Sunday, November 21, 2010

building progress

Slow progress is being made on our house.  We had a big day last week with friends and family to help us to get 4m of concrete into our pier footings by wheelbarrow.  It was hard work, as the night before we got a heavy downpour, which turned the site into mud.  It didn't take too long to get done, and everything went smoothly.

We have since recieved the first load of our timber for the house, and have been working out how to manouvre it around (its very heavy!), and how we will get the posts and beams up into position.  Feeling more confident about this after a bit of a practice go.

we are pretty excited by our timber!

Although I am going to keep posting here about the house building progress, I have started another blog where I will go into more detail about each step of the way, as well as post informative articles and information on sustainable building, strawbale building etc.  I will be posting lots more photos on that blog of the whole process.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Grass, grass and more grass!

We have been having excellent growing weather this spring.  Lots of rain, followed by warm weather, then rain again and so on.  This means that the grass is really growing (far too quickly for our small herd of grazers).  At this rate you wont see the animals (let alone the kids) as the grass will be taller!

In time our herd will grow, and diversify, but for now we have to manage the overabundance of grass.  The scythes have been getting a good workout, and my technique is improving so much.  Its amazing how easy it can be to cut grass with a scythe, its almost effortless (although I wouldn't try and mow a few acres at a time!).  Its more like fun than work.

This year we will try and dry and store some of the cut grass as loose leaf hay.  We don't have a huge need for hay in the winter - our weather is mild enough that we don't have to keep animals housed, and the grass still grows a bit during the winter.  This year its all about experimenting with technique and dryness of the grass, I think next year we will be more serious about it.

The vegetable seedlings in the garden have been growing strongly.  We have fenced off another part of the garden to keep out the goats and chooks.  Much better now.

On a sad note, we have been having some trouble with foxes lately.  A few of our 'friends' have now been lost.  Disappointing and frustrating, as the attacks have happened during the day, and while we have been home.  Broad daylight, with a dog and active children running around....  The fox is bold. 

Sunday, November 7, 2010

And we're off!

We are now officially started on the house!  Two days of earthworks (with another day, at least, to go), has seen the house site levelled, drainage put in, and lots of shaping of the land up from the house. 

Day one was a very busy day, with Brad helping out with getting the levels right.  It was quite a sunny day, and we all got a little sunburnt (well atually, just the adults, the kids somehow managed to avoid it). 

 Holes are marked and will be drilled ready for concreting in the stirrups shown in the last post.  That will be an interesting day, with lots of 'I owe yous' to our helpers who will help us barrow about 3 cubic meters of concrete into 20 holes.  Should be fun! 

Our little boy LOVED all the digging - he could have sat there all day watching!