All courses

Many people who have visited our farm and seen all our homebuilt buildings, tools and other projects have said “how can you build such nice things so inexpensively, why don’t you give courses?”, so this is our attempt at setting up courses. It has some aspects of the Design/Build school near Sugarbush, VT.

We have built several buildings here on our farm. George also supervised a Habitat For Humanity house complete rebuild from the inside out and bottom to top several years ago in Newport, VT.   Robert Peabody Brown of St. Johnsbury was the Architect.

Before George moved to Southern Quebec, he built two new homes with his wife while working full time for Owens Illinois, Inc.. He moved here from Ohio in October 1970 buying 90 acres from his father and a rundown, but historical house. He tore down, built new and rebuilt old parts it.  Over time we added land on both sides, and then we built an airport and multipurpose two story hanger building/dance/event hall with a two story 16′ octagon cantilevered tower. We also designed and built a concrete slab for purchased old sawmill machinery and then  moved the saw, carriage, 2′ wide planer, saw edger, two spindle shaper, and big Cummins diesel engine onto it.  We then used it to build the sawmill’s building around it.

Note: we have a minimum of 4 people, limit of 4 couples per workshop due to number of bedrooms available. See our web page for general information: or call George, Tonie or John Weller at 819-876-2528, or email:  for this workshop information. Thank you.

Workshop courses offered Time involved.
Timing to suit group, please give 2 alternative times and minimum 2 weeks notice to schedule per person includes room and food per couple includes room and food

Homebuilding introduction: Are you building for one, two or more people? Where do you want to be located? Building types. Energy sources. Raw materials available. Renewable energy, materials, available. 2 days $500.00 $900.00
Home site selection: Type of ground. Location hill or flat or valley. Ground type -clay, loam, rock, swamp. Raw materials available on site, off site, cost. Views or snuggled in valley? Near town or private. Help drawing up your own proposal. 2 days $600.00 $1,100.00
Building construction choices: Basement, wall, roof construction systems. Energy systems. Window systems. Inexpensive or expensive. Homebuilt or purchased. Help drawing up your own proposal. 2 days $600.00 $1,100.00
Building construction techniques practical: Hands on working with concrete, stone, and wood. Building floors, walls, ceilings, trusses. Use commercial as well as rough cut lumber. See and analyze buildings we built (house, woodshed, equipment building, barn, airplane hanger) and construct things yourself. 6 days $1,500.00 $2,700.00
Energy sources: overview of energy sources you might use and some research into their current technology.  2 days $500.00 $900.00
Energy sources practical: Evaluating energy sources possible for your location in depth and making plans how to proceed to implement them.  2 days $1,400.00 $2,000.00
Food source introduction: Purchased or homegrown. If homegrown, gardening techniques. Seed saving. Seed optimization for location. Canning, freezing and underground food storage techniques. 2 days $500.00 $900.00
Food source hands on practical: Garden and orchard fertility. Gardening techniques. Grafting techniques. Canning, freezing and underground food storage. Systems we use that work. 6 days $1,200.00 $2,100.00
Independence course: Thinking and then moving to become more independent.  2 days $500.00 $900.00
Natural gifts of the land course: Evaluating natural sources possible for most locations in depth and making plans how to proceed to implement them.  2 days $500.00 $900.00
Water sources course: Evaluating natural sources possible for most locations in depth and making plans how to proceed to implement them. You can get water from ponds, springs and wells both deep and shallow. We will investigate pond construction and water treatment systems. You will learn about wells, pumps and piping, and even how to do basic dowsing for wells.  2 days $500.00 $900.00
Wood cutting practical: Learn how to identify many trees and how we harvest trees safely to provide wood for lumber, firewood for heating. What to do with byproducts- branches, ashes from stoves, etc. Learn to safely use a chainsaw. Learn to develop safe ways to cut trees and some hazards to avoid.  2 days $600.00 $1,100.00
*Cost of course includes same number of nights stay and meals for that number of days.
Reports are that through knowledge learned and pitfalls avoided, people saved ten times course cost in their projects.

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