If you’re interested in volunteering somewhere where you can just get on with a project of your own choosing, cook your own food, and have a comfortable place to sleep and generally be in a relaxed environment then this could be a place you can appreciate. All I ask is that you choose a project that you honestly feel you’re capable of carrying out diligently and commit yourself to volunteering with enough time to complete the chosen task, Some projects will take longer than others so this must be taken into account.
I’ve broken the tasks down into categories such as ‘Building & Construction’, ‘Planting & Gardening’, ‘Artistic & Creative’, so that it’s a bit easier for you to find the kinds of things you’d like to do.
Note: Approval of some of these projects is pending on available funds. They are listed in order of priority.
Building / Construction
Outdoor Kitchen – The main frame for the outdoor kitchen has been built. I was unable to continue further due to lack of funds. The next steps are to treat the wood and put on the battons and tiles (along with a sky roof that was purchased at the local scrap yard). Then the wood fire pizza oven needs to be refurbished on the interior (with glass and terracotta tiles) and exterior (with a natural cob and lime finish worked in with the existing stonework). Then the finishings (pointing the stone walls with lime, finding a solution for the flooring and other bits and bobs) along with the interior furnishings (benches, sink, cupboards etc) will need to be built and added. A reed bed grey water treatment system for filtering and cleaning the water will also be a part of this installation – water that will be used for either a duck pond system or a greenhouse irrigation system.
Animal Barn – Behind the main barn there is an enclosed area where chickens, sheep, goats will be sheltered and homed. Inside this area a wooden frame animal shed needs to be built. It will be a wooden lean to construction built with a round wood frame, stone walls and (recycled) tile roof. The floor area has been cleaned and dug out and a rock base has been added on top and compacted. This rock base will need a layer of concrete or lime-crete to be applied prior to building going ahead. Someone with some building experience would be great to help with on this project.
Chicken & Duck Dome – This 5m dome has been built from steel tubing that came to a total cost of 150 euros. It was erected on a terrace that will be a fenced terrace dedicated to chickens, ducks and geese, with a pond fed by reed bed cleaned grey water from the outdoor kitchen that is currently being built. The dome needs to be a made into secure lodging for chickens to protect them against predators as well as the elements. The blocks underneath the base need to be filled with mortar and the base anchored to it. Chicken wiring around the main frame and the sides could potentially also have straw bales stacked up perhaps 3 high for extra protection from elements from the side. I’d like to build a roof over the top most part of the dome, with wood framing and an internal shelving system hanging down from that, with special pegs along which the chickens can climb up to get to various heights of roosts made available.
Carvan Refurbishment – There are two caravans that need refurbishing. One of them needs complete gutting and starting from scratch. We’d need to go through a design process first for this one but then all the wood and tools would be provided for the right person. The other caravan is a smaller caravan that I’d like to just do some fix ups and accessories with practical solutions. I really need someone who is creative with respects to finding building solutions from limited stock of second hand material (see Barn Storage photo below) and someone who feels competent at building things in a solid way so that they last.
Stone Sauna Shower – The idea is to make a stone shower block, with a bailerina boiler or wood burner in it to effectively make it into a stone sauna shower unit for winter showering. So far the base, the drainage and most of the stone wall up to mid height has been built but the rest needs to be built up and over. The roofing is still undecided as to how it will be done, whether completely stone, rounded dome, or just a wooden roof of some sort. I am also open to ferrous cement options which I believe could come out quite nice if done right.
Long drop toilet – A long drop toilet with a great view. Needs to be built as a dual vault system. The foto you are looking at is from a height of over 3 metres where the entry will be connected by a bridge/platform. The base of the tower will be built out of lime/sand bags (200 potato sacks have been purchased and ready) that will also be mixed with aerated clay pellets. The foundation has been built, but the lime needs to be added for the base before work on the walls can start. The structure will be over 2m high and a solid floor will need to be added with two holes (for each chamber) once the walls have reached the correct height. Then from there it will be about building a wooden frame for the actual toilet room on top. I’m looking for anyone who feels they would have an aptitude and enthusiasm for this kind of project. Since it is a busy time now a lot of the work will be unsupervised, so you’ll be left to work at your own pace, but I’ll be here to provide guidance and decision making.
Planting / Gardening
Tree planting – There is a selection of trees that require planting out. A suitable spot anywhere on the land needs to be found where they can be planted out with plenty of mulch / ground cover.
Clearing terraces in preparation for food forest – I’m slowly clearing terraces and leaving large mulch piles that will eventually break down and be used for planting trees into. One strategy amongst many. The main work here though is to first clear the land. You must be as Don Quixote, see the dragons, and turn them into mulch!
Clearing second phase of vegetable growing area – The second phase of the garden regeneration project will require ripping out lots of brambles, turning over the ground and adding lots of mulch and straw and planting out lots of root vegetables and nitrogen fixers in preparation for it later becoming a productive garden bed.
ARTISTIC / CREATIVE
Caravan needs painting – The peartree caravan needs painting! Can be a combination of greens. I like green 🙂
Property signs etched and charred – I have some signs started but I need another one made up. It needs to be chiselled out and a dremel needs to be used to carve out the logo. Then the inside needs to be charred with some kind of tool that can char it (either a small blowtorch or a soldering iron).
Paper mache hives – I’d like some swarm traps to hang up in the trees for catching bee swarms during swarming time. I’ve seen some that they sell and I got the idea that perhaps they could be created from simple paper mache (newspaper and flour/water mix) using a bucket as the mould and then coating it with bees wax to make it weather proof. Here is a pic to give you an idea of what I’d be trying to create http://www.bees-on-the-net.com/use-swarm-trap/.