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Talent, OR Hands-On Straw Bale Workshop taught by: Andrew Morrison

Sorry This Workshop is FULL!

To be put on the waitlist please email [email protected]

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!!

In The Host's Own Words

The Talent, OR workshop site

 

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 workshop hosts!

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.

THE BUILD

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 SITE 

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)

What's Included in Your Tuition?

All workshop participants receive the following with their registration…

E-Book

"A Modern Look At Straw Bale Construction"
($24.00 Value)

Instant Download

"Be Your Own Contractor"
Instant Download Videos
($34.99 Value)

Five Step-By-Step Instructional Videos

Instant Download Videos:
Concrete Framing Post And Beam Load Bearing Lime Plastering
($99.99 Value)

Top Notch Instruction From Andrew (priceless!!!) Plus...

3 Healthy Meals/Day
Camping Space
Shower and Bathroom Facilities

Straw Bale Details

22 Page Instant Download Booklet
($20 Value)

Sorry This Workshop is FULL!

To be put on the waitlist please email [email protected]

Is the 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 want to save money by building your own straw bale house but also want to make certain that you avoid costly mistakes.

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’ve never built anything before and don’t know if you’re insane for even considering building your own straw bale house.

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

Our framing system speeds your construction and lowers your budget.

Electrical Details

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 And 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!

Sorry This Workshop is FULL!

To be put on the waitlist please email [email protected]

Here Is What Fellow Workshop Attendees Are Saying...

“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.”
Karen Pope
“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!”
Mary Bushman
“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.”
Theresa Coleman
“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!!!”
Clint Pinder

To Watch A Short And Fun Video Of Our Workshop Experience, Start The Video Below

Play Video

Read Answers To Our Most FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS (FAQs) And Learn WHAT TO EXPECT At Our Workshops HERE.

Talent, OR Hands-On Straw Bale Workshop