Straw Bale Workshop in New York State!

Written by Andrew Morrison

I am happy to announce a straw bale workshop in New York! I will be holding a seven day intensive straw bale workshop September 1 – September 7, 2008 at the beautiful Berry Hill Gardens country Bed and Breakfast. Here’s a little description of the property from their website (

Off the beaten path on a secluded lane, conveniently centered between Bainbridge, Afton and Oxford, our country bed and breakfasts are located in the heart of Central New York. The breathtaking Leatherstocking Region is an area bursting with museums, sporting facilities, artisans and fascinating history.

The hosts offer two vastly different B&B experiences on their 300 acres of gardens, lakes, ponds, woods and meadows. Berry Hill Gardens Bed and Breakfast Inn is situated on a hilltop overlooking miles of rural beauty; the Buckthorn Lodge is nestled in a sunny glen deep in the woods. Enjoy delicious breakfasts in a friendly, healthy informal atmosphere. Comfortable antiques, fireplaces and all-natural luxury linens are throughout.
green pastures
This workshop will take the participants step by step through the process of building a straw bale cottage roughly 400 square feet in size. I will cover all of the information you need to build your own cottage and ultimately: your own house! The workshop, like all of my workshops, is limited to 20 participants so sign up soon to reserve your space. The area is beautiful, the workshop will be educational and fun, and you will leave with a new knowledge of how to build with bales. To sign up and to learn more about my other workshops, please click HERE. Thanks and I hope to bale with you soon!

Pictures by Berry Hill Gardens

16 Responses

  1. What kind of stuff do you cover in the workshop? It seems like 400 Sf is pretty small and I wonder if you can really teach people “all there is to know” on such a small building. I would be interested to hear more about what things you teach. Thanks.


  2. I cover pretty much every aspect of building with bales from foundation details to plaster coats. We don’t usually have time to actually do the plaster coats hands on, but I answer questions and give tips about how to achieve a quality finish. If we are lucky, we will get to apply the scratch coat (first coat) of plaster before the workshop ends. The building is a good teaching piece because it has plumbing, electrical, interior partition walls, and many other aspects of an actual full scale home. This way the participants get to try their hand at all the different details. If you have more questions, please visit and let me know here if you still don’t get your answers.

  3. Janet,
    Participants are welcome to stay in the B&B if they want to purchase rooms. They are also welcome to camp on the property for free. It is up to you!

  4. GREAT!! My family and I are looking to move to that area after several trips up there. WE want to build a strawbale house so this will work out perfect! I have been hard pressed to find anyone on the East coast that does this. Looking forward to a hard, fun filled week…and some sore muscles the week after!

  5. Hello, I’m interested but how much construction experience does one need to attend this workshop?


  6. Aikeau,
    You do not need any building experience at all. It will help if you have some, but I explain everything well enough to understand even with no prior experience.


  7. Hi Jeanne. I will post a blog entry stating your intentions and asking people to respond to the blog who would be interested in getting it started. That’s the best I can offer. Otherwise, you can connect with like minded folks in your area. Good luck. You might consider attending my workshop in Scipio Center, NY this August to meet people interested in baling. You can sign up at

  8. Hello Andrew,

    My Wife and I just purchased the Berry Hill Gardens Bed and Breakfast. The straw bale house that was built back in 2009 was never completed and the last thing that was done was the scratch coat. I plan on purchasing your DVD on Plastering with Natural Hydraulic Lime. Will the DVD provide enough information to finish the stucco?


  9. Hi Dave. That is crazy that it was never completed! Yes, the DVD will give you the information you need to complete the plaster for sure. If you have questions after watching it, please let me know how I can help. I would love to see that completed!

  10. I don’t know of any in NYC. The walls being so thick are difficult to use on small lots. If you can build up, like a brownstone with 3 or 4 floors, then it would be a great option!

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