ある家族のパーマカルチャー的自然調和への冒険


by guibi

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Coming together...


It's been hot. Bloody hot! Working out there in the middle of the day is impossible, so we've kind of gone Mediterranean... maybe nocturnal would be closer to the truth. Work starts at sun-up, usually between 5~5:30am, then we knock off at 10 or 11. If there's stuff to be bought from the builders' merchant or some such, we head off and do that in the middle of the day or just chill out (figuratively speaking, 'melt out' would be more accurate) over a slow lunch. Once the site is back in the shade, between 4 and 5pm, we head back to finish off and tidy up. Usually knocking it on the head just before sundown. Not such a hard schedule, but hey, we're not on any particular schedule... actually, having said that, I've kind of gone and created an artificial deadline and battle plan for the next two months, culminating in a "Forest Garden Tree Planting and Solar Array Building Work Party" in solidarity with the 350.org inspired Global Work Party on Oct 10th. Oops!

So, where are we at? Firstly, a new face. Iain will be wintering with us and helping out around the place. He has spent most of the last year down in Kyuushu and has moved up to Honshu recently to look for a plot of his own. Hopefully, while staying with us, he'll be able to find something suitable in the vicinity. Talk of an Okayama based 'Intentional Community' has been bandied around for quite a while now, and who knows, this might be the start of something along those lines.



We've finally finished the foundations for the shed/garage that Kazumi & I have been building in the N.W corner of the plot. Horrible job in this weather. Fiddly as hell too what with the slope and all. Hopefully Iain and I can make short work of getting the framing and cladding up and done with in the next couple of weeks because then we really have to start getting the Yurt foundations done. The Yurt will ship on the 22nd of this month, arriving in Osaka on or around the 8th of September. Theoretically that'll give us 3 weeks or so to get it up and ready-ish for the Oct 10th do. The compost toilets have already arrived and are cluttering up the hall in Kawanishi, along with all the stuff that's destined to be put in the shed once it's done (generator etc). Kazumi and I bought ten Sharp 120W solar modules yesterday. They're 5 years old and 2nd hand, but polycrystalline so relatively long lasting (30yrs) as PV modules go. We paid a very reasonable price for them and considering that we can count on 4 hours of sunlight a day almost all year round in Okayama (Japan's 4th sunniest prefecture!), we should be able to get somewhere around 3kWh a day out of them on average. Hopefully more than enough.
One thing that has been knocking around my head the last few days is "Where the hell are we going to put them all?" I'm thinking now that maybe we'll end up having them on the bank, though I'd have liked to plant that over with stuff that'll bind the thing together a bit more than it is. Maybe we can do a bit of both... Have to think about it.

Kazumi's bathroom goodies are also on their way, apparently. We've ordered a shower unit that, to be honest, looks more like a shower room to me! Hope I can get the water pressure up. This yurt is going to be so well kitted out that I doubt we'll want to move out of it, even if the real house gets finished ahead of schedule! (very unlikely, I should add).

Other things that have kept us busy. Weeds. Now, I know they say that there are no such things as weeds, that all plants have a use. Well, the only use I can think of for these is cutting down and mulching/composting. A very important role, I know, and it's good to have a limitless supply of compost... really it is. Anyway, I've started mulching large areas of the lower field with old cardboard boxes in an attempt to:
a) add some organic matter to the soil, which seems to need it, and
b) suppress new weeds from springing up where Kazumi is going to start her raised beds.
We'll see how that goes.

I just wish the weather would give us a break. It's been in the mid to high 30s for about a month now, and 22℃ with minimal humidity would be just perfect right now! Climate change in action? Maybe so. The media are full of stories about unstable and unusual weather nationwide, veg prices are all over the place and the count to date is 132 dead of heatstroke. It's not just Japan either. Pakistan and China are experiencing horrendous floods. Russia along with more than a dozen other countries is burning up under record highs. The World Meteorological Organization has a sobering news item up at the moment titled: "Unprecedented sequence of extreme weather events.", and the next item on their news page sounds even more ominous: "Scientists projected an increase in intensity and frequency of extreme weather events". The warnings were there for all to see...
[PR]
by guibi | 2010-08-17 14:36 | Early days:初めは

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全体
About Us:私達について
Early days:初めは
Forest Garden:食べる森
Lower Field:下の畑
Yurt:ゲル
Other Work:その他の作業
People:人々
Permaculture
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