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2011 Blog

Page history last edited by Deanne Bednar 9 years ago

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The Strawbale  Studio   


       & Sustainable Living Skills BLOG



We are just starting to track 2011 in blog form...

For an overview of events in the first 1/2 of the year, see the Calendar.


May, 2011

Some of the garden goes in...thanks to Gregg Brazel and Jared Bogdonov-Hanna.  Deanne, too.

Parts of the Mandala garden are thriving with Brassica, and peas and beans have emerged to grow up the trellises Gregg created.  Deanne is sculpting the front beds which abound with native plants and paths, and tending the Sun Root (Jerusalem Artichoke) beds. 


The new Round Pole Wood Shelter is designed and constructed by Gregg Brazel, with the occasional help of volunteers. It utilizes the dead ash trees from the property and uses wooden dowels to pin the scribed and notched round poles.  


May 21- May 29, 2011

The Cob Cottage Company in Coquille hosted a 9 day course called "Complete Cob".  I co-taught the class of 18 students with Kiko Denser ( of Earth Oven fame) in a beautiful setting often called "Cobville". There are numerous sweet earthen buildings with living roofs nestled in a valley in the temperate rain forest of Oregon, about 1/2 hour from the coast near Bandon.  Some buildings stand alone, and others are joined by garden walls, courtyards and gates.  Participants learned about mixing and applying cob, installing windows, doors, electrical, roofing design, foraging materials from the woods and more.  Our cooks provided great food in outdoor kitchen. The lush gardens gave abundant greens and edible flowers and breads were baked in the earth oven.  Quite a lovely experience.



June 11-13, 2011 

Justin Popo participated in the Thatching Class and learned some basic skills in applying reed to two small structures on the land.  The thatching videos are pretty entertaining and informative.  A great time had by teacher and very skillful student! 


July 15, 2011

Past Intern Kathleen writes:

Deanne! I have been meaning to write you an email for MONTHS, but keep
finding myself submerged in more and more projects. I'm actually
living on the east coast now, Portland, ME, taking literature courses
toward a master's at Harvard.  I think of my visit Michigan often, though!

I imagine you're still staying busy with
interns coming and going. Further, I imagine that the property is
taking on its natural evolution and has changed some since I was last
there. I think often of the place, and warmly. I leave it on my list
of major accomplishments, surviving a brutal winter in Michigan (by my
Kentucky hillbilly standards brutal!) in a pretty strict sustainable
environment, not something everyone gets to experience. I'm so glad I
did, and with such a fantastic guide, too! I will never forget
spending cold winter nights in the studio loft, magic. Nothing quite
like it. Anyway, so glad to hear from you! I'll visit when I can and I
wish I could make the potluck tonight! Such fantastic food and people.
Hugs all around!
P.S. How are Ruth, Tom and the kids?


June 15, 2011

The Full Moon Potluck and Bonfire brought out a wonderful group of folks who shared their food and stories throughout the evening.  The posts and ridge beam of the round pole Wood Shelter were carried and raised into place by volunteer hands from the potluck.  Thanks to all, and especially Gregg Brazel the designer and director of the project. 

The Strawbale Studio was enchanting, lit by candles, while utdoors the bonfire was mesmerizing in the gentle summer night. 


June 18, 2011

The Strawbale Studio takes part in a Summer Solstice Celebration at Tall Trees Farm in White Lake, MI.  We lead an activity to plaster and that the "Spiral Chamber" a small structure on the land started last year at the Summer Sostice Festival in 2010 !   Additionally we went out in the woods with some of the kids....and young at heart and built a lean-to out of found wood poles. 

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