Monday, 31 October 2016

workaway volunteer Anna takes photos

The cosy living room is taking form ...
Under the walnut tree

Digging out stones from an old barn to use for the terrace in
front of the house ...

Edible flowers, salad and sweetcorn from the garden ..

On the way to the forest garden ....

The start of a sheet mulched area ...

More sheet mulching ...

The old barn at the bottom of the land ....

Some thriving yacon plants in the forest garden

The apple orchard

Amaranth flowers ...

One of the old torchis huts behind the sweetcorn

Part of the forest garden

Hello white cat

Saturday, 29 October 2016

In search of a scythe - crowdfunding video

Hello, this is a little crowdfunding video I made with Erin, workaway volunteer from Canada! Have fun and feel free to contribute to our campaign to raise money for some hand tools and fruit trees.:

EcoAvenir: Ecological Future with Liza Sweeting from Liza Sweeting on Vimeo.

Wednesday, 26 October 2016

straw and slip, apples and fine dining

Build That Wall!!
Maeva, a special needs teacher from Brittany, Angelina and Amy, two professional chefs from the US and myself worked on a dividing wall in the house this October - we made an earth and straw mix for the upper part and a straw and slip mix for the lower half.  This will provide some sound insulation between the two rooms upstairs at a minimal price - the straw is 3 euros a bale, the earth is free ... we just bought a few pieces of wood for the straw and slip structure.
Maeva and Angy mixing the straw and slip.

We brought the straw and slip mix
up to the room in buckets....

... built a form work and packed it in.  The boards
can be taken off after 24 hours ... Angy enjoyed
periodically saying 'build that wall' referring
humourously to Donald Trump's idea of building
a wall to keep Mexicans out of the US ....
A well earned break ....
... and some time spent watching Donald Trump
send ups.
 It's Apple Season

We had great fun trying to pick perfect apples from
the trees for storing (apples without blemishes or bruises
will store better) ... here shaking the branches and
catching the apples in a sheet ... what we really
need is that special tool with a secateur and little
bag ... one day!!

Maeva in the trees.

Some of our beautiful apples.

Placing our apples tail down into
wooden crates with egg boxes
inside so that they don't touch ...
Oh the joys of having two professional chefs in the kitchen
It was a real pleasure to have Angy and Amy here for a week - they enjoyed harvesting fresh organic produce from the land and rustled up numerous fabulous vegetarian and vegan dishes.

 Working in the Forest Garden

We spent a day in the forest garden putting down layers of cardboard followed by manure (sheet mulching to prepare land for planting next spring) as well as weeding and harvesting some food.

Maeva brought manure and levelled it over the

Amy digging out dock plants.
Under Cover Agents?

Under cover agent Amy ... with the two American girls
often dressed in black ... I did wonder if they
were special agents on an assignment to seek
out anarchist activity ....

Special agents Angelina and Amy
hitchhiking to their next assignment.

Thank you Maeva, Angy and Amy for all the fun and the amazing cooking ...

Thursday, 20 October 2016

Where does most of our food come from?

A video documenting some hard truths about our intensive food industry ...


Help ex volunteer Florencia is very concerned about the cow/meat industry and spent much of her time educating us on relevant facts and figures ... we all watched this disturbing video 'Cowspiracy' via 'streaming' ( type 'streaming cowspiracy' on google) which documents the damage done to the planet by the rearing of intensive livestock - in terms of its contribution to global warming and destruction of ecosystems - not to mention the animal rights issues ... below the short version on youtube:

The Terrace, earth floor and garden - and white cat the model

 .... September and October have been busy and productive months ....

White Cat the Artist's Model

The Terrace/Patio Project
Vera, workaway volunteer from Switzerland transporting
0/30 gravel for the foundation ...

Vera and Workaway Volunteer Florencia from Argentina
putting down sand on top of a permeable membrane ..

Vera, Florencia and architect graduate Jill placing
the first stones.

We got tired and decided to let a digger finish
preparing the rest of the patio.
Meanwhile - in the house
Elodie and Vera adding earth to the lower walls...

The Earth Floor gets a coat of boiled linseed oil

Heating the linseed oil before applying
it to the earth floor ...

Elodie preparing to paint the floor
with linseed oil ...

In the garden and kitchen

Florencia sewing a clover path in
the round garden ...

Team effort - preparing to cook with the first heritage
pumpkin of the season ...

Florencia harvesting the melons in
the greenhouse ....

Ever the diligent student - Jill starts a pressed plant
portfolio - starting with some wild edible plants
from the garden .....