Saturday, May 18, 2013

Busy times...

So much happening here at the moment... This is Azzi who is building the new straw bale toilet and shower block with us. It's been designed with a timber frame as, wonderful as straw is as an insulator, it's not load bearing so you still need a frame of some kind to hold the roof, doors, windows and everything else together. It's been great fun working with Azzi who is a kindred spirit and fellow rebel against all the stupidity of the consumerist, corpocratic nonsense we find ourselves in. He's built himself a beautiful house at Sychpwll using straw bales with a frame of poles in the round and mostly reclaimed materials, all for less than £3,000. We were going to be holding a straw bale building course this weekend but it's been postponed because of the weather. I do hope that we don't have another wet year like 2012...
Azzi on the frame for the straw bale toilet block

Lovely to see the blossom coming out in the orchard
Up until the last week or so the weather has been wonderful here, warm and sunny, so good after the long cold, wet, muddy, challenging winter. One big plus of living and working out in the sticks is that we're getting more and more in tune with the landscape around us, and noticing the day to day changes in the trees and flowers.  There's continuous bird song too from about 4.30 am. I couldn't begin to tell you what all the birds are, yet more ancient lore to re-learn.

Ruth planting tatties in a corner of the pig field - a big first step
Ruth and I have taken over part of one of the fields for more veg growing for food for all of us on the farm, for ingredients for the farm's pie business and to help feed the pigs. It's a bigger step than it might seem, taking land that a few years ago would generally have been ploughed and cropped in modern agribiz style and starting to treat it in a permaculture, sustainable way.
Starting some no dig operations in the same field

The rest of the field has been ploughed up and sown with barley to feed the pigs - our transitional corner is to the left of the photo in the same field

Finally the yurt - it's about five years since I started making it back down in Brighton and it's mostly been stored away either at Lammas or in the barn here, so it's brilliant to see it up at last nestling amongst the trees. Having the extra space means we can at last start sorting out our stuff and begin work on getting the caravan ready for next winter, Ruth and I are determined to be better prepared this time.

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