ARIZONA STRAW BALE WORKSHOP
Sorry this workshop is FULL!
Please consider signing up for one of our other locations HERE.
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 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!!
Yá’át’ééh! Greetings to you all!
We are Kim and Makai! We are from the Diné Nation!
We would love to have you come join us to build our dream homestead on our ancestral homelands on Dine’ Bikeyah (Navajo Nation). This straw bale workshop will be located in St. Michaels, AZ on the Navajo Nation/Reservation. This workshop will be the beginning of a series of workshops on natural building on our ancestral homeland. We plan to build structures of straw bale, adobe, hemp and earth bags throughout the reservation.
This work is fundamentally about bringing greater health and justice to our people and the land. Our homelands have been targeted with the siting of coal plants, uranium mining, oil and gas fracking wells which have taken an enormous toll on the health of our community and the land.
Our waters are contaminated. Our air is contaminated. And our bodies are suffering from long-term exposure to pollutants. We have systemic issues with water access, food access, access to quality housing, and to health care. As we continue to fight fossil fuel extraction in our community – we also work to educate our relatives about the threats.
As citizen scientists we focus on the impacts of the fossil fuel industry on our land, water and bodies to heal and create solutions for our community. Over the past few years we have worked on health impact assessments, water catchment systems and soil remediation projects. Our goal is to create a healthy environment so that we can then plant seeds and build community infrastructure.
Aside from our work on the ground we work to build community solutions and fight for institutional changes so that we can generate alternative, sustainable economies at the tribal, state and federal level. In order to plan for our future we need to root deeply in the wisdom of our ancestors and the lands that sustain us.
We imagine thriving community centers/spaces (built naturally) where we can come together to imagine an alternative reality to the systems imposed on us. Here we can organize together to manifest our dreams at the relational scale, the community scale, the government scale, and in relation to state policies that are imposed by the United States’ colonial presence in our territories.
By creating our traditional dwellings for gathering and living and working and remediating the soil we will be returning to Diné teachings and alignment with the seasons, and it will be a way to connect the wisdom of our past teachers to future generations
This building project is part of a bigger vision that encompasses an array of regenerative activities that help support organizers, strengthen community resilience through the development of both organizing and physical infrastructure and help our Diné relatives connect with ancestral ways of life.
This is a pilot homestead project that will have the broader goal of strengthening communities and traditional practices. We see these pilot homesteads as future community hubs or satellites that can become decolonial learning centers to help strengthen the enormous Diné Nation by connecting nodes.
We want to decolonize housing infrastructure and make building a home an empowering process that is accessible to all. Deep in the coronavirus, we now see this as not getting “back to normal” but an opportunity to create a new normal. We don’t want Diné people to be taken away from their homes to “learn” and take on debt.
These homesteads are the classroom. People can stay in community and connect with one another in the Diné way as they learn the skills of living the same way our ancestors have. We want to make this decolonial information MORE accessible to community members and allow whoever wants to to be able to participate and reconnect. We have the opportunity now to learn outside of institutions, where people can stay included in the community, learn ceremonies, learn songs, connect with elders, and become more connected to ancestral practices.
Through these pilot homesteads, people will be able to reinvest their time and energy back into the community. People can stay in community and connect with one another in the Diné way as they learn the skills of off grid ancestral living.
We will be upholding our Navajo Nation’s public health order, and respectfully ask guests coming to our territory to mask up and take COVID-19 precautions. As many of you know our homeland, Diné Bikéyah (The Navajo Nation) has faced and endured the highest rate per-capita of COVID-19 cases than any settler-colonial U.S. state the past year. This didn’t happen because of the lack of power lines and plumbing nor did it happen just because there aren’t massive corporate stores on every corner of our reservation. It happened because a lot of our people’s health was compromised by the ongoing colonial violence and violence against the earth which made our people more susceptible to viruses such as COVID-19. We have lost a lot of relatives during the past year. For this reason, we want to continue to keep our communities and workshop participants safe.
Meals will be provided by our comrades from the Seeds Of Peace Collective; a collective that we have volunteered with and that has supported us in the past with other projects. Since 1986, the Seeds Of Peace Collective has provided logistical support and training to activists struggling on the front lines for social, environmental, and economic justice. They will provide us with entree options for vegans, vegetarians and omnivores.
Alcohol is illegal on Dine’ Bikeyah (Navajo Nation). As such, this will be a dry/alcohol free workshop. Thank you for honoring this mandate.
Our project is to build a 1,600 square foot workshop with Andrew’s straw bale building workshop series while simultaneously building an ancestral Hogan Structure with our community. These both will be our first buildings on our land. We spent 2 summers remediating this land. We are currently working with architects and engineers to develop the design and framing.
We participated in the 2021 Montezuma, NM Casita Guest House Workshop, and left the workshop inspired by everything that Andrew has taught us and the sense of community that everyone brought to the workshop. We would love to bring that same positive feeling and more to this workshop and to everyone that will be joining us!
All workshop participants receive the following with their registration…
TOP NOTCH INSTRUCTION FROM ANDREW (Priceless!!!) PLUS…
• 3 HEALTHY MEALS/DAY
• CAMPING SPACE
• SHOWER AND BATHROOM FACILITIES
“BE YOUR OWN CONTRACTOR” INSTANT DOWNLOAD VIDEOS ($34.99 Value)
22 PAGE STRAW BALE DETAILS INSTANT DOWNLOAD BOOKLET ($20 Value)
Please email StrawBaleWorkshops@gmail.com to be placed on the waitlist
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.
Create strong and durable walls by learning the techniques used by master balers.
Master the fastest knot tying system to save time and money on your project.
Andrew’s framing system speeds your construction and lowers your budget.
Learn how to simplify the incorporation of electrical wiring in your bale walls.
Create gorgeous curves and sexy transitions to create an inspiring home with the art of bale shaping.
Keep your house moisture & mold free with proper ventilation and window/door installations.
Include pockets of beauty in your home with the installation of straw bale niches or “nichos”.
Master effective strategies to install cabinets, partition walls, and other special installations.
Build a strong foundation for your home’s plaster and ensure years of protection for your investment.
Learn the art of plastering in order to create a beautiful and durable finish for your home.
Navigate the confusing world of paying for and insuring your straw bale home.
Ask me anything related to your personal project or general straw bale construction. ANYTHING!
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!
Please email StrawBaleWorkshops@gmail.com to be placed on the waitlist
“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.”
“Based on the information on the website and in the resource materials at strawbale.com 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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!”
“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.”
“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.”
“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!!!!”
“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.”
“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!!!”
“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.”
“We would not have had the confidence to try this project or to plan our house build without knowing and learning from you.”
Please email StrawBaleWorkshops@gmail.com to be placed on the waitlist