About Us

Photo of the Harvest Homes straw-bale team

About Us

The seed from which we sprouted…

Ben Polley started Harvest Homes back in 2000 by after having apprenticed in straw bale building techniques with industry pioneers Chris Magwood, Pete Mack and Tina Therrien. From humble beginnings as a straw bale wall system and natural plaster contractor, Ben’s company has grown over the years and become a group of environmentally friendly construction companies collectively known as Evolve Builders Group.

As the businesses grew and developed, Harvest Homes – now a just a division of Evolve Builders Group – has remained a grass-roots straw bale wall system and plaster contractor servicing owner-builders as well as Evolve’s turn-key clients throughout Cottage Country and Southwestern Ontario, Canada.

Today one of the seasoned veterans of the Ontario straw bale building industry, Harvest Homes has built or contributed to more than 60 straw bale structures of all shapes and sizes. Along the way we have gathered one of the most gifted and experienced alternative building crews in Canada.

Our core team includes:

Ben Polley is an award winning business manager and founder of Harvest Homes. With over 16 years of estimating experience – including 12 in alternative construction – Ben is also our cost-benefit guru. He participates in the design and estimating phase of new straw bale projects in order to identify savings opportunities and deliver the best value on every project. More valuable today in the office than in the field, Ben prides himself on having physically performed virtually every task of which the company is capable and still tries to sneak in a trip here and there to keep his skills fresh. A popular speaker at colleges, universities and industry events, and regular feature in green building media, Ben will often be your first point of contact when discussing your future plans.

Dan Indoe is our lead hand with construction experience spanning from the ordinary to exquisite timber frames and having once owned his own design business, Dan Indoe decided later in his career to devote himself to finer things and returned to school. Graduating at the top of his class in Interior Design, Dan now manages the straw bale infill on most Harvest Homes projects. His acquired eye for detail is put to perfect use for artistic flourishes including reliefs, niches, curves and benches, all formed of straw. Dan also oversees bale raisings for home-owner builds, performs site consultations for key straw and plaster preparation details and generally lives and breathes straw.

Winter Harbinson is our lead hand who is a natural building enthusiast with interests in straw bale and cob construction, and a side order of treehouse building. She is a graduate of Georgian’s Architectural Technology program and is actively involved with groups dedicated to researching and implementing alternative and natural building practices. With her excellent leadership/motivational skills, Winter is able to keep projects moving forward smoothly and is in demand for all elements related to straw projects.Additional interests include earthen floors/earthen plasters and is honing her skills as one of our finishers on our tightly integrated plastering team.

Darryl Stevenson (bio coming soon)

Awards and Badges

  • Canadian Contractor Magazine Outstanding Renovator and Custom Home Builder
  • Minister’s Award for Environmental Excellence
  • Thorneloe University Mitre Award for Fostering Ideals of Excellence, Justice, Authenticity
  • TreeHugger Worldwide Top 10 in Green Architecture Award for K-House Project
  • Duravit Designer Dream Bathroom Award – 1st Prize Awarded to Nicolas Koff for K-House
  • Architectural Conservancy of Ontario (ACO) Gordon Couling Heritage Award for Heritage Makeover
  • Home Sweet Home Environmental Building and Design Competition Rudd Residence
  • Canadian Contractor Magazine Outstanding Renovator and Custom Home Builder