Our last post talked about the completion of our new dam. We were very excited!. Well, excitement turned to apprehension as the BIG RAIN came. Would our new dam wall hold? Well, we were blessed and it did. The dam filled to overflow and cascaded onwards with only a minimal amount of erosion.
The next big rain, we stayed at Bindarrabi and were cut off as the creeks at both the locked gate and the bridge went under. Unfortunately we lost our bridge over into the Harvest Field. The pipes were swept away with one being found about 400m downstream. Consequently Doone decided a ford was the answer. So we have cleared either side of a rocky ledge and will concrete that entry and exit once the rain has stopped, and yes, it is still raining as I am writing this. Fortunately, we have had a few sunny days in between and we had some lovely brazilian folks vist which was a lot of fun!
The rain stayed mostly away for our Easter camp which was very relaxed. We showed some new visitors around, had a lovely walk to the Hidden Waterfall and watched movies under the stars, well, one night under the stars and the next night in the camp kitchen out of the drizzle :)
Hopefully we will have some news in the next couple of months regarding our Development Application so stay tuned!!
Water water everywhere!!
Fun with our Brazilian friends!
The saying goes that all good things are worth waiting for. We decided water storage was a priority at the end of the drought. By the time we found someone able to dig the dam, the rains came and came and came. Then we had to wait for things to dry......so two and a half years later we have our Big Dam of approximately 10,000 cubic metres, which is spring fed and uphill from some alluvial flats so we will be able to do gravity feed irrigation.
Our thanks to Bill Hoffman and Peter, our bulldozer and excavator drivers for an excellent job.
With the dam being spring fed it has taken one month to be 1/4 full with no rain to speak of and as you can see, some couldn't wait to test the water !
Our Thanks to all our Friends who helped through the year to bring the camp kitchen into manifestation!!
From the logging of the poles in the forest to the turning on of the hot water to the showers, it has been a journey So heartfelt thanks to one and all as we meandered our way through a great adventure of learning. We hope you all feel it was worth it. We Do!
Of course we hope you will come visit in 2013 and enjoy the fruits of our labours.
What a sweet weekend we had in August. Quite laid-back as folks came out of winter hibernation. We enjoyed the sun and sitting and chatting, meeting new and re-cnnecting with old.
Unfortunately Rob Williams from the Githabul tribe was unable to attend due to grandfatherly duties, but his people are in accord with our project and we are moving forward in negotiation, so that is terrific.
After our Saturday catch-up we did do some work on Sunday and the children had a lovely time.
We have brought the October weekend forward one week as it is a long weekend in QLD. If any of you would like to join us for Sept 29, 30 and Oct 1st
please let us know.
Doone and I are finalising quotes with a builder to build our little house to lock-up so hopefully that will start either late this year or early next year. In the meantime we are erecting a yurt for temporary accommodation for builders and us. Check out http://www.ozyurts.com.au
we look forward to seeing you at the end of the month.
If you are hot and want to run a fan, what else would you use but a solar panel ?
We women agreed that knowing how to ice cakes was a definite plus in learning to render!
Teach 'em young. Fireweed is bad..... and she did it, all by herself !!
Apologies for my tardiness in maintaining the blog. Sometimes good intentions are simply not enough!
The last couple of months have been somewhat challenging as we have tried to ratify our access with National Parks through the Koreelah National Park due to the proposed change of use of our property.
The joy of bureaucracy which cites the policy denoting the need for the access agreement to comply with a park management plan which does not exist, and needs agreement from the local indigenous land rights group who haven't met for a couple of years is challenging to say the least. Anyway, I won't go on, but frustration is a word that comes easily to mind. However, there will be a way forward, but unfortunately things may take longer than we had hoped.
Nevertheless, we continue to enjoy this beautiful pocket of creation and have made some progress with our camp structure as you will see from the pics. Rendering the earth bag wall was fun. I was never allowed to play with mud pies as a child so I have made up for it now! It will be interesting to see how this construction stands the test of time.
We have a second coat of rendering to do, then lay the pavers for the floor. Doone and his trusty Doone-mobile collected 30 sqm of pavers (weighing 2+1/4 tonnes!) but we still need a few more which I am sure he will source on e-bay.
Adam & Yasmin have placed the caravan on their site for the times they are out there and installed a composting toilet which separates the urine for use on the garden. Seems to work well so far!
It has been a bit nippy camping through winter but our next working bee will be at the beginning of Spring,
Sept 1 & 2. In the meantime we will be installing sleepers across the bridge so it is a little less daunting to drive on :)
Smiles for now,
Picture below is Doone standing in the mown area where the fire-safety building will be.
Our Easter weekend: The weather was a delight with cool evenings, perfect for our campfires and warm, balmy days which were perfect for continuing to work on our camp kitchen. We discovered the joys of working with uneven natural logs as beams. It obviously takes more time to cut notches in the beams to lay the rafters! However with all our willing Friends the job was finally completed and half the roof laid on. We will get the rest of the roof completed before the next working bee so we can focus on the levelling the floor in May. Again, great thanks to the Friends that came and helped. It is really encouraging for us to have people so willingly come and share their time and skills with us.
Amazingly we had three people called 'Pascal' with us on the weekend. I don't often meet anyone called Pascal let alone 3 in one place! Actually the lady had an 'e' on the end, Pascale. Anyway, we wish Pascal & Pascale ( who are partners) best wishes as they head off on an overseas cycling adventure.
AND we are thrilled to have the third Pascal and his family join us as the fifth member of BCV. We now have the first 5 founding members needed to start the Co-operative. All systems go!
There was lots of time for trying out the big solar cooker (which cooks very fast), a great Easter Egg hunt, songs around the campfire,led by Doone & Don, with young Mael even learning how to crochet! That's called 'making the most of your opportunities.
I am certainly enjoying these balmy autumn days. The weather is looking stable for the next week or more so lets hope it lasts for our Easter break out at Bindarrabi.HOT NEWS:!
The submission for Tenterfield Council was finally completed and submitted on March 9th after some handwringing and exasperation.
The application is available for Public display and comment from March 28th to April 28th then it will be at least another month before council gives its decision, so hopefully end of May will be celebration time! We are also in the process of finalising legal advice concerning stamp duty and taxes on the transfer of the land to the Co-operative.
Also, I often get snippets of information or You Tube clips that are of general interest to groups forming community. I am starting to put those on our Facebook page and keeping the blog for information strictly related to BCV. If you have any other ideas on this I would love to have a chat over Easter.
In the meantime, if you could 'Like' our page that would be great. http://www.facebook.com/pages/Bindarrabi-Co-operative-Village/349826615033896
Its nearly time for our March working bee (March 2-4). The month has whizzed by but we have been relentlessly pursuing our town planners to complete the work to lodge our application to council.If it doesn't happen tomorrow it will be early next week. Nearly there!
The Feb working bee saw all the posts for the camp kitchen in the holes and cemented, so this month we will work out how to raise the beams and begin placing the rafters.
Helena & George brought some Dianellas and a Midginberry to initiate a bush tucker area at the campground so if anyone has any bush tucker plants around home you would like to share, we are very happy to expand this area.
See you March 2-4!
What a great time we had at our first working bee. So much so we have decided to make them monthly for the next few months, so keep you eye on our homepage for the dates!
It was a hot start to the week with soaring temperatures but perfect for Solar cooking. Jane and Stan showed us how to bake cakes using the reflected heat of the sun and they were delicious! The cakes that is:)
Tuesday morning was a "Why, What & Where" process on our proposed camp shelter & kitchen with the most popular reason for 'Why' being to 'retain the women'.Definitely starting with the basics here!
The next few days were a great learning curve as measurements were decided then checked then rechecked as new information surfaced from the collective wisdom. We then learned how to de-bark logs that have been felled for sometime then proceeded into the forest to fell some more logs which we debarked on the spot. So we are expert de-barkers now after trying several techniques. Of course we had to get the logs out of the forest back to the site. The Doone-buggy plus trailer was the perfect solution of course!. I have to say, eight people lifting a log makes the job do-able. We were in awe of our pioneers who didn't have chainsaws or vehicles and yet did this work day after day.Incredible.
Next came the digging of the holes for the posts. Unfortunately we hit rock in a few places so the 'Where' had to be adjusted somewhat. Not a problem:) In between all of this, again in the interests of retaining the women, a shower was created, initiated by George and beautifully screened with a canvas cover from a cricket pitch he just happened to have in his car! Yas needed to do some washing so a washing machine was retrieved form Doone's hardware store. Anything else ladies?
Most folks had to be on their way by then but what a lovely time we had had, A start had been made, we had lovely revitalising afternoons in the spas in the creeks, yummy solar cooked food, evenings round the campfire, Jane serenaded us with her tin whistle (which we all mistook for a flute, it was so melodious), and good company.
Yasmin, Adam, Patricia myself & Doone stayed another couple of days and removed old logs from the campsite and mowed another area for a 40' container. This was duly delivered the next week and is currently storage for Adam & Yas but when they are finished with it, it will be storage for other members, an office and tool storage. Four of us were back last weekend as we had a lovely visitor Kate from Santosha community in W.A and some other friends . It is wonderful to share ideas with other groups looking to do similar things. Thanks so much for coming Kate,!
Of course, don't waste time, so on Sunday Yas & I painted the bottoms of the logs with a natural preservative while Doone and Adam finished preparing the holes, then Yea! we raised the first 3 poles. Well done team!
So..... hope some of you can join us on the Feb working bee to continue the process of fun and achievement !
To finish here is a poem Jane sent to me after their trip out.
Bindarrabi Work Bee
By Jane Cajdler Jan 2012
Twas the week after New Year of two thousand and twelve
We all came to Bindarrabi to build stuff ourselves
With dreams of survival dancing round in our heads
We put up the tents and set up our beds.
The first thing we need is to shelter our heads
So we drew up some plans for a neat pole frame structure
Retaining the ladies is high on the list for without some comforts they’re sure to obstruct ya.
We’ll have learning to pole build and solar collection
And last but not least camaraderie and affection.
The heat’s bearing down but to work we must go
To collect the logs felled some six months ago
With chainsaw in hand and a keen, willing band
Manhandling the timbers we’re glad for a hand
From Stan, Peter, Richard, Doone, Adam and George
Yasmine helps too stripping bark to the core.
Pretty soon it’s time for a cuppa and a nice piece of cake
Provided by Jane’s intriguing solar bake
Followed by a swim in the cool spa lake
Which took nature eons and eons and eons to make.
A large crackling fire is set up at dark
With dingoes howling mournfully in the National Park.
The eerie hoot of a mopoke and the clatter of cicada
Makes us appreciate we aren’t near an autostrada.
A bright full moon enters the evenings proceedings
Lighting the field like Stan’s solar beamings
Even though we may have to live on a shoestring
We can still partake fully in nature’s wingding.
Next day there’s more planning for the splendid protector
With Doone giving Adam complex advice on the tractor
“I’ve never worked out which levers to use, It’s all a bit of guess work but I’m sure you’ll learn fast”
“Here is where you find the power take off - slow, medium and fast”
“Low range is forward and high range is last”.
The post hole digger is placed in position digging holes as required
But hard rocks are hiding to make the job tricky
We think it is time to have another bickie
A cup of tea or two and some good conversation
Will help us get over this difficult situation.
Patricia comes visiting with Ipad in tow
Oozing with visions of hemp swaying to and fro
In the breezes that blow in the big open fields
Where everyone hopes to be growing their meals.
Patricia, Jane, Yasmin, Carol, Nikki and Helena
All being ladies of modest demeanor
Have no trouble using the bush facing dunny
They even go so far as to think it is funny.
But they’d feel more comfortable bathing in a hacienda
So a shower shelter is next on the agenda
This will be easy as Doone advises
“I’ve got enough plumbing gear to do several houses”
Back to the post holes, only one deep enough
We think we will have to recalculate
Oh what a dilemma, what a headache
Let’s give the suffering workers some cake
“We’re not suffering” they say, we’re enjoying our fate
This whole project is here to educate
We’ll do it this way and that way and then over there
Pretty soon we’ll be able to compare
And make a decision how to put it and where.
Bindarrabi cooperative is via Boonah or Woodenbong
Make sure you bring your camera along
As there are lots of new happenings within the fence
Which will need documenting for future reference
A learning curve’s started by those involved in the constitution
Knowledge which will inspire and lead a new revolution.
Whilst you would think people who are attracted to a project like this would have a lot of similarity, and of course at the deeper level there is otherwise they wouldn't come, there is also an enormous amount of diversity of background and experience, which is very exciting as we look to build a vibrant, dynamic community.
We are having a whole week on the land from Jan 9-15 to start to add amenities to the campsite. This will not only be helpful for visitors but will support shareholders who will be coming and starting to build on their house-sites in the near future. So do come along and join us, either for a day, a few days or the week! Please contact us before the 9th if you are thinking of coming as we don't have phone access out there yet.
I keep feeling so excited as we take another step along the path of this adventure. I would like to share a quote from one our times evolutionary thinkers, Andrew Cohen
"In Love with the Possible: When you have the profound awakening that you are part of a cosmic process that's going somewhere, you find yourself falling more deeply in love with what's possible than you are with what has already happened. And this shift inevitably challenges almost all of your values and beliefs, including your ideas about what it means to love another person. What are the conscious and unconscious values that inform your relationships with other people? Are those relationships primarily based on the past—on shared personal history and outdated cultural ideals? Or are they evolutionarily inspired, informed by the understanding that we're part of a process that's ever-aspiring to go somewhere new? Are your relationships alive with the evolutionary impulse, with a shared love for what's possible? Once we awaken to them, these future-oriented spiritual values are going to impact, in the most profound way, every notion we have of what life is supposed to look like."