For your information I have lived on farms, worked on dairies milking cows, grown crops, rescued horses, raised chickens, grown Christmas trees, AND BUILT COB! I find it odd the way so many people on the net just ASSUME they know something about people that they have never even spoken to one on one. I have had good experiences with cob. Apparently you are not mixing the right amount of straw, clay and sand or it wouldn't "flop around" and it's not a project you rush at. It's more of a calm patient project. People that are all about rushing things should not attempt country living. It takes patience to deal with natural things like animals, plants, and COB! As for the straw, I have a neighbor that ended up practically giving away hundreds of bales of straw last spring so if you know how to find it you can get it really cheap.