z-SALE Ft Garland, CO 2019



In the Host’s Own Words: 

Come join us in our Labor of Love!

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.

The home before the fire. Note the flag.

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.  One of those things was my parents’ home.  They made it out safely with their dog but now face the task of piecing together their lives and starting over at the age of 73 and 82.

Our Project is to rebuild a home 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.

After the fire. The only thing that survived was the flag which holds special meaning to the host’s father who served in the Navy.

The building site is 9000′ above sea level. The climate is dry making it ideal for straw bale construction. The weather at this elevation usually makes for a nice break from the summer heat experienced in other places. Although it can get warm midday, cool mornings and evenings offer refreshment.

There are numerous camp site options on the property and each one has a view of Mount Blanca towering over the horizon at 14,344.   We will have electricity at the building site and warm water showers. We will enjoy 3 healthy meals daily, cooked by 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.

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.

A little more about us:

My Mom and Dad have spent their lives in service to others.

ft garland straw bale workshop hostsMy Father, Griff Pritchard, served in the Navy for 12 years.  He loves our country and always has his flag flying proudly.   In the picture you may notice that the only thing that didn’t burn was my dad’s flag.   He worked as a dentist for most of my childhood before he followed his long time dream to become a pastor.   Although he is retired, you can often find him preaching at the local churches when other clergy members are on vacation.

My mother, Pat Pritchard, is a nurse. She has worked in geriatric nursing most of her life and currently works at the VA hospital in Walsenburg, CO. At 70 years of age 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.

ft garland straw bale workshop hostsMy husband (Chris) and I (Carie), will be hosting this workshop on their behalf.  I am a retired fire fighter and currently run a non-profit, organizing retreats and events.  Chris has worked in farming, land restoration and reforestation for many years.

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