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.