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County homes on Straw Bale Tour

In 2009, staff and volunteers from Prince Edward-Hastings Habitat for Humanity built the first strawbale Habitat house in Canada in Picton, Ontario. Story Producer: Janet Elson. Camera/editor: Barry Silverthorn

Prince Edward County homes will be prominent during the sixth annual Straw Bale House Tour hosted by the Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition Sunday, May 16 from 10 a.m-4 p.m.

Tina Therrien of Camel's Back Straw Bale Construction Company ( instructs Habitat for Humanity volunteers at the Barker Street Picton site, on how to install the straw bales.

The Ontario Straw Bale Building Coalition (OSBBC), is a growing advocacy, research and educational not-for-profit organization that has been helping to build the acceptance of straw bale buildings in Ontario for almost a decade. The OSBBC believes in the need for a movement toward a more environmentally responsible built environment because buildings contribute to about 40 per cent of all carbon dioxide emissions and 70 per cent of electricity consumption.
The tour takes place across Ontario, from Ottawa to Windsor, and gives community members an opportunity to see inside some of these unique and sometimes curious structures.
Featured in the county are:
Stanners’ Vineyard, 76 Station Road Hillier
Habitat for Humanity Home: Barker St., Picton
Owl Farm Studio; 2603 Victoria Rd.
and Les & Gwen Hoover/MacDonald, 2377 County Road 15
Straw-bale building has grown from obscurity to public prominence in the past decade.  The idea of durable, super-insulated and beautiful homes with remarkable environmental benefits that cost no more than conventional construction is attractive to families looking for alternatives in the housing market.
Chris Magwood, author, educator and bale activist, says, “For the same costs as typical homes and buildings, it is possible right now to create similar spaces from environmentally sound materials and to lower energy consumption dramatically. This tour is the perfect opportunity to see how homeowners from across the province are making these ideas a reality.”
The cost of the tour is $10 per person and gains you admission to as many houses as you wish, or you can purchase a membership in the OSBBC which gives you free admission to all the houses on the tour plus the other numerous benefits of membership in the OSBBC.
A province wide map are available at
For more information regarding the tour or the OSBBC contact: Frank Tettemer at 1-877-872-9225, email  or go to

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