Sunday, 17 July 2011

First steps

We've never lived somewhere we're free to build and dig and adapt so much, so this is a really exciting moment for us and we'd really like to move over there and start work as soon as possible. There are a few things that need to be sorted out first though:
  1. We're about to put just a little bit more than all the rest of our savings to secure the property... We've found a run-down property in a beautiful setting, in the right location for us, that we can just afford with the help of our families. We're really happy that we may be mortgage and rent free, but we don't know about the finances of this sort of thing, paid employment in this part of Poland is scarce and not well remunerated and we're going to be reliant on putting our own labour into developing it. We do need to stay in the UK for a while to generate some more working capital (and that's not counting moving costs even).

  2. We need insulation, a new roof, a toilet, maybe indoor running water... The roof space looks dry inside, but I could see that because of the light coming through the gaps... We always dreamed of building a straw bale house, and we were a bit confused when we found this place about how to realise our dream. Considering the state of the interior and the roof we thought about demolishing it down to the foundations and re-building with straw bales, but our friends at Old Sleningford Farm pointed out that the walls are sound, and we should more simply build straw-bale insulation around the outside. That makes it easier and more affordable, but there's still lots of work to do inside and out...

  3. We need to start growing food... The previous owners didn't even have a vegetable patch - rare in this area. The existing small orchard is tired and old. Much of the land is covered with densely planted young birch trees. Much of the rest is covered with grass, nettles, and other scattered small trees. We want to build the soil quality, do creative things with whatever we find on the land (trees, stones, earth, water), and use permaculture and forest gardening based approaches to be at least self-sufficient, and hopefully make some income from the land.
These are going to be the three themes of this website: getting some money together, planning the building, and getting growing on the land. Most of the posts from now on will hopefully focus on one of these aspects.

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