So what do you do when you need to build a shelter for an upcoming course, at very low cost? You call in Shane, and a couple of interns, and send them out around the farm to gather materials and get building.
I thought we’d be gathering already milled timber, but oh how I was wrong, and oh how I was excited. We headed out to the wooded area and assessed the area for suitable trees! That’s right, we got to cut down trees to make the posts for our ‘building’. The trees there are young and crowded so they could do with a clearing out to enhance the growth of the remaining ones. Shane located some ‘yellow box’ eucalypts approximately 20cm in diameter and cut them down. Ashley and I then spent a good 30 mins hitting the fallen trees with the back of an axe, completely stripping it of it’s bark. We had to strip the bark to avoid compromising the post hole when the bark rotted, and it had to be done quickly or it became near impossible to get off. I was blown away both by the ease at which the bark came away from the trunk and the colour of the inner bark, the brighest yellow I have ever seen.
Next we had to get the auger and drill some holes, Shane makes removing the excess dirt look easy, it wasn’t! Ashley and I were getting 3 grains of sand to Shane’s 200000. He says you get better with practce, here’s hoping. The packing in of the dirt with the crowbar was the easy bit. I was once again amazed at how little dirt was required to hold the poles in place.
We also grabbed some old recylced hardwood and iron from around the farm and gave the structure some stability and a roof.
In no time at all and for very little money we have the perfect shelter for all our biofertiliser needs. And in true permaculture style, it will double as the place to store rubbish bins and non compostable wastes!
I can’t wait to get home and build one for the caravan, for storage and for water harvesting!