Join Ernie and Erica Wisner, world-leading rocket stove and cob oven trainers and builders, for hands-on learning as we build a double chambered cob oven over this weekend.
Cob is an ancient building material consisting of earth (clay, sand) and straw. It is fireproof and inexpensive, and can be hand-formed into infinite, useful, and durable shapes. Cob ovens are a popular backyard cob project. They can be built in a day or two, fire up easily with scrap wood, and can bake all day, producing delicious artisan breads, pizza, and heavenly scones.
A double-chamber cob oven offers the same artisan baking quality, while burning far more cleanly than a simple single-chamber oven, resulting in more efficient use of wood and better air quality. The exhaust is 4 times cleaner than with simple dome ovens. The double-chamber oven includes a domed rear baking chamber and a front chamber with a chimney and special door for air flow during firing.
A 2-4 hour fire can produce enough heat for 8 hours of baking time using this oven design.
This workshop will enable even the most novice non-builder to gain the skills to effectively build their own cob oven themselves.
This course will cover:
Ernie Wisner explaining the benefits of a double-chamber cob oven:
Please note this course begins at 5pm on Friday 11th with an evening session, and concludes at 5pm on Sunday 13th. If you can't make the Friday evening session, it's not the end of the world, but we'd love to have you there for the fire science demonstration (and dinner, of course).
Booking your place:
Book your place below with your credit card or paypal account for this mworkshop, or contact us if you'd prefer to pay by phone, cheque or direct deposit.
Included in your workshop fee:
Your course fee includes our famous organic farm-grow catering for lunch, drinks and tasty treats each day of your course. You will also receive extensive post-course notes following this workshop.
For a small additional fee you can camp at Milkwood Farm for the duration of your course, and this option includes breakfast and dinner each night. See our Staying at Milkwood page for full info on accommodation and facilities.
About your teachers:
Erica and Ernie Wisner are hands-on teachers of creative, ecological and practical skills. Ernie’s practical knowledge and Erica’s teaching skills combining to form an excellent and dynamic team. Together this dynamic couple have led workshops across the US and Canada, and consulted on projects in Argentina, Costa Rica, France, Germany, Ireland, NZ, Mongolia, Kenya, and South Africa.
Erica is a science and art educator with a degree in Physics and Art. She also has architectural, drafting and engineering knowledge, and loves wild- crafting and outdoor recreation. For 5 years she taught chemistry for all ages in the world’s first public wet science lab (at OMSI in Oregon).
In 2005-6 Erica worked for the City Repair Project in Portland, Oregon USA. City Repair promotes ecological and natural building methods in several ways, including a yearly Village Building Convergence which attracts people from around the world. It’s here that Erica and Ernie met.
Ernie is hands on, versatile and self sufficient. He’s a trained fire fighter, mariner, botanist, an excellent cook, and a handy man. He can fix practically anything. His motivation in learning many of these skills was to stay alive. Growing up on commercial fishing boats, a kid learns to watch everything, and maintain all the equipment, in order to get home again.
On a boat voyage in 1996 that reached the North Pole, Ernie realised that fossil-fueled lifestyles won’t last forever. After casting around for more sustainable options, in 2004 he joined the Cob Cottage team, working with Ianto Evans and builders from around the world. One of their projects was researching and testing approx 700 stove designs for the 2006 book, “Rocket Mass Heaters”.
Once you've booked into this course, we will contact you via email regarding your booking, what to bring along with you, and any further info you might need or request regarding this course.
Milkwood is a small organic family farm near Mudgee in Central Western NSW. A Permaculture Demonstration Farm currently under development, Milkwood features extensive permaculture earthworks and water-harvesting features, our amazing passive-solar cottage, food-forests in the making, seedball production and many other examples of sustainable and regenerative best-practice for farming and living.
Our courses are held in our family's woolshed with beautiful views of Campbells Creek Valley and our organic farm cooking is such that students often joke about moving in permanently.
For this course, we offer the choice of BYO camping at Milkwood Farm for $40 per person per night. This fee includes a scrumptious organic farm-cooked dinner around the campfire, use of our student facilities, and breakfast the next morning.
- Stay at Bushlands Holiday Park in Windeyer, 15 minutes up the road. Bushlands has a range of cabin and camping options, and the Windeyer Pub, located right next door, does counter meals some nights of the week.
- BaMack Homestead B&B is 20 minutes up the road from Milkwood Farm. They have special rates for Milkwood students, so mention us when you book: 02 6373 8312.
- Stay further afield in Mudgee, which has a range of accommodation to suit all tastes and budgets. Mudgee Tourism Website.
Mudgee is an easy 4 hours by car or 40 minutes by air from Sydney, and is serviced by Countrylink Rail and Mudgee Airport. See our Getting to Milkwood page for a map and full details on getting here by plane, train or automobile.
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Prior to attending your course, you might like to take a look at our ever-expanding reading list,a bunch of recommended and practical texts on Permaculture, sustainable agriculture and community resilience.
None of these texts are pre-requisite for our courses, we just like to
be able to provide suggestions on background reading, in case you're
champing at the bit to get going.