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Straw Bale Workshops & Courses

24 – 27 May 2018 – Natural Building Course with Narara Eco Village Learn how to build with: light earth, hempcrete, strawbale, cobb, traditional frames, lime and mud renders and much much more!

13 – 14 JULY 2018 – Mudgee Small Farm Field Days Bring along your plans & questions – We run demonstrations, talks & we’ve even got time to chat. More info>

14 – 16th September 2018 – Straw Bale Building Course at the Aust. Rural Education Centre, Mudgee. Learn in the morning, practise in the afternoon. If you’re a DIY or building professional this course is for you. More>

8-9th September 2018 – Straw Bale Conference by Ausbale, Victoria Meet cool people, learn from professionals and be around like-minded people

Coming Soon – New Workshop  Meet like minded people and enjoy 4 days of straw fun.  We’ll be raising the walls, rendering and getting the cobb walls built. Great way to help build a home and get practise. Save loads – Others charge $800 ea. These are working straw bale workshops – no spectators please.

Eco House Tour

Our “Little Rippa” Straw Bale Eco House Tour Sold Out Look out for the next Eco Tour and get in quick to book.  We think the next one will be in March 2018.  Our tours are an awesome way to get to see and feel strawbale homes and talk to the people we have built for.

2018 Online Course – “The Smart & Easy Way You Can Build Your Own Eco Granny Flat”. No matter where in the world you are. This is an online course that teaches and gives you the confidence to build your own straw bale granny flat. Ask for More info>

“Your course was the best course I’ve done. I wanted to get into strawbale building and by doing the course with Sam I was able to. Thank you!” Ken L

“I loved the course, Sam was extraordinarily generous with his knowledge and super patient😊  Thanks so much” Rob B

“Sam – thanks for being so open and giving of your knowledge. I thought the way you patiently accommodated the diverse needs of the group was fantastic. You’re a great communicator. Thanks especially for giving prejudice-free constructive advice about methods/techniques/materials other than those you typically use with Viva, and recognising that everyone’s circumstances, goals and motivations for building a home are different.  I’ll be recommending you guys to anyone who shows an interest in strawbale building.” Anthony

“Sam has a wealth of knowledge and experience as both a mainstream builder and a natural materials builder – essential for me in considering building with natural materials. He was open to all questions, and answered clearly and truthfully. He combined the exactitude of chemical and quantity combinations with the flexible options that natural materials allow. He was open to learning as well as teaching. He demonstrated clearly and effectively and worked the team easily and efficiently. He was ‘on’ almost all the time, being available in breaks and addressing all sorts of left-field questions and suggestions. I loved him :). A fantastic course – thanks. The food was sensational.”. Sally

“Sam was amazing. Patient, extremely knowledgable, with just the right mix of humour, tolerance and encouragement. His self deprecating style out you at ease and he was extremely generous with his time And knowledge. I’ve done several Milkwood courses. They are all great, but this one was the standout for me. thanks also to Pat, Sam’s offsider. He was great”. Peta

“Thanks for the course. You were very thorough and with the mixture of theory and practical I learned a lot. We were all very pleased to have done the course, and I am definitely going to build in straw bale.” Hugh, Engineer

“I attended the recent 3 day course and found it a terrific experience to help begin the process of, hopefully, building our strawbale home. The information, format and ability to chat/ask those questions was much appreciated. Will happily recommend it to anyone looking at strawbale building. Thankyou and to Sam – I am more enthusiastic to go ahead with straw after the course than before.” Terry S

“I just finished another workshop and rendering is now so much easier. Something just happened so I don’t have to think about what I’m doing now. It’s so exciting!” Shannon

FAQs – What’s the Difference Between a Workshop vs Course…

FAQ - Mudgee Course

This course is a strawbale building course so you can learn and practise how to build your own straw bale home. 

Animals
If your animal can be tied up or left with someone else who isn’t doing the course then yes you can bring them. If you need the animal with you while in the course, then best leave your animal at home

Camping
Yes camping is available on site for free. If you have companions who aren’t doing the course they can also stay on site, as long as they have no impact on the course or participants. There are showers and a camp kitchen on site. The camp kitchen will be used during course breaks, please keep this clear.

Do you need any skills?
No, there will be some people who do have skills but the course is set for beginners to advanced people.

Food
Morning and afternoon tea and lunch is provided. They’re delicious. Please advise any special requirements. They can usually cater for vegetarians however if you have specific allergies, please bring your own food.

How is the course run?
You’ll learn theory in the morning and then after lunch, you’ll do practical work and put into practise what you learnt. It’s like a TAFE-run course where you get to practise on a real life situation.

What should you bring?
Hat, closed shoes, long sleeve shirts, water, clothing for all weather (hot and cold)

FAQ - Milkwood Course

This course is a natural building course so you can learn and practise how to build your own rammed earth, cob, light-clay-straw, straw bale home. We cover reciprocal roofs, green roofs, earth floors and many other natural building techniques. 

Animals
Sorry no animals allowed as it is a private venue.

Camping
Sorry, no camping on site however there are totally awesome camping spots and accommodation nearby.

Do you need any skills?
No, there will be some people who do have skills but the course is set for beginners to advanced people.

Food
Morning and afternoon tea and lunch is provided. They’re delicious. Please advise any special requirements. They can usually cater for vegetarians however if you have specific allergies, please bring your own food.

How is the course run?
You’ll learn theory in the morning and then after lunch, you’ll do practical work and put into practise what you learnt. It’s like a TAFE-run course where you get to practise on a real life situation.

What should you bring?
Hat, closed shoes, long sleeve shirts, water, clothing for all weather (hot and cold)

FAQ - Online Granny Flat/Studio Course

This course is an online course where you learn at home on your computer. You’ll learn how to build your own strawbale granny flat/studio.

How does it work?

Once a week we’ll run a course online, covering the topics. At the end of each session, you can type in questions you have. We’ll aim to answer everyone’s questions.

What if I can’t make the time
Then just watch the replay. In fact you can watch it indefinitely, as you build your own granny flat/studio

Can I use the online course to build a house
You can use the same foundations for sure. The principles are the same

Can I ask questions?
Yes of course, at the end of the chapter we’ll leave enough time for question time

How long?
The course will go for 14 weeks and is an hour a week.

FAQ - Workshops

Workshops are where you’re helping to build a client’s home for them. We show you what to do, give you the tools and materials, and you’ll work on different workstations to build the straw walls and render them. It’s all practical with no theory.

Animals
Sorry no pets are allowed on site

Camping
Sometimes camping is available on site (please read the workshop details)

Children
Can I bring my baby or child? Generally no, sorry for the safety of your children. Over 16 years old unless otherwise agreed on please.

Do you need any skills?
No, there will be some people who do have skills but the workshop is for beginners to advanced people.

Food
Morning and afternoon tea and lunch is provided. They’re delicious. Please advise any special requirements. They can usually cater for vegetarians however if you have specific allergies, please bring your own food.

Injured?
Can you come along if you’re injured? Ahhh generally not sorry. We don’t want to injure you any more and it’s a building site. It’s dangerous, uneven and you’re often out in the elements. Get healthy and come along then and you’ll love it a whole lot more!

What should you bring?

Hat, closed shoes, long sleeve shirts, water, clothing for all weather (hot and cold)

Can I come along and watch?
Sorry no, our goal is to get as much work done as possible for our clients. You’d want that if we were building your new home. If you want to watch or check it out, come along on an eco house tour, or follow us on email or social media. You’ll love it!

Weather
Will the workshop run if it’s raining, snowing or there’s hail or a meteor shower? We will run the workshop in rain, hail or sunshine. We will have a roof on so no matter the weather, we’re ready for you

The Essential Straw Bale Home Building Consumer Guides…

Four ‘must-have’ Reports When Building Any Straw Bale Home, Studio or Granny Flat

#1 The 65 Fundamental Building Steps
#2 Viva’s “Lickity Split” 2 Bedroom Plans
#3 Two Proven Lime Render Recipes
#4 Vital Budgeting Spreadsheet

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