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Building with Strawbales and Clay

Join us for this unique experience to learn how to install super-insulating strawbale walls, seal them with clay plaster and install a durable adobe
floor. (Yes, you can build with strawbales in Ohio’s wet climate and you can use clay soil to make luscious walls & floors!) Register for the workshop to find out how.

Be a part of Conservatory history! You will learn natural building techniques while helping to build a unique, beautiful, whimsical playhouse for the Scotts Miracle-Gro Foundation Children’s Garden.



  • Friday, September 22 – Begin with an overview of strawbale construction, followed by learning the skills used to shape, resize and install strawbales into a durable wall system.
  • Saturday, September 23 – Learn how to assess soil for clay content, mix clay plaster and apply the plaster to the strawbale walls.  We’ll invite some kids to help with the messy work in the afternoon.
  • Sunday, September 24 – Learn how to prepare and install the adobe floor. Sigi teaches the physics behind why natural building works. Everyone gains hands-on experience with ample one-on-one guidance throughout the weekend.


  • Overview of strawbale construction
  • Permitting issues and tips for building in a wet climate
  • Overview of natural clay plasters, including benefits and challenges
  • Description of clay plaster ingredients and the function that each one serves
  • How to test site soil for clay content
  • Establishing basic recipes for clay materials
  • Low-tech mixing techniques for clay materials
  • Benefits and challenges of adobe floors
  • Proper ground preparation for adobe floors
  • Hands-on experience of all installation techniques