Upcoming Events

Share on FacebookShare on Google+Share on LinkedInTweet about this on TwitterPrint this page


THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL! Please email us to get on the waiting list. People sometimes cancel, so give us a try! Sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of this page so that you hear about our next workshop. Thank you for your interest!

Asheville, NC
July 28-30, 2017

Building a straw bale house

Bales make great sustainable building blocks for many projects, from dog houses, to courtyard walls, to large multi-story houses and public buildings. This workshop offers both informed instruction and practical experience building the straw bale walls of a two-story private house.

Learn the ins and outs of building with bales from fun teachers with decades of experience and keen eyes for detail. Steve Kemble has been building with bales since 1990, and Mollie Curry dove into cob and other natural building techniques in 1996.

The instructors will explain and demonstrate each step and then you will get to learn by doing. We will prep bales before they go in the wall, stack the walls, split bales into tow pieces for custom sizes, shape window and door openings, notch bales to go around posts, and make and apply cob (mud) “chinking.” Each step needs a certain level of completion to move to the next logical step. We will discuss other important issues to consider such as design considerations, plumbing, electrical, and permitting. We also include the crucial steps for prepping the walls for successful plaster. Later in the summer, there may be opportunities to learn about plasters on this project.

The project is located just off the Blue Ridge Parkway, about 10 minutes from downtown Asheville! The structure of the house is post and beam with Hempcrete and straw bale infill for the walls. We will only be working on the straw bale section, but we will briefly address the Hempcrete walls. We will be working under the cover of the roof some of the time. Steve and Mollie will share an inspiring and informative slide show Saturday evening. Dinner that night will be pizza cooked in the owner’s on-site cob oven!

Food and lodging not included.

Bring a bag lunch each day, since there will not be time to leave and come back.

Hotels are within a 10-minute drive.

Some camping may be available on site, please contact the host directly if you want to camp. We will email you the contact info when you register (if you request it).

Approximate Schedule for the Straw Bale Building Workshop

Friday, July 28
10am-6pm: Instruction and Hands-on

Saturday, July 29
9am-5pm: Instruction and Hands-on
5:30-7:30pm: Pizza making and eating
7:30-9pm: Slide show

Sunday, July 30
9am-4pm: Instruction and Hands-On

For more info: EMAIL or call us at 828-775-4823

How to Register for the Straw Bale Building Workshop

THIS WORKSHOP IS FULL! Please email us to get on the waiting list. People sometimes cancel, so give us a try! Sign up for our mailing list at the bottom of this page so that you hear about our next workshop. Thank you for your interest!

Cancellation Policy for the Straw Bale Building Workshop, July 28-30th, 2017

If you cancel, you may transfer your place in the program to someone of your choosing (you need to inform us via email and they will need to email us to register), or you can donate your place to someone who would not otherwise have been able to participate.

  • Through July 9th, Your workshop tuition will be refunded minus a $50 fee
  • Through July 14th, 50% of your workshop tuition will be refunded
  • After July 14th, NONE of your workshop tuition will be refunded

If MudStrawLove, LLC cancels The Straw Bale Building Workshop for any reason, 100% of your tuition will be refunded.


Earthaven Ecovillage, near Black Mountain, NC
August 16-20, 2017

Mollie Curry (left) with student

Mollie Curry (left) with student

MudStrawLove, LLC is proud to partner with the School of Integrated Living (SOIL) and Earthaven Ecovillage for this workshop. Mollie Curry lived at Earthaven for 11 years before moving to Asheville, NC. She still has deep roots there, and is always happy to teach at this special community!

Learn about the most common natural materials and techniques for designing ecologically sound buildings. Gain hands-on experience with natural building techniques such as cob, earthen plasters, and paints. Tour natural buildings constructed using these techniques to see sustainable possibilities for foundations, roofs, and wall systems. Learn about site selection and passive solar design. This introductory course to natural building empowers students to create energy efficient, beautiful, and Earth-friendly structures. Since there is not much overlap, this course is a great complement to MudStrawLove’s July 28-30 Straw Bale Building Workshop!

Tuition includes catered organic meals for 5 days (14 meals total), as well as camping.

IF YOU REGISTER BEFORE JULY 10, you can get $50 off by entering our special discount code in the comments section when you register: MSL$50

»REGISTER and/or learn more about instructors and Earthaven Ecovillage


Intro to Earthen Paint
(aka “Alis” or Clay-Based Paint)