Strawbale Construction

1995: the beginning of straw bale construction.

Experience: I join the organization called “out on Bail” and took a course on construction using strawbails.

During the 10 day course, 10 other people and myself were involved in ground up construction of a building. Foundation, footings, post and beam, trusses, roof, windows frames… We did it all.

So now I’m ready, so I thought!

5 1/2 years later the house has been cleared by the county to move in.

Along the way there were many accidents. Falling off ladders, breaking bones of hands and arms. Sliding off a ladder catching a nail on the face causing nerve damage…

This building activity took place during the weekends and sometimes during the summer after work.  So patients were always exposed to  dressings, arm slings, bandages and bruises on the face…and I was still able
to work, wearing my lab coat and using my stethoscope.

There were many delays, some because it was still hard labor and an ongoing learning experience.

Other delays where from my wilderness friends; during the spring, momma fox dug her den on one of my straw walls next to the staircase.  So every summer there were 4 to 5 kits running all over the frames and rafters, they didn’t seem to be bothered by me working along.

Lots of deer, they seem to be wanting to help by trimming my walls chewing the loose straw. After having their fill they would lay inside the building for the night.

Several times I would come home from work, finding my horses also participating in DE-construction!

During the summer, building was also delayed because hundreds of birds nested and have babies and I would have to wait for those babies to leave in order for me to continue working on completing placing chicken wire on both sides of the walls, gettting ready for plaster.