• Florence, MT 7 Day Workshop DEPOSIT

Florence, MT 7 Day Workshop DEPOSIT

$400 Deposit

For Information About What Is Covered In Each and Every Workshop, Please Click HERE.


I met Dale, the host of the Montana workshop in another workshop I taught in Missoula, MT a couple years ago. He was talking then about his dream of building with bales, and I could tell he would one day follow through on that dream. He chose not to stay on site with us in Missoula and instead, offered his land as overflow for participants. Each day they would come back to class talking about how amazing his place is, right along the river. Now I get to experience first hand and I hope you will too. Here’s what Dale has to say about his project.

My dream has always been to build a home entirely off the grid with minimal detrimental impacts to the environment. For this reason I was naturally drawn to Straw Bale construction and attended one of Andrew’s workshops. This project will be a step towards my goal which I hope to achieve in the future. The project will be a five hundred square foot shop at my home located on 10.5 acres in Florence, Montana. My eastern property line changes every year as it is marked by the low water line of the Bitterroot River. The river is approximately 500 feet from the house and is bordered by mature Ponderosa Pines and Cottonwoods. The property is flat open land with scattered pines and Cottonwoods so there is lots of room for tents and RV’s. When work is done for the day there will be a limited number of electrical hookups for campers and RV’s for overnight – donations to the beer fund for hookups will be readily accepted. Being located in the Bitterroot Valley you can wake to a beautiful sunrise over the river and Sapphire Mountains and enjoy sunsets over the Bitterroot Mountains. The Bitterroots are the mountain range that almost ended Lewis and Clark’s trek to the Pacific Ocean. In fact it is entirely possible that you may literally walk in their footsteps as they passed my property, I am just not sure which side of the river they were on when they walked by. While my home will be available for hot showers (in shifts) I imagine some participants may want to cool off and wash away straw, dirt, and sweat in the river.

As for local amenities, the “town” of Florence is only two miles away by road or a paved walking / bike path. Florence has gas stations, a grocery store, bank, post office, a few restaurants, (including an excellent Italian restaurant) and a small hardware store. There is also a fly-fishing shop in town which can provide you with a fishing license, supplies, and even a guided float trip. If you are planning on staying in a motel check out the towns of Lolo (8 miles to the north) or Stevensville (12 miles to the south). If a larger city is your preference the city of Missoula, Montana’s third largest city (population 67,000), is approximately 20 miles to the north and is served by several major airlines. Missoula offers three separate Farmers’ Markets on the weekends and one on Tuesday evenings, boasts four distinct microbreweries, two wineries, two museums, the University of Montana and is the confluence of the Blackfoot, Bitterroot, and Clark Fork rivers. In Stevensville you will find two more microbreweries with one of them in a new straw bale building and the other in an old blacksmith’s shop. If arrangements can be made we may take an evening field trip to the straw bale brewery to observe the unique construction and sample the beers.

If you have never been to Montana you should consider coming early or staying late after the workshop. Montana is the fourth largest state by geographic area but ranks 44th in total population (less than one million). In addition to forests, designated Wilderness Areas, Wildlife Reserves, and numerous State Parks Montana also has two National Parks. From Florence Glacier is three hours to the north and Yellowstone is less than five hours to the south-east.

Saying “average” when referring to weather in Montana is very misleading but we will probably find August warm during the day, in the mid-eighties, and cool at night, in the high forties to low fifties. During the workshop it will start getting light around 6 am and will stay light until 9 pm. Our elevation is approximately 3,300 feet. Brief thunderstorms with high winds are not uncommon in the summer and can be seen rolling in over the Bitterroots giving us time to put tools away and anchor tents before moving to shelter. The building site has abundant shade provided by Ponderosa Pines only steps away and a large garage for shelter from the sun or rain. Some of the wildlife I have observed on the property includes; moose, black bear, mountain lion, coyote, fox, beaver, skunk, marmot, otter, mink, deer, Golden and Bald eagles, Great Horned Owls, Blue Heron, cranes, and Osprey.

For the trout fisherman/woman the blue-ribbon fishing options are almost limitless in Montana including the one on my property. Fly fishing and catch and release are the way to go. Bait fishing is not allowed and if you choose to use a spin rod be prepared to be teased relentlessly by the locals (and the host). In addition to fishing the river is great for a leisurely swim or float in a canoe, kayak, raft, or inner tube. No motors are allowed on this stretch of the river. If you have the energy less than five miles away you can find hiking and mountain biking trails in the Bitterroots.

The building is a modified post and beam on a raised floor system supported by concrete piers. It was designed by Chris Keefe of Organicforms Design. The 14 foot tall south wall has numerous windows to provide solar warming during the winter and large overhangs to prevent direct sunlight during the summer. In addition to being a workshop the well head and water treatment system are enclosed in the building giving participants a chance to see how plumbing and interior, non-bale walls are handled in a straw bale structure in addition to electrical wiring. Some of the construction materials used were salvaged or reclaimed and many of the posts and beams were harvested locally, some off the property and milled on site.

After attending Andrew’s Missoula workshop a few years ago I can attest to his ability to teach, motivate, and inspire all who attend. In addition, the evenings will be fun and entertaining with stories, music, and much laughter. I look forward to hosting you and making many new friends.

To View a Short Video of the Workshop Experience Click Below:


• Post and Beam Straw Bale DVD
• ALL Meals During the Workshop
• Use of Bathroom/Bathing Facilities
• All Instruction
• Camping Space


“This was a life changing experience”-Dana P, Tennessee
“Andrew is an outstanding facilitator” -Julie S, Saskatchewan
“One of the best weeks I’ve ever had”-Federico F, Buenos Aires
“Workshop paid for itself the 1st day” -Clint P, Manitoba