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Earth Building Collective Strikes Gold

Saturday, members of the collective kicked off their eight to nine weeks of earth building by making a large pile of mud and straw, working it until the surface was thick, smooth and glossy. Watching professional earth builder Matteo Lundgren for tips, they began to build out stone circles, practicing laying larger stones on thick mud to form earth-made bricks and mortar.

One of those earth builders was 16-year-old Rakema Suggs, a student at Metropolitan Business Academy who lives in Westville Manor, and heard about the program from her mom. For the past several years, Suggs has made pallet benches with Solar Youth, and was excited to get her hands dirty with a new project.

“It’s better to do things on your own,” she said. “I’m really enjoying it—we’re learning about making stuff, and they don’t teach us this in school.”

Sitting beside her, her friend Ranique Gordon said she had gotten involved because she isn’t used to hands-on building projects and wanted to see what earth building was all about.

“I like it!” she said. “I’ve never made anything a day in my life, and I’m finding that I like building stuff.”

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