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First Permanent Structure – Green House

Written by Kay,

Well I can hardly believe it, we are well on our way to having our first permanent structure built on our house-site and in the village ……. Over all I have been very happy living in a small house truck for the past 10 years while we got this village on the ground, after all we lived in a very small house with 4 children before that in Kaiwaka anyway.. but doing without garden shed and greenhouse has been really hard. I had  a beautiful set up in Kaiwaka and I’ve been gardening here for 5 years with no where to put tools etc etc. I will very shortly. It is being designed and built by Bob and a young man called Hannes who has done traditional building apprenticeship in Germany.

IMG_3372We are using natural materials for almost everything, and it feels very nice. We had glass that we retrieved , from an IMG_3399old commercial; glass house and it is all glass, wood, and earth floors and walls. The floor is going down now and next week the walls (paper mache, pumice sand, clay, lime and wood shavings) will go in.

IMG_3400Laying down sand then waste broken glass to stop the moisture rising then pumice sand and then a pumice sand hydrated lime mixture to become a hard floor that acts as a heat mass.We’re trying  two ways of doing that, once using a wet mix which will take a few weeks to harden, or a dryish mix that will be usable fast.

After that we will still need to  do the skirt around the bottom of the wall (pumice with some lime), and the internal benches etc.
It has been built to hold heat in the greenhouse in winter and to encourage air flow in summer to keep the temperature down, with huge vent in the floor drawing cool air from under the building coming from the south, and large vents in the top of the side walls.
This greenhouse will contain a bench for me to grow our garden seedlings on in Spring, a soldier fly farm to grow larvae for the chickens year round if we can, and worm farms so the worms stay active year round for chicken food and vermicast, and a wicking bed to grow our medicine, ginger, turmeric and hot chili, as well as water chestnuts. There will also be high shelf for drying corn, nuts, etc. It is very exciting to see how beautiful it looks and feels being built using traditional methods.. and it is wonderful watching Hannes work so lovingly and consciously with the wood and the design.


We had a roof shout the other day… when the purlins went on rather than when the roof went up because in Germany the builders finish with the joists.. then the roofers come on.


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