Saturday, August 12, 2006

Bale ON

According to many Maritimers, Ontario is equivalent to the Gates of Hell, especially Toronto. "Ah, he's from the centre of the universe," we joke when we find someone from away. "You know, Onterrible."

I feel compelled to come to ON's defense b.c I'm impressed by the level of organization I'm seeing in their straw bale community (plus Dave's from ON). Check out the lastest newsletter from the Ontario Straw Bale Builders Coalition (OSBBC). Each year, this group organizes tours of straw bale homes in various regions in ON, and they co-operatively advertise tonnes of professional development opportunities. There are even formal college programs to learn natural building techniques. ON is also hosting this year's International Straw Bale Building Conference.

There is a group of professional builders and consultants in the Maritimes and they too are working to formalize the network and to build tools like websites etc. In some ways, the Maritime group has long been ahead of peers in other provinces by experimenting with techniques that are becoming convention. Kim Thompson, our consultant was the first to build a two storey load-bearing home in Canada, I believe. She has adapted many techniques from other professionals around the world to suit our climate and available resources. More and more people are getting involved every year. As far as I know, we don't have a professional consultant in NB yet, but I suspect we will very soon. As the core group grows, I believe we'll quickly see a similar level of organization that exists in the centre of the universe - only we call this God's country.


Blogger Kara said...

I feel compelled to add a PS to this posting. I'm feeling terribly guilty about picking on Ontario. Half of our family lives there and we quite like it. Forgive me for the sharpish jesting. You can fire away on the lazy, beer drinking, mud-bogging, sense-of-entitlement Maritime jokes any time....

11:51 AM  

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