The plan is to break ground either after the snow melts or the beginning of May, whichever comes sooner. The focus will then be on the foundation, plumbing, post & beam and getting the roof put on. Of course, there will be many aspects to all of this, but we will hopefully have all of this set-up by the end of July, 2009. Come August 1st, we want to be ready for the first of many workshops that we are going to open up to friends, family and anyone who wants to come help and learn how to build with (rice) straw and (mud/earth) plasters.
A more detailed schedule will be posted soon, but you can count on us having a workshop almost every weekend in August, 2009, with the big one coming that first weekend (August 1st, 2nd) where we will be putting up the straw bale walls. That workshop may become a three or four day workshop so it may be an August 1st-3rd/4th, but we will let you know. Of course, participants will be welcome to come for one, two or all three/four days. However, we will be asking for RSVP's so that we get commitments from people.
The second workshop will be the first coating of the exterior plaster. We will do that on the second weekend of August (8th, 9th) and then we will plan on having the 2nd and possibly 3rd coats going on the subsequent weekends (15th, 16th & 22nd/23rd). Then, we'll start with some smaller workshops the last weekend of August and into September with interior plasters that will be more detailed because a lot of focus will be put on aesthetics. There is a 5 day (Japan) national holiday in September that we'll probably hold open for a big interior plaster workshop, as well as other interior aesthetics that can be worked into the building (niches, truth windows, custom artistry, etceteras).
Anyway, if you would like to join, please email Toby at firstname.lastname@example.org so he can be sure to send you detailed schedule and sign-up sheet for you to fill out. We look forward to hopefully seeing many of you at workshops. Food and drink (and probably some housing/camping options) will be provided. We can promise that you will have fun, be busy and you will learn A LOT about Eco building!!