Order Tara's Bicycle Touring Cookbook Today!

Strawbale Workshop, Day Four

by Tara

Our workshop is going to be stunning. It was striking as an open-air structure, and a very small part of me was afraid we'd lose something by enclosing it. Boy was I was wrong. The strawbale walls everyone has worked so hard to raise only serve to highlight the beauty of the beams. Now, there is a canvas against which the natural curves of the frame can truly stand out. I can't wait to see how it will look plastered!

TK Tamping Strawbale Wall Tyler Cutting Out Storage Nooks Grindbygg Strawbale Workshop in Progress Josh Chainsawing Speaker Nook Josh Chainsawing Speaker Nook Angelo Staining Storage Nook Trim Owen Trimming Door Framing Owen Dale Dale & Owen Working on Door Framing

After clearing the food tables and washing the dishes from a non-stop day of feeding everyone, I headed over to Becky's house for our nightly planning meeting, just to make sure we were on the same page for tomorrow ("meeting" is a strong word—it's more like a conversation over a glass of wine, while taking notes about the menu).

Once all was in order, I headed home and joined Tyler and the workshop participants, slipping into a vacant chair as everyone welcomed me to the circle around our camp fire. Already, folks were singing and laughing and talking, warming their feet by the flames and admiring the blanket of stars overhead.

And there we stayed for hours, while Martin tended the fire and passed out instruments, while Christa curled up and fell asleep in her chair, while we shouted out requests for favorite tunes for Andrew to play on the guitar, while we sang and sang and sang some more. Jess and Dan made us laugh, and Owen drummed, his skilled hands tapping out complex rhythms, kirtan-style, while Christopher found his own rhythm in turn.

Hanging out by the Fire

This workshop is about so much more than straw. It's about dreams and hope and inspiration, about the energy that can be generated when a group of people come together for a common purpose. I can practically feel a web being woven between us, bonds forged over cider and woodsmoke, straw and sweat. The synergy in this group is palpable! Thank you, everyone!

Hanging out by the Fire Andrew & Owen Playing Music by the Fire Tara, Dan & Ash Goofing Around by the Fire