There’s something about February that just makes me itch for a little getaway.  If you’ve been bit by the travel bug but are looking to stick close to home this spring, I have a fun, green recommendation.

Room to Grow Strawbale Guesthouse

Last weekend, my husband, son and I rented a guesthouse at Room To Grow farm near Turtle Mountain Provincial Park. The guesthouse is a lovely modified post-and-beam strawbale home heated with a wood fire. The cozy loft was a great place for birdwatching, horse-watching, and just plain relaxing. The cabin is set next to a quiet wooded area begging to be explored.

Room to Grow Guesthouse Loft

My intrigue with strawbale buildings began with a sustainable building design and construction course in Haliburton, Ontario in 2005. Building with strawbales can be a great way to use an agricultural waste product. Strawbales are highly insulative, and amazingly fire and pest-resistant. When covered with an earth-based plaster, the walls are also breathable, meaning better indoor air quality compared to most conventional homes. The walls can also be quite beautiful, with deep window sills and softened angles; even sculptural features can be incorporated into the walls.

Joel and Jack Ralph taking a break

Thanks to some beautiful long-weekend weather, we were able to get outside for walks, cross-country skiing, skating, and sliding! We also took a short drive down to the International Peace Gardens (no, February is not the best time to view the splendor of the gardens! I can imagine they are just stunning in summer, though), and visited the nearby town of Boissevain, MB.

If you are planning your own local ‘stay-cation’ this spring, please share your tips!