plus friends Chris and Yo, all from Chicago. Sheryl Netsky and friends Taran & Samit Gehlot from Kenya. Adela & Maina from Detroit, Natural Healing & Arts. Tom Hoyt, gets rocks, Matt McCoul, help on the land and counsel with Deanne. Paul Beaudet and Spencer Price, harvest apples, make sauce, & apple crisp, carve a spoon blank. Justin, Aria, Esme Trombly from Detroit Waldorf school & friend Mike, get poles for earth bench project at the school. Minna Hokka, from Finland, 4 day visit. Lois Robbins and friends, tour. ENRICHMENT
4/15/1 Intro to Non-Violent Communication. Novi Library. Katie Testa. instructor, Deanne, Cassidy, Jim. Also there, Dougg and Kat, Mitchell.
02/16/19  Basket Making at Debbie’s lead by Corinne.
02/16/19  Fay’s Valentine Party