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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 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!!
Quixotacres (quik-sot-ǝ-kers), is a place for wild, imaginative inspirations, and idealistic intentions. This magical, secluded highland is nestled in the wilderness west of Talent, Oregon, pleasantly isolated from humanity, yet less than 10 minutes drive west of town, and easily accessible to the heart of the Rogue Valley. Rolling hills covered in mixed forests of Douglas fir, ponderosa pine, madrone, oak and manzanita surround an open dale of grass pastures, seasonal creeks & ponds. Numerous trails and forest roads criss-crossing the property are ideal for exploring this timeless terrain.
Various agricultural endeavors from fruits, wheat, and hay to cattle, horses, and llamas have graced these fields. Present undertakings include permaculture exploration, forestry stewardship, extensive gardening, soil building, alpaca grazing, art origination, sanctuary establishment, and wilderness awareness/appreciation. We also frequently host wanderers, world-schoolers, and enthusiastic work-trade guests.
Current efforts are focused on improvements needed to make Quixotacres a sustainable and desirable locale for hosting visitors in various unique spaces. Our dream is for it to become a natural, inspirational gathering space and “Creativity Enclave” for life-long learners, explorers and travelers, emphasizing special needs and underserved children (and adults). Themes of introspection, extrospection, innovation, camaraderie, wonder, and passion are to be set in an environment of gregarious exchange, gracious enthusiasm, and unconditional positive regard.
Your hosts will be our family of four, a dear friend, a festive factotum, and our mounting menagerie: 18 airy alpacas, 10 cheeky chickens, a hoard of dogs, occasional cats, and loads of itinerant wildlife.
All of the humans here are enthusiastic about natural building design and construction, and excited about hosting a dynamic group of ardent and amiable doers here in our haven of high hopes.
Our project vision is a simple and efficient home that is well-designed to comfortably accommodate one to two people, with design elements encouraging interaction and integration with the natural environment. We currently do not have housing for a working farm assistant/manager, and it has become abundantly clear that such a place (and assistance!) needs to be a high priority. Although it won’t be our primary residence, it will be wonderful to offer this home to a valued accomplice, who is willing to join us in our vision and stewardship of the property. We are committed to an aesthetically pleasing and inviting design, energy efficient, congruent with the natural landscape and harmonious with its surroundings. These elements of green-building have always seemed so sensible and appealing to us and we would like to help promote this perspective.
More specifically, our plan calls for a post and beam framed structure slightly less than 1000 sqft, with straw bale infill, metal roofing, concrete flooring with radiant heat, and a small “advanced framing” constructed bathroom and mudroom extending out towards the garden.
The home site is adjacent to a large grassy open field and garden, and near an area with horse stables, a large riding arena, and a metal storage barn. The field is a future site of a small encampment, and will be the primary location for camping, gathering, and eating during the workshop, with restroom and shower facilities nearby. There is a lot of space to spread out, and participants who want a bit more privacy will be welcome to pitch their tent among the oak and madrone trees up adjacent slopes. Also closeby is a seasonal pond with weeping willow trees, a large bonfire pit, and a cultivated lawn area to provide more gathering spaces for festivities and frolicking. The large covered arena will also be available in the event of inclement weather.
On and around the property there is vast terrain to explore without necessity for driving. A mountain bike ride, trail run, wildlands hike &/or forest bath [shinrin yoku] will be accessible directly outside your door–or tent flap. There is even a (somewhat primitive) disc golf course winding through the nearby grassy slopes and between the trees. If you find yourself pining for a commercial fix, the small town of Talent–a 10 min drive away–is where you will find a few unique & tasty local restaurants/pubs, a grocery store, coffee shop, and basic amenities. The trendy, artsy community of Ashland is only another 10 min down the road, and offers a wide array of unique restaurants and live performances, shopping experiences, art galleries, and a bustling society of interesting and friendly residents, wanderers, buskers, and travelers.
The community of the Rogue Valley includes the larger towns of Medford [MFR], Ashland, and Grants Pass, and is well-known for fruit orchards (especially pears), organic farming, exceptional vineyards, and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. It is also a haven for outdoor enthusiasts; a prime region for bicycling, rafting, (fly) fishing, hiking, skiing, and of course, wine tasting. The charming, historic gold mining town of Jacksonville is a 20 minute drive from Quixotacres and is a National Historic Landmark which hosts top galleries, lovely restaurants, darling shops, and many tourist enticements. Attractions in the larger area include Crater Lake National Park, The Redwoods of northern California, the rugged Oregon Coast, and the Mt Shasta wilderness.
The construction of an additional smaller straw bale building nearby may also be included in the workshop (as time/interest allows) to serve as a cabin/meeting place in our camping area. We hope to assemble this Nebraska style, with the bales supporting the roof structure and no framing needed other than a top plate. It should be a fun opportunity to quickly stack bales and plaster if we need a bit more practice.
We are looking forward to an enjoyable week of activity and revelry. Join us if you’re keen 🙂
-The Foster Family (Pam, Tommy, Atticus, and Bleu)
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)
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!
“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.”