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
Wow! What a great time we had on the 5th & 6th of November 2011 at Bindarrabi.
The photo below of Nikki 'Catching Sunbeams' epitomised the joy and enthusiasm felt by all on the weekend as we explored the land and the layout of the house sites. The weather was perfect. Not too hot for walking and delightful for wandering down the creeks with lovely clear skies for star watching at night.
AND......four far-sighted couples are seriously interested with one couple signing on the dotted line to reserve their site!
It was very encouraging to have such a positive response on our first weekend and to know there is an increasing groundswell of folks wanting to 'Live the Solution'. I was excited by the diversity of people that came with different skills which demonstrated how easily a village could grow from a common vision.
We look forward to meeting more passionate folks on Dec 3rd & 4th for our next weekend.
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
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