Adirondacks, NY Hands On Straw Bale Workshop


Are you excited about the idea of living in a straw bale house but unsure of how to make your dream a reality (or are flat out terrified to even get started)? Join us at our Adirondacks, NY seven-day, hands-on workshop!

Our workshops are designed to meet the needs of both the novice builder and experienced contractor. Andrew’s grasp of construction technology, with over 20 years as a professional builder, comes through in his ability to explain each detail in a way that benefits all participants. Our goal is to prepare you with a truly well-rounded educational experience so when it comes time for your build, you have the confidence to handle anything that comes up from construction hiccups to personal stress management.

So, come and join us…we would love to have you with us! Our workshops are rewarding, engaging, highly informational, and an absolute blast! Truly, much, much more than just a workshop!!


Hello everyone!

Our build is going to be in the beautiful Adirondack Mountains!   We are located in St. Lawrence County, home of the fantastic St. Lawrence Seaway, which is known as the “Fourth Coast” due to the size of the St. Lawrence River and our shared border with Ontario, Canada as well as the Akwesasne Mohawk Nation spanning both countries.


We are just a few miles outside of the “Blue Line” border of the six million acre Adirondack Park.  The historic mountain villages of long Lake, Lake Placid, and Saranac Lake to name only a few are a short drive away.  For international interests, you will be about an hour and a half from Ottawa, Ontario’s great capital city, and just a bit further away is the historic city of Montreal and the famous walled French city of Quebec.  The college campuses of Clarkson University, St. Lawrence University, SUNY Potsdam, and SUNY Canton are only minutes away. You can find out more about our area HERE and HERE.

There are too many things to do in the area to list, and it goes without saying that a lot of those involve the great outdoors and all that it has to offer. There are 46 High Peaks in the Adirondack Mountains that attract hikers and endurance sportsmen and women from all over the world.   The western part of our county is home to a large Amish population that is a great resource for homemade edible goods, organic vegetables, and craftsmanship of all kinds. A drive through “Amish country” is truly a peek into the old ways and never a waste of time.

We are also home to craft breweries and wineries that have tasting rooms and sipping hours.  There are several restaurants and pubs within a five to ten minute drive of the build.  We are only a few miles from Beautiful Higley Flow Reservoir and Campground, and both the Grasse and Raquette Rivers for swimming, kayaking, boating and canoeing or fishing.  Amazing Alexandria Bay, Clayton and Sackett’s Harbour are close by where you can tour the Thousand Islands and our two famous castles, Boldt Castle and Singer Castle on Dark Island.


Our property consists of 80 lush acres where we have been building bridges and creating trails for hiking and fourwheeling.  We have streams, a beaver pond, and other great points of interest for you to camp near and enjoy.  If you have ATVs feel free to bring them to enjoy the trails on our property and off.  We are fortunate to be located on the brand new ATV and multi-use trail system that stretches for many, many miles.

We have plenty of room for campers or RVs.  Our goal is to build our straw bale home and gradually add a handful of small straw bale cottages around the property as Bed and Breakfast rentals so that people can enjoy the Adirondacks in the wild!  Unlike some of the other builds, we already live on the property in a garage that we had built.  After the house is complete, the false walls will be knocked out and the garage doors that have already been framed in will be installed.

In addition to the solar system we have already installed, there is a koi pond to relax by.  We have also built an outdoor kitchen and patio with a stone fireplace off the side of the garage so there will be plenty of room for grilling, entertainment and fires in the evening while watching our spectacular sunsets.  Much of the work we have done up to this point was to prepare for hosting a build with Andrew and accommodating a workshop full of people looking to learn a lot, and have a great time!


The structure itself will be post and beam using the Peg and Mortise, or Mortise and Tenon method. Two beds and two baths below with an open floor plan, there will be an open air loft above for reading, projects and overnight guest overflow. The focal point will be a wall of west facing windows that overlooks the rolling Adirondack foothills.  The straw bale portion will be focused on the bottom floor.

We will have a metal roof with deep eaves to protect the bale walls and lend to a traditional Adirondack look.  Since part of building in the Adirondacks is dealing with granite, there will be no basement because e sit on a huge slab of bedrock!  We know that this is going to be a great build with a lot of fun in a beautiful area, and hope that you join the team!

-Matt and Sara

What’s Included in Your Tuition?

All workshop participants receive the following with their registration…










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Is This Workshop Right For Me?

It is if…

You don’t want to be that person that says “How hard can it be?” and then becomes the cautionary tale amongst your friends and family.

You’re an experienced builder but want to learn all the nuances & ins and outs of straw bale construction.

You’ve already designed your home, or even started to build. Now you’re running into a lot of questions and challenges and aren’t sure how to move forward.

You want to save money by building your own straw bale house but also want to make certain that you avoid costly mistakes.

You’ve never built anything before and don’t know if you’re insane for even considering building your own straw bale house.

What Will I learn?

Click HERE for a detailed outline of topics covered

Bale Stacking Details

Create strong and durable walls by learning the techniques used by master balers.

Retying and Resizing Bales

Master the fastest knot tying system to save time and money on your project.

Framing Considerations

Andrew’s framing system speeds your construction and lowers your budget.

Electrical Work

Learn how to simplify the incorporation of electrical wiring in your bale walls.

Shaping Bales

Create gorgeous curves and sexy transitions to create an inspiring home with the art of bale shaping.

straw bale round window

Windows, Doors, and HVAC

Keep your house moisture & mold free with proper ventilation and window/door installations.

Creating Niches

Include pockets of beauty in your home with the installation of straw bale niches or “nichos”.

Cabinets & Special Installs

Master effective strategies to install cabinets, partition walls, and other special installations.

straw bale wall

Plaster Prep Techniques

Build a strong foundation for your home’s plaster and ensure years of protection for your investment.

plastering straw bale wall

Natural Plastering

Learn the art of plastering in order to create a beautiful and durable finish for your home.

Financing and Insurance

Navigate the confusing world of paying for and insuring your straw bale home.

Endless Q & A

Ask me anything related to your personal project or general straw bale construction. ANYTHING!

Your Mentor is Andrew Morrison

Andrew has over 20 years of professional construction experience and in that time has done everything from design and build his own house, work as a licensed contractor and developer, give a TEDx talk (and numerous other presentations), co-author a national building code, to host several step-by-step instructional videos on contracting and building houses, and much more

His greatest passion is teaching others how to build their own dream home and inspiring them to reach the highest level of their own greatness. Since 2006, Andrew has personally taught over 3,000 participants at his workshops. Through his kindness, sense of humor, and ability to teach complex concepts in easy-to-understand terms, his workshops are a mega-hit amongst his graduates. Make sure to bring your questions, curiosity, instruments (if you play any), and let’s have some fun while we build with bales!


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Here is what fellow workshop attendees are saying…

Karen Pope says…

“You truly are an inspiring teacher. All who are lucky enough to be your students receive the great gifts of your expertise, your humor, and your belief that we can all make a difference one home at a time. It was such a great pleasure to meet you and to be guided by you. I hope to be able to repeat the experience in the future.”

Mary Bushman says…

“Based on the information on the website and in the resource materials at I came to the Corvallis workshop with very high expectations. After a week of fabulous instruction and wonderful fellowship I am happy to report that my expectations were far EXCEEDED. Andrew is a teacher of rare talent. I will carry the lessons forward and am excited for the opportunity to use the new information to build our own straw bale heaven!”

Sharon Waldie says…

“GO TO THIS WORKSHOP! I’ve been learning about straw bale buildings for years, and I can honestly say that Andrew is a natural teacher. He deals with real issues that any home builder might encounter, and handles it with actual how-to answers. Great motivation to continue in my quest to become a resident of a straw bale home! Thank you so much.”

Reid Heimbeck says…

“What an awesome experience.  It was truly hard to leave and go back home. I realize that this workshop was so much more than just learning about straw bale construction. I met 40 amazing people and gained several close friends from it. You personally are an inspiration to me, a role model as someone who has intentionally created a fun and fulfilling life. Thank you greatly for that. All my best my friend.”

Joy Wagner says…

“It truly was a wonderful week of hard work, hands on learning, and infectious fun. I so enjoyed being a part of the process: making new friends, learning additional skills, and experiencing camaraderie which strengthened as the week progressed. I treasure the overall experience and look forward to having a building workshop on our 5 acres someday. Thank you for being our cheerful and fearless leader!”

Theresa Coleman says…

“It is not only your experience that makes these workshops successful but your spirit and outlook on life.  I was so impressed by how you can get a group of people to work so smoothly on a construction site, then at the end of the day still want to be around each other laughing and sharing. Once again thank you for such a great experience. Best Regards.”

Jim Ogden says…

“Andrew Morrison is an extraordinary teacher, a trusted leader, and a pioneer. It is through his passionate and enthusiastic approach, that he is setting new standards and raising the profile, credibility, and the global appeal of straw bale construction. All while sharing his love of life and his humor with us, the workshop participants.”

Leslie Arellanes says…

“Wow where do I even start? That was one of the best weeks of my life. I think Danielle and I are going to be your Straw Bale groupies. Thank you so much for creating such a magical workshop.  Cheers!!!!”

Doss Palmer says…

“I have you to thank for the monumental shift in my life and honestly attending your workshop has been the best decision I’ve ever made to better myself.”

Clint Pinder says…

“This class literally PAID FOR ITSELF in the first day. The amount of knowledge that Andrew shared along with his ability to explain complex details in simple, easy to understand language made the educational aspect of this workshop amazing. AND, we had a blast!!!”

Jen Paulson says…

“A 10 day break from media and glowing screens, unplugged, submerged in a community of love and support is a life changing event. I am so fortunate to have had the privilege to experience this twice. Thank you.”

Robert Roach says…

“We would not have had the confidence to try this project or to plan our house build with knowing and learning from you.”

To watch a short and fun video of our workshop experience, click the video image below.

Untitled design-9

Read answers to our most FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs)

and learn WHAT TO EXPECT at our workshops HERE.


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