• If you are citizen of an European Union member nation, you may not use this service unless you are at least 16 years old.

  • Stop wasting time looking for files and revisions. Connect your Gmail, DriveDropbox, and Slack accounts and in less than 2 minutes, Dokkio will automatically organize all your file attachments. Learn more and claim your free account.


Evaluations by past Interns

Page history last edited by Deanne Bednar 10 years, 10 months ago

 Home         Diary         Building Projects         Calendar         Links      www.strawbalestudio.org




Journals, writings & evaluations by past interns at the

The Strawbale  Studio

         NATURAL BUILDING Program

                          & Sustainable Living Skills



 1/22/10   From Emily, who interned for periods during the summer & winter, 2009. 

Hi Deanne,
So somehow I decided to take a little bike trip in Baja, Mexico before heading to Missouri.  I am hanging out in Mexicali with Korean missionaries who started an orphanage here.  I am looking forward to 1000 miles of desert and coastal cycling to La Paz.  I am traveling with a friend who I met throught couchsurfing.
I hope all is well at the strawbale studio.  I really had a great time working with you, and learning from you . It looks like I won´t be returning this season, at least not before November, but I wish you well in all of your projects this year.   I have been spreading the word about the Studio.  I have been meeitng  people interested in natural building (including Sean).   
I´ll contact you when I get to missouri.
Sending you peace and love,


10/21/09  Online Chat between previous intern Jason Howard and Deanne.


Strawbale Studio Interns sometimes do a work exchange with a local CSA organic farm in Columbiaville, MI.  Their interns will return the exchange and come work here at the Strawbale Studio with us.  Fun! http://threeroodsfarm.com/wordpress/



On Tue, Jun 30, 2009 at 9:10 PM, (Intern) Sam Runner <samrunner1@gmail.com> wrote:

I have a question to ask all people. What do you see as our future? If we can outpicture our current reality to something greater, then what can you imagine our future to be? Ask yourselves what you think could be a possible world that could be radically different from what we know today? By visualizing this potential reality, you are bringing it forth, and as I see in so many channelings, imagine this and imagine that, why not? It is a simple act of picturing something beautiful and utilizing our God given right to create. So this is what I see:

I see the planet as whole

The colors are vibrant and free

A wonderful place for a show

The end of duality

Our brothers and sisters from space

Are happy to see us awaken

They land on our soil with grace

They're happy to see we're not shaken

The seas and the oceans repaired

To the way it once was before

The earth and the resources shared

Gaia healed to the core

We all have more than enough

A house, clean water and food

The times are no longer tough

In essence I'd like to conclude

We all have something to share

Our love and our prayers and our heart

I know that you really do care

Now go ahead, it's your turn to start!


9/12/09  Email from Sam Runner after he left the Strawbale Studio to go on to another intern adventure:


Hey there DeAnne! I have been busy doing lots of harvesting veggies in the garden. Talking lots with Jim. He's a very funny guy and knows a lot about a lot. His wife Krista is very cool and accomodating. I have been fixing up my cabin that I am now staying in. It was built by a bunch of fifth graders in Jim's woodshop at school and then Jim carted it over to the property here. Jim has a great routine for getting things done around here. He makes a list everyday of things that he wants to complete. First is checking his email, so he spends about 1-2 hrs just going through all of it so it does not build up on him. Then he does some gardening with me, by the way, the garden has weeds up the wazoo! But, the veggies are delicious, ripe and eaten everyday. We have more veggies here than we know what to do with. We have about 50%-75% veggies every day. Jim has a daughter named Lisa who is super cool and she likes Sofia a lot. Who doesn't?

  Jim pays me $100/wk in exchange for my knowledge of strawbale earth plastering. I wish I got more experience laying the bales on the foundation, but the little bit of experience I did learn from you was invaluable. This is really what Jim wants to get from me, the strawbale aspect and natural earth plastering. I wanted to ask you if you knew whether you should pin the bales together with strong sticks, or metal rebar. Will the rebar rust? How long should I make the sticks/rebar?

  I did a soil test yesterday and found that the surrounding property is almost totally clay free! Great for gardening, crappy for natural building. I did the stick test to the hand, very sloppy. Jim has a soil composition book from the department of Agriculture and he taught me to read it. This book will tell you what type of soil your land is every few hundred yards. On all of Jim's property, the soil drains very quickly and is a loamy type soil up to 6 ft in the ground. Very hard to fdind a good clay type soil. But hopefully I will find some or Jim will cart in some via truck. Jim may actually insulate this building either with strawbales, or shredded paper bales which is about 1/3rd less R-Value. But, it's free and the building is very small. It's a post and beam structure and close to a waterfall that's dry right now. My plan with the bales is to put a thin coat of slip on the bales, let that dry and then smear on a rough coat and then to do a finish layer of manure mixed clay subsoil. Should I do 1 or 2 coats of clay sub soil? 1st coat with no manure, and then a thinner coat with manure added? Should we add dry manure or wet manure, has your experience been better with wet or dry?

  Anyway, I'd love to hear how the potluck turned out. Did you make more pizzas? That thing is a beautiful piece of art and that finishing touch you added is a masterpiece. I never thought it would have turned out as well as it did, but you always pull that off!

  Hopefully we can get the building baled and plastered before first snowfall which will happen much earlier than anywhere else. 5 ft of snow in one night sometimes. I must go and eat breakfast, good to hear from you DeAnne.

  The wedding went great and I'm happy for my cuz, Peter. Good to see family once again. I seen my brother who looked much better than I thought he would look. Glad to see you have a healthy flow of interns coming and going. Say hi to Ben (if he's still there) and Eileen and Evan.


Much Love,

Your good friend for life, Sam


12-4-09 email from Sam in Boston, now.



I was a volunteer on the project this summer for about a month and a half. I worked mostly on the Kensington Farm Kid's Cottage, and some at the Oakland Steiner School Playhouse Project.


Participating in the kids cottage project furthered my interest and confidence in natural building. Because of this I will be much more likely to initiate the use of natural building techniques in the projects i'm involved in in the future.


Since the project I've made plans to be a consultant/builder on a strawbale

house to be built by the Red Brick Community Land Trust in collaboration with Youth Build St. Louis here in the city of St. Louis. I also plan on building an earthen oven as part of an outdoor kitchen being built in the spring at New Roots Urban Farm and CSA, also in the city of St. Louis.


The most interesting part of the Kids Cottage project to me was watching all

different kinds of people, with all kinds of different ideas, building and

learning together. Noticing when this happened most smoothly was a valuable

learning experience.


Laura    La00@excite.com


An Intern's Journal ~ Amber Weber, Sanctuary of Mud, 2007-08


An Intern's Journal ~ Jason Howard. An indepth look at one Interns experience.


Unedited Notes taken 2/17/08 quoting Joan, Intern, who was all excited after being part of a gathering here with 12 students from Oakland University and Michigan State University, where we networked, shared, did an earthen plaster workshop, played music, and all:  "Sprouts, raw food, Kubicha tea.  Sauerkraut, Jared info, Permaculture Shepard.  Studied with him. Jared's sister is managing gardens where they put his information together.  Access to Seeds.  Earl.  Being a traveler.  Sometimes I feel REALLY strongly.  That I need to build my home and grow food.  In a community.  Going all these different places and SEEING the energy, and there are more, and more and more people doing it.  Being around that energy.  It makes me as full in my heart.  When they left, I could really see it leaving.  Earl called us seedlings.  Swapping seeds, Seed Savers.  I don't where I am supposed to root doown.  Until then I don't want to loose that energy.    This building, building, building, internal energy that is preparing preparing, preparing, This place was a hub, it was vibrating with these kids there.  Oh my gosh, they just started coming in last night.  The cob workshop was good, we took a nap an the couch.  A knock on the door and it was earl, .  He got sick when he was nine.  15 years ago he had intestinal cancer, skin cancer.  already doing organic gardening for 10 years.  and then for 10 years he was on liquid food in a bag attached to his body. Then he changed his diet to raw goats milk, sheep skins, scars, cemo, IVS.  Good attitude. He is strong now and healthy. 


Kathy kept up the fire in the Studio. Allright, alright, let's tune in. We took up the whole nook area, and they started chanting.  Trevor has a smudge stick going and one by one, they started chanting.  Some were listening, Holly was making up music, too tired to chant.  Like nectar, like a beautiful alien language.  She said she appreciated my singing." 


Comments (0)

You don't have permission to comment on this page.