So much planning, so much thought.. who ever though it would happen like this, and so quickly! I always wondered just how exactly ecoVillages would start, and what we would build first to get going. There are so many options, and I had put off those decisions until they needed to be made. Suddenly things look SO different to me then they did one month ago. I am still getting my head around it. I was planning to go to Portugal maybe later this year for a short eco build. In that time we were going to try to build something very simple, just to learn a little about building in that region and to get the ball rolling. Now everything is different, and I am trying to get back to Portugal as soon as possible!
I am writing this from Holland where I’m renting a small chalet in an organic farm, and consider myself lucky to have found it, at least for the short term. My savings are depleting like crazy from paying rent and the cost of food etc... There is no end in sight for me to be able to return home to India and so I have shifted all my plans! The need for me to find a safe place has become my top priority.
Right now I am in what I hope are the final stages of buying land in Portugal. Once that is complete, I hope i am also able to get a residency permit, even though I am not yet there. I am told that since I am officially 'stranded' and own land, that I would have rights to enter Portugal. Right now at least flights are still operating, so I really Hope i can finish the process very soon, so that I can enter Portugal and begin setting up my home and what I see as a base camp for ecoVillages.
We will do many things on that land! I will experiment and build something very simple, and very functional, very beautiful, and very very cheap. That is my goal, to go through the process and then facilitate whoever else wants to come to the area to do the same.
I have considered so many options, and think I have settled on the idea of buying a Yurt. They are in many ways perfect for my needs, and can be set up very quickly indeed. I love that they are made of natural materials, and are insulated with wool. I also love that you can have a wood burner inside, to easily stay warm in winter.
How To Stay Cool?
Penamacor also gets VERY hot in summer, and so my idea is to trial out the convection cooling tube system on a Yurt. I will add an extractor fan to the chimney exit pipe in summer and blow hot air out of the roof. That air will be replaced with naturally cooled air sucked in through cooling tubes. These tubes will be 20 feet long and buried 4-6 feet below insulated earth, behind and around the yurt. This will be an excellent opportunity to test the convection cooling tube system, one of the most important systems when its 40 degrees Celsius outside.
I hope to get settled as soon as I can, and right now I have to wait about a week before i can say 100% that this is happening. It's all hinging on whether we complete the land purchase, and if i can get entry to Portugal. Once I get past those hurdles I will be SO happy, to know that Finally, after SO many years.. I will be on the road to my own land, and be starting ecoVillages.
Advice On Yurts
If you have ever built yurts before, id be interested to have your advice! Right now im choosing whether to use a base made of wood on stilts, OR to use stone ./ bricks as the base for a low maintenance option.. If I used stone or brick I would cover it all with EPDM and insulation before the indoor flooring was done. Any comments on that gratefully appreciated!
Our First Workshop?
Once I am safe and settled, I will be able to start thinking about and planning our first workshop. With coronavirus happening it is not yet clear how long it will be until people can have free movement again.. so we are going to have to wait and see how long it actually is before I can start inviting people from abroad to join us. If at all possible, I will start work on a first demo model earthship home. I would work with the local community, and do whatever I can to get a working demonstration model of a totally new kind of home.
Even today, almost no one has built a home that can perform as an Earthship can, when built properly. The Earthship approach does need adapting to every location and climate, and there are very few people building Earthships who have experimented for many reasons. Therefore it is my intention to demonstrate a building that is small, but not tiny, and would be very comfortable to live in, year round, with almost no carbon footprint or utility bills.. even in the harsh summer days and cold winter nights. If I can get this building through domestic building regulations, and forge positive relationships with the local municipality, then I believe we can make it SO much easier for others to come and do the same.
More News As It Comes! <3
Much Love, xxx
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