Two Day Wall Building Workshop with Greg Joly

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Two Day Wall Building Workshop with Greg Joly

July 22 - July 23

Learn the Nearing’s techniques in this Two Day Workshop with master stone wall builder and Nearing historian, Greg Joly.

The Nearing’s are internationally famous for constructing  their own stone houses  in Vermont and Maine using Ernst Flagg’s slip form method. This hands-on intensive program will be at the Nearing’s historic homestead on walls worked on by Helen and Scott Nearing themselves. Joly will share instruction in foundation laying, slip form stone wall construction and pointing.



Saturday JULY 22, 2023

9:00am: Meet in the historic Nearing living room for coffee and home made muffins and a one hour visual presentation on the history of stone wall building and the Nearing’s evolution of the process for their homes.

10:30am: Review the existing form, the walled garden, the stewards capartment and garage.

11:00am: Build any necessary wood forms. We have an assortment or original trowels and mixing palets.

12-1pm: LUNCH BREAK (please bring your own)

1pm: Walk over the the original homestead. Trenches will be already started with Ned’s backhoe. Commence foundation laying, mortor mixing, stone selection etc.

2-4pm: Split into teams (12 person participation planned) and build walls.


Sunday JULY 23, 10am – 12pm

Extend slip forms and add layers to Saturday’s foundational walls. Newly uncovered wall will be repointed to a finish.

12 -1pm: LUNCH BREAK (please bring your own)

Followed by a short walk to Orr’s Cove, part of the Nearing’s Forest Farm property where Helen and Scott gathered some of the stones and sand used in their iconic structures.

1-3pm:  The final stages – Refining pointing and finishing walls completed during the workshop followed by group photos!

4pm:  Group will join a general audience Speaker Series Lecture by Greg Joly at the outdoor pavilion at the Good Life Center. This talk will explore in depth the evolution of their methods ranging from fireplaces built in the early  1900’s to their final Maine Forest Farm in the 1970’s. Copious historical photos will illustrate Joly’s presentation. Those wishing to do a little preemptive homework they might peruse Chapter 3, “We Build A Stone House” in Living The Good Life.

5pm: Watermelon and enjoy the sunset over Orr’s Cove.


Greg Joly homesteads with his wife, Mary, on 20 vertical acres in Jamaica, Vermont; the same town in which the Nearing’s built their first Forest Farm. Later  they made this “experiment” famous  in Living The Good Life. Joly has been researching the Nearing’s life and works for over three decades.



Register Here 

Fee for the workshop, including material $125

Free camping available at the Nearing’s Homestead

For questions please email 




July 22
July 23
Event Tags:


The Good Life Center
372 Harborside Road
Harborside, 04642 United States
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