Week thirty seven

This week went by pretty fast, we spent most of the time working on various jobs around the house and garden like making a storage area for firewood, putting in the final polystyrene panels for the wall insulation and getting a few more ply wall panels up. Beth’s started working on Vege patch 3.0 which is based on some basic permaculture design principles for optimising the nutrients and water available to the plants by having carbon and compost layers below the raised garden beds.

On Friday we decided to visit our neighbour Antonio since they visited us a few weeks ago but we’ve never gone over to see them. We ended up going to the wrong house though and visiting an old women named Ziza. She was very happy to have some visitors to talk to though and gave us coffee and biscuits 🙂 she’s eighty years old and has lived in that house for fifty six years with her husband who passed on recently. We were really amazed that her house was completely uninsulated, had no inner walls at all and not even any batons on the outside! There was also no ceiling, just naked corrugated iron roof. The wood was all just random types that had been found around the place and patched on over the years as prior pieces needed to be replaced. The place was still quite warm though as she had a very hot wood stove that burns most of the time.

It was quite a lesson for us about the difference between city and country attitudes towards living. The country folk around here told us that building with cheap pine would be no problem and everyone does it, but when we mention this to city folk they’re shocked and shake their heads as if we’re very irresponsible and our house will fall down in a year or two from rot or termites. But the difference is that the city folk hire someone to build everything for them and they expect the work to last for many many years without requiring any attention which requires strict standards and hardy materials. The country folk do everything themselves and don’t care if they have to replace bits every few years, so we’re feeling a lot more comfortable about they way we’ve built our place now – in fact I think the neighbours all think we’re quite posh and eccentric with our insulation, ceiling and batons!

After our fortunate mistake we went to the correct house to visit Antonio. His wife lives in the city, but he loves the land here and lives here with his mother who’s also about eighty and she’s lived here on this land her entire life! Her and her sister (Candido’s mother) were born here and raised in the place that is now Maneco’s barn next to our land. It was really good to connect with some of the neighbours and start to feel like we’re fitting in around here more 🙂

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