Jana at lunch break: Day 1

Jana at lunch break: Day 1

Jana Johnston – Builder

Jana is a KU grad and worked at Cielito Lindo Mexican Restaurant in downtown Lawrence, Kansas, while she built this shed. She loves Jesus and enjoys obscure languages, foreign cultures, and making things. She left for Korea July 2009, but achieved her hope to learn all she could about building with dirt before she left! She finished plastering and painting her shed project summer 2010 while home from Korea for a time.

Ben is cool :)
Ben is cool


Ben Alexander – Builder Sidekick, yay!

Ben studied at KU to be an expert in soil and growing plants, or something like that. He spent 6 months at the orphanage that I love in Paraguay helping them improve their garden and teaching some of the kids how to tend it to produce food. All to say, Ben is excited about dirt too and he was my motivating and helpful partner as I planned and began my straw bale building.


Phil and Eileen Beard
Phil and Eileen Beard

Phil and Eileen Beard – Owners

The Beards are the couple that Jana lived with in Lawrence during her post college transition. Their youngest daughter, Ellen, is close friends with Jana. Phil is an Editor at Allen Press and Eileen a kindergarten teacher. When the straw bale shed idea was proposed to them, they were pleased to have an affordable way to replace their decaying tin shed.

Thanks Phil and Eileen for supporting my project!






yay Rick

yay Rick

Rick Stone – project MVP (most valuable person-volunteer!)

Rick is married to Randy, both originally from Topeka. Rick is studying acoustical architectural engineering at KU, so he generally likes building things (thank God! hehe). I know Rick and Randy from the house church I attended my last year in Lawrence.  Rick helped me “for fun” over his Spring break and has been the #1 best asset to my sustainable construction learning project.

Thanks a ton Rick 🙂



I want to thank all the following people who helped me complete my project with much success by their presence, physical labor, food provision, sources provision, encouragement, or anything else!!

Phil and Eileen Beard, Doug and Patty Johnston, Dougie Johnston, Ben Johnston, Mario Remigio-Diaz, Adolfo Remigio-Diaz, Cousins of the Remigio-Diazs’ (sorry, don’t know names), Noe Martinez-Apolinar, Salvador and Marta Diaz and kids Salvador and AdaMary, Rick and Randy Stone, Steve Stone, Matt and Stephanie Christenot, Darren and Shannon White and daughter Noel, Rene Garcia Mata, Cheryl Simecka, Cheryl’s Mom, Nathan and Chris from Sunflower Recycling, Ben Alexander, Ben’s Mom, Becky Alexander, Ellen Beard, Molly Jensen, Tim and Cindy Jensen, Paul Kaldahl, Steven Rehmer, Katie Laird, Dave and Jessi Lueck, Jon Birney, Nathan Hensley, Aaron Robinson, and everyone else that I may not have remembered.  Thank you!

One response

2 03 2009

Great stuff. Phil and Eileen will want a straw bale home after they see their shed. I built and load tested a straw bale “StrongWall” shear wall for my senior project at Cal Poly SLO in 2000 and have researched straw bale construction over the years. There’s just not enough of this out here. Nice work.

If you haven’t had a chance to see the Eichlers’ place out north, give them a call and take a tour:

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