Our last event of 2013 was a fabulous night with musician extraordinaire Paul Robert Burton whose concert provided a frame for the documentary 'Fractured Country" . Paul provided first hand stories of farmers and families affected by CSG he had met as he supported activists, mums, dads and grandparents at blockades around the country with his music. Our camp kitchen transformed into a stage as we sat under the stars, inspired by both the music and the ordinary people trying to protect the Land. A fitting acknowledgement of our Care for Country on the Solstice.
The first house completed at BIndarrabi!!
Carol & Doone were thrilled to have a bed and fridge in their new house to celebrate Christmas day with fresh figs from their tree for breakfast.
The house was completely built using the solar power from their stand-alone 3.5 KW PV tracking system. It is North facing with a polished concrete floor for thermal mass, 6ml e-glass windows, composting toilet, limestone walls with extra insulation in both roof & walls. In spite of the louvers in the cupola not being wired yet (they are electrically operated) to help with venting hot air, on a 39 degree day it was 10 degrees cooler inside the house. Definitely happy with that!. The in-ground 10,000 gallon concrete tank also doubles as a patio area. The house is designed for minimum maintenance and to Bushfire Attack Level (BAL) 29.
In the first week of January we had the fire trails behind the house sites put in and the all-weather road to the proposed fire-safe house from both precincts completed. It has been a busy start to the year!
January Long Weekend saw much progress being made on our new Nature Loo composting toilets for the campground. We should be able to have the Grand Opening (?) at our Feb gathering :) We also added more concrete to the rock ford over to Harvest Field to smooth out a few bumps and a mighty effort was made to clear all of the Groundsell weed. Next year will be very easy to clear any regrowth.
On Saturday night one of our Friends, Dr. Delton Chen gave an interesting presentation on a new project he is working on to provide a digital currency to be used as payment for companies who reduce CO2 emissions. This removes the stigma of a 'tax' and is not political. We wish him all the best in birthing his idea.
And...... it is blackberry season! We all now value the effort put into gathering a bucket of blackberries ! Kathy kindly converted many of them to blackberry pikelets for morning tea. Absolutely delicious! Sorry there is no pic. We ate them all before I thought of it!
However I did get a picture of our Bunya Nut efforts. A Friend brought us a Bunya Nut so we of course Googled a recipe for Bunya Nuts and found a recipe for a cake that we approached with some trepidation. It was delicious!!!!!!!!!
First we had to crack the nut open, a special technique of throwing it on the ground, then boiling the nuts for around 3 hours until the kernals split open. We then de-hulled the kernals and they were ready for our recipes. The kernals are a little like a chestnut/potato mix and are 9% protein with the rest complex carbohydrates.
As well as the cake we kept some and stir-fried them with garlic and ginger. Very moreish....great bush tucker!!
Lets take a breath and see what the rest of the year brings!
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
How exciting to be writing our first Blog post on our first website. Dreams do come true:)
Doone and I have been exploring the idea of a community on this land since we bought it 4 years ago, but as with all life processes there is a timing and a journey. We knew we were on the move when we finally found a piece of legislation called the State Environmental Planning Policy 15:Rural Landshare Communities which really covered so much of what we wanted to bring to fruition.
We have been increasingly concerned at how difficult it is for people to have affordable housing and the strain it puts on families when both parents have to work to pay huge mortgages. As a therapist I constantly hear how time poor people are and how they wish they could find a way out of the rat race.
We certainly intend for Bindarrabi to be a place where families can re-empower themselves and make decisions that nurture, not destroy the amazing privilege of being a human being.
A couple of weeks ago we had our first meeting with the Tenterfield Shire Council and received very supportive feedback. Our next step is to have consultant reports on Fire, Waste and any Environmental concerns. Hopefully that will occur in the next couple of weeks.
I'll keep you posted