Saturday, 7 March 2009

In brief

The fruit season is upon us - Trev's worked for 3 weeks on the cherries, lugging them, either by hand or in a 15 ton truck. He bought around 1.5 tons home with him and helped feed the neighbours our goats, our neighbours pigs, and we managed to get a big piggy on them too.

We've had the raspberry season (which is way too brief).

We've had our best apricot season yet, loads of them fresh, in jams, pies, preserves.

A smattering of plums, peaches, our own cherries, pears and apples about to come on.

The strangest season - last year we had tomatoes by Christmas, this year they're only just starting to come on, with bushes laden with very green tomatoes. Lots of complaints from gardeners, but the zuchinni and squash going great guns, along with a huge daily harvest of beans, 250kg of potatoes, tens of kilos of peas and snowpeas (Caleb takes them to school in his lunch and the kids ask him why he's eating leaves).

Oh, yes, Caleb's back at school, the lure of the great social experiment got the better of him. The love letters being sent from one young girl asking him to come back kind of helped too. The first day at school his first ever male teacher (not counting Trev) handed them a whipper snipper (Caleb called it a whipper snapper) and asked them to pull it apart for him. He has the boys riveted, probably better than giving them a hammering.

Trev's back is out - has been for ages now, he's giving up smoking at the behest of his heart specialist (and just as I'd gone the homegrown organic route too) as he's trying to avoid having a surgical procedure called ablation performed to try remedy the now permanent Atrial Fibrillation.

The roof is going on the house, was going to be this week, but has now been put off an additional week while we wait for the roofer to be free. Trev's put up the safety mesh, and all is ready to go. It will only take a week with three of them on the job. It'll be a big step forward. Trev will be able to work regardless of the weather, which is often a big hold up.

We caved in, so far we've built without a mortgage and at the rate in which I can provide the $. Once the roof is up we'll need a rainwater tank, strawbales, and flooring material, plus a plumber and electrician straight after. I'm not up to that challenge. So we've visited the bank and going for a smallish loan to complete the house. Which has been interesting.

We've been pricing everything, it's also been interesting watching the looks on tradesmens faces when we say things like...
'right oh, we're not going to use PVC in the house, got any ideas what we can use?' to plumbers. We do have an idea, but hope they'll come up with a cheaper alternative. Downpipes will be colourbond steel, and, but elsewhere it will be akatherm a type of poly that can't be solvent joined (which is good), but welded - an additional expense, and is more environmentally friendly than the toxic (but cheap) PVC. We think it's worth it.

We've been trying to source local tile and found nothing is produced in Tasmanian due to the associated travel costs and the cheap imports available. So we're going to source our own tile for the sunroom from local stone to use as a thermal mass in the sunroom.

We went and looked at kitchen showrooms for ideas, but can't and wouldn't want to buy the laminex, compressed wood chip, formaldehyde off gassing board they all use. Which means it will all take much longer doing it ourselves from sustainably sourced local timber.

But it's getting exciting. The really heavy work has been done, once the roof is completed, the really high stuff too. I'm hoping progress will be a lot faster soon. I'm looking forward to the mud render part, though I suspect I'm going to wish we had more windows before the end of it all.


simple happiness said...

Good to see you back posting!!! Sounds like you have been very busy. Our tomatos ripened late this year as well, the cherries too early etc. All seems out of kilter at the moment.

Please post us some pictures of the new roof when it is up.

LilliEve said...

Hi Linda,

We've had a late season with tomatoes as well, although we are getting plenty of ripe ones right now. The capsicums, though! Next year, at this rate.

It all sounds very exciting with the roof about to go on!

labanan said...

yay! Just talking about you to my sister-in-law - she and my brother live in Yellowknife, Northwest Territories, Canada and my nephew is picking onions somewhere in Tasmania. I'm going to send him your blog address. I love this teeny tiny enormous world.

Vawz said...

uld love to see a few more snaps of the house as it comes along.
Thanks for your integrity in choice of materials etc, it is inspiring!

Michelle said...

Our tomatoes are still green here in Albany too and we've had a really humid weirding....I had no idea PVC pipe was toxic??? Good to see a new post :)