2023 Workshop Launch Sale - On Now until Dec. 2 

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z-Ft. Garland, CO 2019



  • 7 Days of Hands-On Experience
  • NO Previous Construction Experience Required
  • All Meals Provided
  • On Site Camping and Facilities Provided
  • Over $400 in FREE BONUSES


In the Host’s Own Words: 

Come join us in our unexpected Labor of Love!

Our Project is to rebuild my 72 and 83 year old parents’ home that was destroyed by a wildfire in June of 2018.

Let me back up…In 2006 my parents built their dream home and retired to the beautiful Sangre De Cristo Mountain Range in Southern Colorado. They had every intention to live out their days in the peace and quiet of their little mountain paradise. All was going as planned until last year.

The home before the fire.

On June 27, 2018 one of the largest forest fire ever recorded in Colorado history started just a mile away from my parents home. It was a hot and angry fire that took everything in its path, including my parents’ home. Most importantly, they made it out safely, and so did their dog, but now they face the task of piecing together their lives and starting over at the ages of 73 and 82.

We had planned to build our own straw bale home this year and were excited about the idea of hosting one of Andrew’s workshops; however, the loss of my parents’ home has changed our plans. We immediately put our project on hold so that we can rebuild for my parents right away. We started the design process as soon as we could, and we are so grateful to all of the help we have received in fast tracking the build for them. Now we’re hoping that you’ll come and help us build our labor of love for my parents.

This project is located in the Forbes Park area just East of Fort Garland Co. The site is remote and BEAUTIFUL…even with the scarring of the land from the fire. We will be building approximately a 1,500 square foot home designed to harmonize with the environment. The home will incorporate passive solar principles with southern facing windows, interior thermal mass, straw bale walls and large overhangs to protect them. Some of the burnt trees will be milled and incorporated into the structure as window sills and lintels above the doors. There is also a big effort to restore the land by rebuilding healthy soil, stabilizing the earth, and promoting regrowth of this beautiful forest.

The wildfire totally destroyed my parents’ home.

The building site is 9000′ above sea level. The climate is dry, making it ideal for straw bale construction and the weather at this elevation makes for a nice break from the summer heat experienced in other places. There are numerous camping options on the property and each one has a view of Mount Blanca towering over the horizon at 14,344.

We will enjoy 3 delicious and healthy meals every day, cooked by our friend and professional chef Craig Vanderpool, who is a straw bale workshop graduate himself! He’ll keep us fueled up and running with lots of organic and local foods. We will have electricity at the building site and warm water showers for everyone. There’s nothing quite as perfect as a warm shower at the end of a long day of building with bales!

If you want to spend some time in the area, there are numerous things to do within an hour or so drive. The Great Sand Dunes National Park and Zapata Water Falls are just to the west and the little town of LeVeta is nestled in the mountains just to the east. A little further away you can find Taos, Pagosa Springs, and the Continental Divide. There are many day hikes and hot springs nearby too if you prefer to stay close to the build site.

A little more about us:

ft garland straw bale workshop hostsMy husband (Chris) and I (Carie), will be hosting this workshop on behalf of my parents. I am a retired fire fighter and currently run a non-profit, organizing retreats and events. Chris has worked for many years in farming, land restoration, and reforestation. We feel like it’s a sign that both of our backgrounds would have such impact on the rebuilding of my parents’ home.

We first met Andrew at a workshop in Virginia and were thrilled when he said he would hold a workshop on our project. He recognized right away that my parents, who had lived and continue to live a life of service, were now in need of help. He wanted to be part of that help and we are all grateful to have him, AND YOU, on board to help my parents find closure regarding their loss and revitalization in the rebuild.

ft garland straw bale workshop hostsMy parents are thrilled that they have been selected as a workshop host location and see it as one more example of how good people in the world want to help each other. My mother Pat is a nurse who has worked in geriatric nursing for most of her life. She currently works at the VA hospital in Walsenburg, CO. At 70 years old she won the Nightingale award for outstanding nursing.  She loves to care for others more than anything and hasn’t been able to retire completely from what she loves so dearly. Our family joke is that she will continue to run the nursing home even if she goes to live in one. My Father Griff served in the Navy for 12 years and is proud of his service to his country. He worked as a dentist for most of my childhood before he followed his long time dream to become a pastor. Unlike mom, he has managed to retire…sort of! 😉

It is with the deepest gratitude that we have the opportunity to host this workshop.  The fire was a tough turn in our lives but this workshop is truly the silver lining. Thank you in advance for being part of the rebuild.  I believe this will be a very special project that will leave each of us with a full heart.

To View a Short Video of the Workshop Experience Click Below

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


• Post and Beam Straw Bale Instant Download Video

• Load Bearing Straw Bale Instant Download Video

• Concrete Slab Instant Download Video

• Framing for Straw Bale Instant Download Video

• Plastering with Natural Hydraulic Lime Instant Download Video

• Be Your Own Contractor Training Instant Download Video Series

• A Modern Look at Straw Bale Construction E-Book

• Straw Bale Specific Construction Details Booklet

• Three Healthy Meals per Day During the Workshop

• Use of Bathroom/Bathing Facilities

• 7 Days of Instruction and Hands-On Learning

• 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