Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Buddleia garden sticks

Now is a good time to prune buddleia bushes and as a bonus the prunings make great garden canes for next year.
On another topic;  We have had a very nice feature about EcoDIY in the Essex Gazette see http://www.ecodiy.org/gazette%20article.pdf  (its a Pdf download)

Sunday, November 20, 2011

Holey apples batman

Here is our wwoofer Charlotte making apple rings for drying.  The rings are dried on canes and racks by the wood stove or in the solar drier
The rings make great snacks and additions to cakes etc.

Thursday, November 17, 2011

A new solar PV system for the workshop

The roofers fitting the PV rails to our oak stringers

The completed 16 PV panels
Yesterday was an epic day here as the new 4kw solar PV panels arrived.  We had already spent a week digging a half meter deep trench to take 45meters of heavy armoured mains cable and a network cable from the workshop to the house - the dry clay we had to dig out was like concrete!
Steve and Fraser digging the trench

Then we fitted the stringers to the galvanised workshop roof which we had cut from one of the oak trees cut in our woodland.
Chris and Steve fitting the oak stringers
We are hoping to log the performance of the system by PC using the network cable.  Watch this space for reports.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Insulating our floor - a tough job completed

Yippee!!  we have just finished insulating our floor with recycled insulation (with Steve's help)
This was probably the hardest job I have ever had to do! it involved crawling under our house fitting the insulation offcuts which we had cut to fit between the rafters under the floor.   Dark, dirty and cramped, in the course of the work we had to slide over , under and round the sewer pipes, plumbing and gas pipes (without damaging them).  The pay-off is that as well as a warmer house I now have a garage and workshop which can be used for more productive things than storing the insulation - celebration time!!
Cutting the insulation to the spacing of the rafters. 

Disappearing under the floor

We cut a hole in our office floor!