Comments from Participants

Workshop Fees

Here are some comments from some of our recent workshop participants and students:

Mongarlowe January 2012 Custom Workshop

Day 1 of the Mongarlowe Workshop

I found your workshop to be informative, fun, educational, motivating and inspirational.  I work in the field of adult education so I can say the following with a measure of experience.  Susan’s passion for the working medium – straw – and her knowledge on all things related to this material, bubbled forth on a minute by minute basis over the five days.  This enabled the working team to be well guided in the construction of the client’s house.  As for John – what can I say – he is clearly the hammer to Susan’s anvil – or perhaps vice versa!  It was a pleasure to be taught by John – he is extremely patient and his surety of knowledge surrounding the mechanical and structural aspects of building a straw bale house is nothing short of amazing.  Nothing was a problem and even errors were opportunities to learn and grow.  It was a pleasure learning from him.  Thank you both and I look forward to a long association with you and your business – Huff and Puff Construction.

Cheers David

What an adenture!  I am so very thrilled with the outcome of the workshop.  My little dream home is well on the way to becoming a reality.  John and Susan truly passionate, highly experienced and a lot of fun.  Thank you and of course a huge thank you to the “mighty Quinn”.


Alice (our patient client).


Day 5 of the Mongarlowe Workshop


Ganmain  October 2011 Home Workshop

External Progress

Fantastic workshop, I think that I now have got the skills and knowledge to my own build and to plan a house.  Thanks for the hospitality and the ideas especially that a home does not have to be a single large building.


Having a wonderful time wish I was still there!!  Learned lots of great stuff met lots of wonderful people and the rendering is heaps of fun,  Thanks very much for everything.  I want to come back soon.


Earthen rendering at this workshop well done everyone



Trafalgar August 2011 Custom Workshop


“Thanks so much for a wonderful time at Trafalgar. I learnt so much and have absolutley been inspired. I am now more determined than ever to build in straw thanks to both of you.  I hope all goes well for you in Africa and I am sure we will be in contact as time and projects move on”.


“I have read all the books, dreamed all the dreams “Hands ON” beats everything!  See the reality! Fabulous!”


“Thanks so much for sharing your knowledge in such a wonderful way.  Have learnt heaps well done!”



Kangaroo Valley July 2011 Custom Workshop

“Read many books about straw bale, seen many pictures and heard lots of people talk about it.  But nothing really can compare with the hands on experience!  Thank you for the experience I will definitely love to be involved with any future projects”


“Thanks for your knowledge and hospitality and for showing us that we might actually be able to pull this off!  It was good to be doing something so different to what we normally do.  Thanks and best wishes”.


Walcha July 2011 Custom Workshop


“Thank you for being so generous with your time, knowledge and hospitality.  I came with lots of questions and most were answered but I am sure I will have more, brilliant three days”.


“I came with many questions and left with many answers.  Not only that your attitude, understanding and sense of humour made this week worth the drive.  Thank you for the time and your encourgament hade a fantastic time”.


Easter April 2011 Ganmain.

“Thank you for introducing us to Ganmain and to straw bale building.  It was a fantastic holiday.  The kids had a ball and I couldn’t think of a better place to turn 40”.

Gordon and Tracie, Lucinda, Alexander and Tara.

“What a simple way of life.  Very sophisticated and functional. Glad to be introduced to this building style.  Lovely people lovely group.”

Katherine, Mathew and Sheannon.

“Our dream is to build a straw bale home and you have now given us the confidence and know how to go forward with that dream.  John and Susan you are wonderful hosts.  Love your home Love “Jessie”.”

Marshall and Glenda

“A workshop on straw bale building with a vignette on earthan floors?  Sounded like a good investment of my time.  It has been.  What I did not expect was the depth and breadth of information and more surprising the rich transformational experience this has been.  I have expanded on all levels.  What a joy!”

Maggie and Bee.

“I am so inspired by what I have learnt here I cannot wait to get cracking!.  This is exactly the sort of building material we need to lower our foot print on the earth.  Take care and I hope we stay in touch.”


Lardner March 2011 Custom Workshop.

Day 1 Begins
Day 5 Ends!

“Within half an hour of starting we had already begun to build the walls of Andy and Kim’s new home.  Brilliant feeling and one of the best things that I have ever done.  Thanks so much!”


“Thank you for an amazing hands on course.  It was very special to be party of the process and see and try everything first hand.  I will certainly have very positive memories of this experience.  My wife and I are looking to buy land to build on and straw bale is our first choice.  Thanks again for everything. “


“Thanks so much for all your help and knowledge.  It was totally fantastic.  I enjoyed every day and have learnt so much.  Both of you are amazing people.  I wish that I could spend more time with you.”


Snake Gulley February 2011 Custom Workshop.

“Thank you so much for the course!  I have really enjoyed my time here and learnt a great deal.  All the finer points I wasn’t too sure about were covered and you always had the time to explain things clearly.  I now feel confident in building my own house and permanent paradise.  You guys really work well together to create a fantastic learning environment with differing styles and opinions and always remain upbeat and fun.  All the best for the future.”


“Thank you very much for a most enjoyable experience.  I would highly recommend the workshop for both would be owner builders and also desk bound executives who need to experience a different part of their brain! All the very best for the future.”


“Thanks John and Sue so much for all your great help.  I never thought that I would see the day that my home would be standing.  My heart is so happy.  I will send more photos asap.”


Kangaroo Valley November 2010 Custom Workshop.

“Finally putting the dream into action, a wonderful experience working with others with a passion and a vision for the future.”

Jamie .

“The straw bale house called to me.  I wondered how on the earth am I going to build this house?  I started looking on the Internet, and lo & behold, I found Huff ‘n’ Puff Constructions, and even more exiting you offered courses.  This course has given me the confidence that you can do this.  Thank you for helping me follow my sacred contract.”


“Congratulations!  have learned more than strawbale construction from the great people on this course and from the two of you.  It’s been more fun than I expected.  Thank you so much for the work you are doing, it’s been a blast”.


Bungendore October Labour Day Weekend 2010.

“YES I CAN!  Thanks for breathing life back into my dream.  Thank you for your generosity of spirit and your joy in sharing”


“I started my week rushed, stressed and disheartened.  These few days have provided me with a new vigour to follow our dream.  Thank you so much for a wonderful learning experience and for the chance to linger with like minded folk.  Kind regards from a future straw baler!”


“Thanks for the experience and challenges; very much enjoyed learning from my mistakes and fixing them.  I have been looking forward to aquiring straw bale building skills for a long time.  Many thanks”.


September Ganmain 2010.

“The benefit of doing the course was the hands on learning, being able to problem solve and having Susan and John  as such a valuable resource.”


“Loved the experience.  The whole team was great a really friendly bunch of people.  Susan and John made us all feel really welcome.  Great healthy food and Susan is a great cook.  We learnt heaps and will be doing IT!”


“Five days of learning, great theory, hands on work, tough questions answered, worthwhile!  I’m serious about my house so this course was priceless!” Nathan. “Thank you so much for leting us into your life and house (s) and showing us the world of straw bale building and giving us skills and practices, AND showing us such great friendly, funny and wise company.  It’s been great!”


“John and Susan you are an inspiration, as people, as environmentalists, as members of your local, national and international communities.  The workshop in Ganmain was a terrific introduction into sustainable, accessible, beautiful homes that are on display as works in progress and as living spaces.  I am eternally grateful for your hospitality, your generosity and the inspiration and skill to build a home for my family.  Thank you and please contact me if I can assist you in anyway”.


Repton August 2010 Custom Workshop.

“Hi John and Susan We just wanted to thank you both for everything you taught us at the Repton strawbale workshop in August. We had a great time and learnt heaps of new skills. But probably the most important thing you taught us was that we can do it! We were pretty sure strawbale was for us before the course, and now after the course, we are confident, motivated and excited to get started on our new home. Your teaching styles compliment each other perfectly, ensuring all learning styles are catered for. And it’s great to get a male and female perspective – your strength is in your differences! Even when you disagreed it was obvious both ways would work and it was a great example of how many options are available to do the same job! Thank you both so much for your time, and we look forward to sending you some photos of our strawbale journey!” Kind regards

Karen and Kevin

Castlemaine Queen’s Birthday Weekend 2010.

“Where else would you learn how to build in 5 days your own house!  Thank you so much John and Susan for sharing your years of experience in straw bale building.  I look forward to sending you a photo or two of our own straw bale home.”


“Great course, filled in a lot of the gaps as I am about to lodge my development application for my straw bale home.  Enjoyed the hospitaity afterwards”.


Ganmain Easter 2010.

“Thank you so much for a wonderful weekend.  You have given me so much information and so much to think about.”


“It was fun and funky!  My jeans have had a great render makover!  Thanks a heap for the course”.


Ganmain 26 January 2010.

“New decade, new workshop, great experience.  Fantastic hospitality and I am inspired to build natural.”


” Fantastic course had a great time learning and getting hands on experience, enjoyed the relaxed atmosphere and wonderful hospitality.  Thanks Susan and John, it’s been enormously beneficial to see the home that you have created.”


“Great course, learned a lot in a short time as well as meeting a bunch of great people.  Thanks Susan and John for making our time special.  I am ready to build a straw bale home with my son and this was a doubly special time.”


“I drove from Hobart to Ganmain to learn from the best!  This has been a fantastic course which has taught me that I can do anything.  Thank you Susan and John for making this possible.  I cannot wait to get started on my own build.”

Sandra Hobart Tasmania.