Meet Our Straw Farmer, Dave Swinger

photoAbout Dave Swinger:

I was born and raised in west/central Ohio. I had worked on farms while in high school but had fallen in love with the wide open spaces of the west. I escaped in 1971 and I worked on farms and ranches in Wyo. Nev., and Colo. I landed in Eastern Utah and the Moab area in ’75 and cowboyed at the Dugout Ranch, La Sal Livestock, and Taylor Ranches before heading back to Colo. Most ranching jobs then paid little but demanded most of your time, so I went back to school and earned my teaching certificate. I taught 4th and 5th grade in Grand Junction for 21 years while working my own farm and cowboying for others. I retired from the teaching part in 2012 but still farm and ranch. I had built my own conventional house years ago but fell in love with the beauty and idea of building with straw. Building with straw seemed like a perfect fit since I had all of the equipment. During our research and visits looking at various strawbale homes, my wife and partner, Lisa, and I connected with Community Rebuilds at one of their open houses last year.

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Because of permit issues with a strawbale house and the ensuing time delay on my own home, I happened to have straw that Community Rebuilds needed for their projects. All of the our building delays in the last year have truly been a blessing in disguise though. One of the game changers was getting to visit with Chris Magwood while he was here this last Spring. I decided to forego the post and beam with notched bales and use a variation of Chris’s “panel system” for my own home. I drew up all of the details of how I would build them and the engineer signed off this week!! As I write this, my permit is under review at the county and I expect to be legally building soon. I start baling new straw in mid-July and our walls and roof will happen then. Yaahooo! Thanks to Community Rebuilds, Lisa and I have connected with lots of wonderful people. Our experience with folks in the strawbale housing niche has been that everyone is willing to share ideas, their building experiences, and their knowledge.photo 2

Comments
One Response to “Meet Our Straw Farmer, Dave Swinger”
  1. Kerry Marler says:

    Amazing sustainable and affordable housing! Really a treat to see this Dave Swinger. Kudos to you and your beautiful wife! Kerry from Durango way back in the 70’s

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