PeDreTea -Big Garden 3

After some delay we started to make a big garden. This place was vegetable garden before abandoned. Designed well. We took out the weeds after raining.Keep a useful plants and trees.

We have fencing, doors, free chickens and ready to make bed. In our:last video you can see Michael·s design.

Everybody choose a own bed, and design it. The side( keep the compost the top of the soil, build a the watering system and what we going to put in.

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So our garden is ready. Even we put lot of chicken compost too. We dont planting yet just outside of the garden. The whitish thing is a wool which use to cover a soil..

still we have to do more thing b. the chicken destroy the side of the beds.. But we going to do it later.

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PeDreTea – Group training (Domestic arrangements)

Today we want to share with you how we met each other and what happened to us the first few days on site. This is one of the tasks entrusted to the Domestic Arrangements: group well-being and harmony. What does it really mean?

After almost 3 months we have realised that the relationships in a small community can be real hard work. We only knew each other from internet posts and skype before coming here and when we arrived on the finca we were divided into different groups of people.

The first person to arrive onsite was Maja B., she arrived almost one month before the rest of the Group. She was spending her time working/living/enjoying in the 8th Life project (the PeDreTea hosts). When Rose and Judit arrived she had to leave them and join the PeDreTea Project. She had some difficulties because, for example, she now had to organize her jobs in different ways, change the timetable and adapt herself to a new group.

Judit and Rose arrived almost together and they were not really involved with the rest of the group and they immediately get  close to each other for several reasons.

Finally, one week later the families arrived with their children and then the PeDreTea project could get started!

Three different groups, each of us with their personalities and attitudes. What a challenge! A lot of challenges were coming on…

The first challenge was the weather for most of us. Unfortunately, the winter started later than usual, and was quite difficult for some of us to manage, living in a tent that is your home, go to a compost toilet when it’s bloody raining, during the nights it was really cold and humid (0°-10°), we didn’t have a place where we could have our meal in a warm place, spending most of the time outside in a open-space kitchen without walls. The only available warm place was the library which was mostly occupied by 8th life students for their meetings/parties etc. We weren’t even able to take a shower for some time because there is no hot water without sunshine (there is just a solar shower on the finca) and only washing yourself with cold water can be really difficult if you are not used to it…

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Some of us very really stressed and frustrated and managing this kind of situation and emotions were really hard.

After a few weeks when we were having one of our daily meetings one of the families announced that they wanted to leave the project: our group was shocked, but we accepted the decision.

The Group had a lot of doubts: could we help them to stay here longer? Have we failed in something? Have we done something wrong? Why?

The dynamics were changing yet again and we were looking to each other trying to figure out what we should be doing. Stay or leave? Continue or drop the project? Happy or not? What the f*** should we do?

At that time we decided to continue… but the challenges are still on and the Group well-being and harmony is moody everyday.

The weather is getting better but right now other new challenges are happening and new doubts in the group are appearing.

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Will the project still continue? … if you want to know the answer you should follow us!

Ciao!

 

 

 

 

PeDreTea – The big garden (1)

We thought when we arrive we would have a garden really soon. Just fix the fence and we can plant straightaway. But it turned out differently. Because of the cold we started to do kitchen first and after that we started to build. It was so much work, not the fencing but the lots of smaller and bigger part we have to do so we finished today the garden.   We started to design the doors and fixed one.

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So doors. Sound simple if you ever made a door but with no experience took longer time. Did Maja did a first one she made it quick. The second one from wood pallet- we have to make a frame and take out of theunnecessary parts which wasn’t an easy job. Then sand it, oil it put together with the other part( make it big) then put the cover on it. Here the result. And the third one just fixed it.

 

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Then we had to move the end of the garden.  Michael installed the posts, the main ones secured with cement. After this we measured the fence.

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So this was a first part but many different difficulties came up after it… Continue….

PeDreTea – Work organization

IMG_20160421_194719.jpgWhen we arrived here it was rainy, windy and cold. We had only wet tents, kitchen with no walls and leaking roof and a small camper van. It was obvious that we need to start work as soon as possible to be able to at least be warm and dry. It was not easy, in fact it seems that work organization is one of the biggest problems that a community can encounter.

At first we were just doing whatever we felt needed doing. The table, the rocket stove, the walls, the garden and in the same time daily jobs like taking care of the animals! It seemed so much and we were in lousy, rainy moods. So Michal built a table in few hours, we decided that the kitchen needs total rebuilding if we are even starting with it, and so the oven we had. First, we had huge plans about redesigning everything, so we have made a huge mess in the kitchen, the only roofed common space we had (and a place for cooking), filling it with building materials, tools, food and ourselves.

We tried to divide the work we had and keep the people responsible for certain roles as coordinators of this areas of work (we had roles established before we came here). But that did not work. It turned out that Mateusz who was responsible for eco-building is leaving, Michal who is responsible for gardens is very keen and capable in building, Judit who is responsible for forest gardens and Maja T – our coordinator are very keen to start the veggie garden and Maja B who is responsible for animals has to spent her time building the guinea pigs cages.

In the meantime we were trying to figure out what is the best time for us to have common meal and meetings twice a day. We changed the times three times to make it fit with the children’s timetable and still it was a huge challenge to get everyone in the same place in the same time, our meetings lasted one hour instead of 20mins from which more than a half was gathering the people. The circle format where everyone gets their 5mins did not work, people are used to talking between each other like that and responding spontaneously. We were supposed to do the design meetings – every day person responsible for his role is talking about the progress. Did not happen. How can you talk about gardens or animals when all everyone is thinking about is when will we finish the kitchen?

We tried to make two teams  – one working on the kitchen, one working on the garden. The first day it went great! We had some work done in both teams. Unfortunately, grinder that was needed to start working on fencing for the garden got broken. And so the drill that we were using a LOT in the kitchen. Mateusz who was the only one who knew about rocket stoves left. We were left with four working people – because one person has to always be with little Gabi. Lunches were late around an hour, meetings were still not on time if happening at all and so we ended up working only few hours or wondering around.

With time the balance started to slowly set, as it usually does in nature, but we needed proper organization!

Finally, Maja T decided to step in and make the proper rota. She wrote down all the necessary, daily jobs like watering, taking the sheep out to the pasture and back, internet work, cooking and taking care of Gabi (now, each of us gets to spend an hour with her). The rest of the time we all spend on the main project. Now it is the kitchen. It works out 7 hours of work and we spend this time mostly together. We finally see the effects of our job, we are satisfied and in the same time we have enough time for rest. Our lunch and meetings are on time. Soon we will probably divide to start the garden fencing, after a month we are getting into the right rhythm!

 

PeDreTea – Guinea Pigs

From the very beginning, after arrival, we started to work with guinea pigs. We were talking about it with 8th Life even before coming here, so that we take care of them and in return, we can have some for food. You can find more information about them as a food in here.

So very quickly we got responsible for picking the food for them, and even when it was taking us 4 hours a day and we were really fed up, we were still bravely going out to the field with a sickle to get 3 bags of greens. A week later it turned out that it should be rather 4 bags. Few weeks later, piggies were still multiplying like crazy, so now it takes around 6 bags a day for them to not be completely hungry. Even with a scythe, it was too much for us. Now, after a month it takes us 30min to get one bag, approximately. I must admit, the task of picking the guinea pig food became too much for us, it was the only thing we were doing all days and there is not even so much meat in those little animals.

We have too many guinea pigs – that is certain. Also, we now have few generations in one cage, so they interbreed, which should not be happening. We have to kill some of them and do the population check, so we can actually control their numbers. That is certain. So, we started to build new cages for them, so we can have comfortable space for all of them while moving and after and also, the old ones ale falling apart.

Just after we started, the rest PeDreTeans arrived and, because most of them are vegans and the rest doesn’t want to eat guinea pigs anyway, we decided not to focus our energy on it. We were working half of the day on the cages and the other half on picking food for them and our energy was needed to help with more important things – like the kitchen or garden.

Luckily, we are not alone in here. Guinea pigs belong the the 8th Life community, with Jose being the one responsible for animals in general. We had a meeting and settled that we will not be taking care of the guinea pigs, only sheep and chickens. Just, once we have a new tool for cutting metal, we all get together to finish the bloody cages. And then, if someone wants guinea pigs as food, we can still contribute by picking the food. Jose estimated that it takes 10 bags for one guinea pig to grow enough to be ready to harvest, and so that is the price for them.

Right now, we can focus on our biggest priorities – kitchen and garden.

PeDreTea – Kitchen Design

Start build a kitchen is the most important task and priority. Why? Because we have no living space and we have no  warm, comfortable place to sit. And without ready to use rocket stove in the kitchen is not working. With the unpredictable tropical wind and storm we realized easily.. Luckily we didn’t lose our humor that days but building is urgent!

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The problems:

  • Very cold & drafty in winter!  And anytime there is wind… eating when cold can give you bad indigestion – v uncomfortable
  • No hot water (some people won’t wash dishes without it in winter)
  • Difficult & messy to cook with incomplete rocket stove!
  • Horrible when not kept tidy
  • Everything gets dusty quickly as all open-air
  • The funny is about this kitchen there is not have a straight wall, 45 degrees corners

Good things about this kitchen:

  • It’s a nice big space & it’s held up very well even under near-hurricane conditions (amazingly..)
  • Practically invisible in the landscape (important criteria)
  • Nice sunset views if we get supper-time lined up!
  • Perfect for becoming a Camping Site Kitchen
  • Open-air, lovely when nice weather
  • Very cool in summer
  • Lots of great design possibilities
  • Fridges work well as anti-rat cup-boards

There is a lot of work before us to make this kitchen nice and cosy, but our spirit rises with the sunshine and as the weather gets better, so we are getting better in organizing work for our first important designs. Soon you will be able to see the progress on the kitchen!

With long list of jobs  we’ve started to make kitchen more cozy and  usefull for us  Firstly we focused on rocke stove the one who was already there wan’t efficient so with the experience of Mateusz we changed thew things:

  • rebuilding fire chamber with self feed  system
  • cutting out two  rings so we could adapt diffrent pots

 

This was great fun expecialy  part with using  grinnder and than  playing with cob

The next job was done mostly by Michal who used his carpentry skills he has  removed existing  roof beem from a almond tree so the construction wouldn’t shake when is windy

Then we’ve started to cover walls  This job was done mailnly by Maja B and Michal  we also rebulid existing sink, fitted windows and bulided more workspace  next to rocket stove

Rose and Judit made small wind catcher wall so when we cooking the wind doesn’t blow the gas out