Sunday 17 November 2013

Situational Plan - what we want our EcoFarm to be

It would be a good idea to start with the introduction of what we want our EcoFarm to be. In terms of the buildings and so on our action plan looks like this:

A clay house
On the ground floor we will have a dining room with a fireplace and a terrace. Home made breakfasts and the dinners will be provided to our guests. We will do our best to provide good quality seasonal food straight from our vegetable garden. Dining room will be pretty big and it will be used as a workshop room occasionally. What kind of workshops, we are not sure yet. Probably the ones that it's reasonable to have indoors. Maybe except for the workshops like wood turning, spoon making and other that produce tons of wood chippings :) Timber frame of the house plus the roof are done already - as per this year agenda it's ticked off.

Three holiday cottages
In each cottage we will have a living room plus bathroom downstairs  and 3 bedrooms  upstairs. Timber frames plus the roofs are done already - as per this year agenda it's ticked off.

A little old stone building
This one will be renovated keeping as much of its original qualities as possible. We are planning to convert it into joinery workshop. Initial renovation has been done plus the new roof - as per this year agenda it's ticked off.

The following are the planned things we want to build and prepare in the near future:

       * round altane with place for fire bone , 
       * a horse stable, a horse paddock, a horse grass-land,
       * a  swimming pond, Russian banya, clay walls hobbit style,
       * orchard, vegetable garden, greenhouse, reed bed.
       * a few square meters of super-short lawn for Anna, the rest of the lawn will be Arek's  
        which means grass kept along with Permaculture standards 
        which means no-mow grass
        which means a wild meadow basically.

Finally our situactional plan. This is our visionary 'Building with Clay Google Map' which will be updated whenever needed. From the top left there's a little old stone building, which was on the property before, then our house, three holiday cottages and a horse stable.

Good friend of ours and a big Permaculture fan has created a landscape plan for us. Thanks a mill Dawid!

If you have any ideas and suggestions in relation to above please feel free to comment below. Much appreciated

Best of luck
Anna & Arek

Monday 4 November 2013

Why do we want to build a clay house?

Now you would need to read our articles only for a while as we have no more photos and we will not have new ones till spring time ;)

As beginner bloggers we have discovered that:
* writing blog articles is much more difficult than uploading the photos on blog pages
* writing blog articles is much more difficult than we thought
* doing one article by both of us an extrovert girl and introvert guy is just impossible

At the beginning we thought that Arek might come up with the article draft. Then Anna would spice it up a bit. And then Arek would make sure that the article is not over-spiced ;)
However for the sake of peaceful family life the consensus has been reached and we are presenting our individual replies to Why do we want to build a clay house.

Arek's version:

It was a few years ago that I had seen first clay house under construction. I thought 'They are crazy, the mice will eat up the house'. A year later we had to make up our minds and choose the technology we wanted to build our house with. One thing was sure I wanted our future house to be healthy and non-toxic. Then I came across the clay house. I liked the idea of it. I have done some Internet digging to find as much information about it as possible. It all looked great but it was still the theory only so we started to look for the people who actually were building such a houses. After seeing couple of clay houses we had decided that this is what we want a straw clay house.

Our first impression after seeing clay houses was that the house atmosphere was really friendly, then that the people living in it were even more friendly, open and willing to share their knowledge and experiences. There was not that many natural buildings in Poland at that time. We have discovered that this is not just about building your house with natural materials this is a whole life style a life philosophy. The whole idea of it is to build your house with your own hands, using local materials as little processed as possible with very little impact on the environment. Natural building technology is not that popular despite the fact that it is quite simple. Lots of people do not trust materials that seem to be not that lasting. Natural technology is also more time consuming and that's the point, everyone is now rushing.

The next natural step for us is to organise the whole thing in a way so we could be very much independent and self sufficient. Some time ago we came across Permaculture, a methot that develops sustainble and self-maintained agricutural systems to create highly efficient ecosystems. Permaculture is also part of a life style. We will have more posts about it in the near future. From that very moment we have started planing not only natural buildings but also to create our own eco system so that it would all go together. We are still in the process of designing our eco system. If you have any ideas and suggestions in reagrds to above we will be delighted to hear from you.

Anna's version:

It's 2009 autumn evening, Arek in from of his pc is searching the web and newly created at the time Cohabitat. The conversation goes:

Arek: about building a clay house?
Anna: Yeah, sounds great. I want a clay house
Arek: Ok...but we know nothing about it
Anna: That's all right, I want a clay house anyway. Great idea, please say yes....
Arek: Ok...But I would need to think about it and we will decide then..
Anna: What do you mean? When we will decide?
Arek: I do not know, We will decide after finding out what it's all about...
Anna: Well, I have made up my mind already. I want a clay house man!

That very evening I hadn't got a clue about clay houses. I had not even seen one in a real life. Four years ago I did not even know that there were such a things like natural building, Cohabitat or green roofs. In addition to that the following words: tadelakt, Permaculture or recuperation did sound like the bands names in small music shop in the middle of Check Republic ;)
Why did I straight away decided that I wanted it? Well beacuse a Clay House sounds good, doesn't it? :)

What we are doing since 2009 is reading, studying, hands on learning on the workshops, building and also dreaming about our house. We are also busy asking all those silly questions like: how about the mice? are they going to eat the house? and how about the rain? will rain wash out the roofs and the whole houses? and so on....

My knowledge of natural building had not inproved much over the years... I am living this to Arek to be honest with you... In terms of natural building enthusiasm, well this is one growing with every clay house seen ;) One of the most amazing things about natural building it's the people involved in it. They are all very open, friendly and just being surrounded with them always makes you feel good.
We have already started our jurney with natural building and we are delighted with it

And what is your story? How come you are into natural building? How did it all started for you?
Please comment below, we will be delighted to read your comments ;)

In collaboration with Building Permits