…so we’ve been outside catching up on some work.
I’ve been gardening & prettying up the goats after the shearing. We sold one goat on Sunday to a Vet who lives in Nantes and three more this morning to a lady who lives about an hour from here. She’s just sent me a photo of her goats in situ and their accommodation is a palace compared to here! They looked relaxed and happy and I’m sure they’ll be looked after.
Getting on with the garden’s a real priority, we’re very late this year and I think for the first time in ages I’m not going to be able to grow our plants all from seed. All the beds are ready for planting, but that was thanks to the mulch put on last year and the chickens scratching the earth and nothing at all to do with me. One of the best things about permaculture is you can leave nature to do her work while you get on with yours.
We’ve also been working on the house all week, mostly Fabrice alone, because the bricks are heavy and I find it difficult to get them up higher than my shoulders.
We’re going to build a Russian stove (Or a Rocket mass stove) in the main room, hence the long delay in getting the bricks up. I want a clean, warm room and the closed stove should reduce the amount of dust in the house and heat it without having to go out a lot to get wood.
It’s amazingly dusty in the “phase 1” house at the moment from the fire, woodstove, building and the clay all around our building site. The four dogs never wipe their feet either.
The house extension is advancing slowly but surely. This upright beam had to have it’s own foundation, next to the foundation for the stove. In this photo, Fabrice is taking the shuttering off the big upright beam which was poured last week.
In this photo the shuttering is being prepared for pouring the main cross-beam. We wanted to be able to see through the length of the whole downstairs room, so we need to build a very solid structure to house a mass heater which we haven’t designed yet and support the two floors in the tower.
Everything went according to plan, nothing moved. So far so good.
Once the structure is solid – in about three week’s time – we can start going higher so that we can get the roof on the single storey part and start working on the inside – even if it rains. That way we’ll save a lot of time and be a lot more cheerful !
Please leave me a discrete message if I get really boring about all this building stuff…