As early as 1990, Out On Bale was a central repository of the dynamically expanding (exploding would be more apt at times) storehouse of practical knowledge and information about strawbale construction. We could no longer distribute the knowledge we held in our heads, in piles on our desks, and in our bulging filing cabinets to all the people who wanted and deserved access to it. By 1992, when we decided to begin The Last Straw, it was a combination of desperation (to loosen the logjam of good information and widely distribute it) and passion (to include and inspire the growing international straw-bale community to full participation in the collection and distribution of information) that overcame our fears of adding more work to an already overwhelming schedule. We founded The Last Straw journal because the strawbale revival needed an international community center for its far-flung pioneers to connect and communicate with one another, and we needed to collect in one place the ever growing wealth of information about how and why to build with bales.
The Last Straw has accomplished all those things: stories from the diversity of pioneers who came on board from all over the globe; their fascinating and loving stories; their detailed building tips, their work with testing, code and insurance challenges. It is a wealth of information. It is a magical story of how a simple, earth-friendly building method called strawbale construction found and transformed its messengers all along the way, and how the messengers revived and transformed straw-bale construction as a building method. Now, finally, a long-held dream of ours has come true; a thorough selection of all that wealth of information is available, catalogued, indexed and cross-referenced, in a CD-Rom. Dreams don’t come true without hard work and dedication, and we all owe a deep bow to Joyce Coppinger and the Green Prairie Foundation for Sustainability, for making this wonderful new resource available to us.
Judy Knox and Matts Myhrman
Out On Bale
About this CD:The first 40 issues (1993 through 2003) of The Last Straw Journal are included on this CD in a fully indexed and searchable format. The early issues of the journal were not created with the same software as we use today and some of the content was not saved or was lost over time. We have attempted to recreate these issues in their entirety, however, some information or photographs may be missing. We have not included resource guide listings as they are now out of date and have been replaced by the current resource guide available in print or online versions. A special thanks goes out to those who worked hard to make this CD possible, including Joyce Coppinger, Satomi Lander, Chris Magwood, Julie Bowen, Joshua Pierce, Tina Therrien, Dave Wilson and Margaret Tilling. Hard copy versions of all issues are still available if you want to have the original content. Visit the TLS web site www.thelaststraw.org for a complete list of issues and the articles from all issues along with order information and forms.