I’ve been nominated by the lovely Fran from The Road to Serendipity fame to blog hop around the world. 🙂 Fran and her husband Steve are converting their 4 acres of gardens into a food mecca, taking their journey with their 2 dogs Earl and Bezial. Fran
dropped me in this asked me to hop along with her and I have no choice am deeply honoured to add to the blog hop. 😉
Why do I create what I do?
For those that are new to my blog (hello there and welcome 🙂 ) my family and I have moved to country Victoria (Australia), taken on goats, chooks, ducks, 1/2 an acre and we are doing our best to live a low to no carbon lifestyle, leaving as small a footprint on the planet as we can, reducing, reusing, repurposing and recycling (the 4 R’s). We have veggie gardens and fruit trees, all under construction and marked with learner plates but with an end objective of self-sufficiency as much as is possible. This completely influences what I make and why.
What we are creating here stems from the 4 R’s. For example, we are mid way through enclosing our back deck, an area about 1.4 metres by 17 metres and turning it into a passive solar greenhouse using recycled windows taken from a house facing demolition. The greenhouse will help to modulate the heat inside our house as well as give us an area where we can grow food that would not normally have a hope of growing in our climate (9b is our cold zone and we get frost over winter with the occasional snowfall). This deck will also be heated with a rocket stove.
The reason I have a go at making things like rocket mass heaters and passive solar greenhouses though is primarily because they are simply not available in any for to purchase from a store. There are some rocket stoves for sale but the mass heaters? I’ve not seen one. And yes, off the shelf greenhouses are available but not designed to be installed attached to a house. If I want these things I have no choice but to create them myself. 🙂
How does my creative process work?
I see and I desire. I research and I see the benefits. I work out the way it will fit into what we already have and then I work out whether we truly need it. Consumerism and the desire for more and more is something from which we have done our best to unsubscribe. When I come across these great ideas I need to work out if we are merely adding more for the sake of more or whether there is a true need for what we are about to create. If there is a place for it in our lifestyle, like there is for the rocket stove, I then get stuck into researching. Thankfully this time I put in the hours of reading and looking and following up as I have learned several crucial points in making a rocket mass heater that I would not have got right without the time spent. Generally speaking though I’m not one for doing the hardcore “how to” research. I tend towards the cursory research and then just getting stuck in and having a go. 🙂 Suck it and see brings about some most interesting results sometimes. 😉 (Here is the link to my main information portal on building our rocket mass heater.)
How does my work differ from others of its genre?
As I’m not really in competition in any way with others I can’t really compare my projects with those of others. I’m making what I make for our family and its similarities and differences in comparison to other similar projects don’t really matter. It just needs to work for us. 🙂
What am I presently working on?
I’m sure you’ve figured out the current project is the rocket mass heater. 😉 For those that don’t know what they are, they are a small stove that sets up a vertical burn, the smoke and heat is drawn into a riser which passes through a combustion chamber. The combustion chamber ensures very close to a 100% burn of all the gasses and smoke which results in less wasted fuel and greater efficiency as well as less pollution. They also use up to 90% less fuel.
At this point in our rocket mass heaters construction though it’s a bricked outline and the pipes in place but not much else. I have prepared the next pieces of the rocket stove ready to install though so hopefully I can fit it all together as a mock-up and see how it works. 🙂 Construction has halted whilst parts of the passive solar greenhouse are completed. Once they are done then we will be getting stuck in and muddy. 😀
Now apparently I am supposed to leave you with a quote. This bit I did not know until after I said yes to blog hopping but thankfully Fran has come to my rescue. 🙂 I found this wonderful quote and I know it will stay with me from now on.
“Earth provides enough to satisfy every man’s needs, but not every man’s greed.” Mahatma Gandhi
This is exactly what I believe and what permaculture believes too. It makes one stop and think.
Now I would like to introduce to you 2 of my favourite bloggers.
Firstly, the irrepressible Lynda from Living in the Land of Oz fame. 🙂 Lynda is in Melbourne, slowly converting her suburban backyard into a food garden paradise. She turns junk into practical and beautiful structures and sculptures for her garden and is currently giving it all a big makeover. I have to say that not only is she a superb gardener but she makes gardening beautiful and I don’t mean with just ornamental plants and flowers. Her eye for colour and those decorative touches that turns the practical into the beautiful blows my mind. I would pay good money for her time in turning my hodgepodge gardens into artwork and beauty like her own garden. 🙂 Lynda has also been a tremendous support to us, both as a listening friend and also as a supplier of all sorts of goodies, from seeds and plants to contacts from whom we have been able to source some of our second-hand building materials. Basically, without Lynda, our lives would be much poorer and our house far more chaotic. 😉 She is a wonderful friend. 🙂
Secondly, I would like to nominate a wonderful woman who I desperately wish I could meet in the flesh. 🙂 We have so many ideas and ideals that are the same and she has guided and directed me and been a wonderful friend to me too. She also inspires me in crafts that I would never have had the courage to consider trying that are now on my radar (one day I will weave and dye something). If only she lived a little closer than 14,027 kilometres (8,716 miles). Linne from A Random Harvest (plus Make it Shiny and Thought and Memory) is a master crafter, has been there done that in so many situations and achieved so many things that she is a walking encyclopaedia. If only I could download her memories and knowledge matrix style! 😀
Anyway, that’s enough from me. I hope you pop over and say hi to Lynda and Linne. Thank you for coming along with me on my little blog hop. 🙂
* All photos used with permission.