Mt Hood, OR Hands On Straw Bale Workshop



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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 Mt Hood, Oregon 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!!


Straw Bale Workshop at the Base of Mt. Hood!

If you like the thought of waking up to invigorating mountain air with beautiful views, meeting new friends, enjoying good food and having a fun week full of all things straw bale, then this is the workshop for you. We are super excited to host, and would really love to have you join us!

Our house build project is located in Parkdale, Oregon, situated between the charming town of Hood River and the base of the glorious Mt. Hood itself. We are about 14 miles away from Hood River, 72 miles from Portland PDX airport, and 150 miles from the Pacific Coast.

The entire Hood River valley is abundant in pear, apple, cherry, plum and hazelnut orchards, and famous for so many good vineyards, wineries and breweries. Our “upper valley” climate here in Parkdale is described as Mediterranean, so summers are typically dry, but rain is always a possibility.

For outdoor recreation, it’s endless: hiking trails to waterfalls, road and mountain biking, rafting, wind / kite surfing, kayaking, and rock climbing. The little town of Parkdale is 4 miles up the road, and has a lot to offer: McIsaac’s grocery store (good selection of local food, beer and wine), a gas station, Moby’s Coffee Roasters, Solera Brewery restaurant and Apple Valley BBQ (possible catering one night of the workshop?!). There’s even an impressive hardware store that has a little of everything. There is definitely something for everyone!


The workshop site sits on our 9 acre property, which is gently sloped in some areas, with a mix of wild grass, plants and lots of huge fir trees, so you’ll be able to tuck a tent in somewhere and have a little privacy. We’ll have portable restroom and shower facilities on the property.

If you’d like to bring a camper instead, let us know. We’ll have plenty of flat area cleared for you to park. Or, Tucker Creek Campground is about 8 miles north, and Toll Bridge Campground is about 6 miles to the south. They are both nice, clean campgrounds right on the Hood River, and really beautiful!  You’ll want to check their websites for availability and accommodations. Both are fist come, first serve.  A short, 1/4 mile walk from our property gives you access to a beautiful, maintained trail and a place to cool off in the East Fork of the Hood River.


The plan goes something like this: build a one level, 1500 square foot (+/-) home with a shed roof design, held up by big posts and a giant, 40’ x 4’ recycled beam across the top, south-facing wall. We’ll use straw bales for in-fill, have a radiant, concrete floor and plan on mostly using lime plaster for the interior and exterior walls. Some interior walls will be regular timber frame, just to maximize interior space.

We hope to use as many recycled building materials as possible to save on costs, so we may have an eclectic mix of windows, doors, etc. We also plan to incorporate a few of our wood slabs as window sills, lintels and built-in shelves. As artists / sculptors / fabricators by trade, we will do most of the work ourselves, but will be hiring professionals smarter than us in various fields, like plumbing, electrical, etc.

This will be a memorable workshop and we are looking forward to a great week with Andrew! We hope to see you there!

-Chris & Sharolyn Schofield


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!


Email to be added to the waitlist.

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.


Email to be added to the waitlist.