Hello friends near and far!
You know when something is meant to be, and the stars align in just the right way, and unimaginable possibilities suddenly come to light? Well that pretty much sums up our last six months!
Here’s the scoop: Many years ago, Gabriella and I set a goal of moving to Mexico and retiring in 2023 (when I turn 50). One piece of the challenge has always been how to keep the mission of StrawBale.com going strong, even after we step down. So when we were approached by our friends Timbo Scursso and Dainella Nartker several months ago and they asked if we would be interested in letting them take the helm, we felt a deep sense of joy. And gratitude!
Timbo and Dainella are some of the kindest, and most integrous, fun, and skilled straw bale builders we know. We have gotten to know them well during the last several months and some of the qualities all four of us share is a passion for bringing people together as well as a deep love for the straw bale community. We know they will not only honor the mission of StrawBale.com (to bring the highest quality education possible to the world) but that they’ll actually take it to the next level.
Gabriella and I have absolutely LOVED teaching straw bale construction since we began back in 2004. In many ways, it’s been surreal to see how many continents (3), countries (4), US states (25) we have traveled to, and how many participants we have taught at our hands-on workshops (over 2,000). And having met so many of you in person and corresponded with thousands more via email, we can say this definitively:
You, our dear straw bale community, are a wellspring of kindness, love, enthusiasm, optimism, passion, and determination. You have amazed us in your tenacity and courage to learn a new skill (the vast majority of participants don’t have any construction experience), in your genuine care for making this planet a better one, and in your ability to turn your dream home into a reality.
We have seen many of you forge life-long connections with fellow workshop attendees and go to each other’s weddings, birthdays, and other major life events. We have been completely inspired by your dedication to helping hosts see their dream homes come to reality, sometimes staying after the workshop or even coming back at a later date to see the home finished.
Truly, you all inspire us each and every day, and we are in eternal gratitude for the amazing experiences we have had while teaching hands-on workshops…almost 100 of them!!
So, all this said, we are delighted to share that once we step down fully in the fall of 2023, the legacy of StrawBale.com will continue under the loving care of Timbo and Dainella. They are deeply committed to offering exceptionally high-quality instruction to the straw bale community and they will be adding to the depth of the blog, creating new content, providing customer care, and eventually leading our hands-on seven-day straw bale workshops.
As the time for me to step away from StrawBale.com will soon be upon me, I want to let you know that I will personally be teaching all the workshops this year with the assistance of Timbo and Dainella. Next year will be my last one teaching and during that time I will lead 6 workshops, bringing me to a total of 100!
If you have been waiting to take one of our workshops (with me personally), this year and next are your last chance to do so. In the same vein, if you want to host a workshop with me as your guide and teacher, please be sure to get your application in ASAP as I’ve already secured two workshop hosts, leaving only four openings in 2023.
In the meantime, please join us in welcoming Timbo and Dainella to the family! They’ll be reaching out to you all in the next couple of weeks to introduce themselves. Cheers to them, to all of you, and to the celebration that StrawBale.com will continue to offer exceptionally high-quality resources and workshops. I’m honored to have spent the time with you all that I have, and I look forward to one last hurrah!
As always, happy baling!!
Andrew & Gabriella