Builders Without Borders presents


Sat./Sun. March 23 – 24 & 30 – 31, 2019
At the Black Range Lodge, Kingston, NM


Tour straw bale buildings, get hands-on experience with Straw Bales and Earthen plasters, and learn Passive Solar Design

Workshop leaders will include natural building professional Frank Meyer from Austin, TX plus plastering experts Kaki Hunter & Doni Kiffmeyer, Moab, Utah

Each weekend is $225 pp or $400 per couple, incl. meals & accommodations.
Contact Catherine at 575-895-5652 / [email protected]


Builders Without Borders’ Straw-bale & Earthen Plaster workshops:

9 AM – 5 PM Saturday & Sunday, March 23 – 24, 2019
9 AM – 5 PM Saturday & Sunday, March 30 – 31, 2019

Featuring Frank Meyer, Kaki Hunter & Doni Kiffmeyer, plus Catherine Wanek and Derek Roff, Builders Without Borders.

The Site

The historic Black Range Lodge in Kingston, New Mexico, is run as a bed-and-breakfast inn, and retreat center. It has been evolving into a center for sustainable design, demonstration and outreach. Surrounded by the Gila National Forest, the century-old Lodge property incorporates permaculture features such as shady grape vines, fruit trees, bamboo groves, chickens, gardens, and edible groundcover.

Straw-bale and “natural” buildings on site include a straw-bale greenhouse and chicken coop, a “hobbit house,” a straw-bale, earth-plastered classroom, and a custom-built straw-bale guest house. The Lodge has been the home base of Builders Without Borders since 1999.

The Project

We will work with straw bales, earthen plasters, and locally-milled lumber to complete a small earth-plastered building. Partially constructed, the two weekend workshops will both include stacking straw-bales, discussion of load-bearing and post-and-beam (straw- bale infill) construction, and preparation and application of clay plasters. Meals and Lodging are included in the workshop fee


  • Includes Lunch & Dinner on Saturday, Breakfast & Lunch on Sunday.
  • Participants are asked to pitch in with a bit of meal prep and clean-up.
  • Bed & Breakfast rooms are in the Lodge, plan on double occupancy.
  • Participants may arrive Friday night, for an additional cost of $25 per person.


What To Bring

Clothes to get muddy in
Hat and sturdy Shoes
Camera and Note pad
Please leave at home: Pets and perfumes

Approximate Schedule

SATURDAY 9 – 10 am – Introductions and Tour straw-bale buildings
10 – 12 noon — HANDS-ON – straw-bale & natural plasters
12 N – 1 pm — Lunch
1pm – 5 pm — HANDS-ON — straw-bale & natural plasters
6 – 7pm — Dinner
7pm – Presentation – Strawbale Design Essentials

SUNDAY 9 am -12 N — HANDS-ON — straw-bale & natural plasters
12 N – 1 pm — Lunch
1 – 4 pm — HANDS-ON straw-bale & natural plasters

Please visit our partners’ web sites for other workshop opportunities:
Solar Energy International