Saturday, 7 July 2012

Baling process is now finished- we have walls!

Firstly, sorry for the long delay in posting and for the 'down' tone of the last post.

We have some brighter news- the baling is now complete and we finally have walls!

To be honest, the weather has been really pants, and when one is trying to protect bales with flimsy tarpaulins, high winds and heavy rain are not good.

Bale wall removal

When the initial shock, dismay, desperation and misery had subsided into acceptance and determination, we attempted to ascertain the extent of the damage.
The upshot of the tests with the moisture meter and makeshift probe showed that most of the bales we identified as being wet, dried sufficiently over time to not become a problem, with just one exception. This exception was of course a bale right at the bottom of one of the walls near our back door.

Earlier this week we finally 'bit the bullet' and dismantled the wall and replaced the offending bale, rebuilt the wall and completed the rest of the baling. The dismantling and rebuilding took less than a day.

When I cut the strings on the offending bale to look inside it showed no damage, no rot or any sign of a problem! So whilst in a way it was a pointless process, it has served to reassure us that all the other bales that got wet will also be fine. So really the only impact on us has been time, a little effort oh, and a fair bit of stress!


The other process we completed this week has been the plaster-boarding of the upstairs ceiling. It seemed like a good place to end the week. The question was asked by one of the volunteers about the choice of ceiling boards. I had to answer honestly on this one and explain that we needed something quickly and therefore did not have time to research further on alternatives that may have been more sustainable/green. Subsequently we have found the information we needed which shows that we have not made a particularly good choice but definitely cheaper which is unfortunately starting to become a more major consideration.

Reed matting and lime

We've started the Lime process too. First of all though we had to pin reed matting around window and door openings to provide a more robust and stable substrate for the lime (and for the clay on the internal walls). It helps with forming shapes too and I have to say the main entranceway is looking great!
We're fumbling around a bit with the lime due to the course not running and therefore no 'expert' on hand. We have a friend coming next week who is an expert so he'll make sure we're doing it all right!

So, whilst we are now well behind schedule and the general levels of stress have increased, we feel like things are starting to flow again, and with the lime process happening hopefully we won't have any further issues with the wet weather.

I will endeavour to post again in the not too distant future.

Until then please feel free to comment on the blog, offer us support/ kind words etc.- It's always appreciated!




  1. Hey folks! Loving the reed matting walls, what a neat idea! Hope all the plastering goes well, looking forward to seeing it when we come back!
    George and Hannah

  2. Congratulations on finishing the baling despite the rogue damp bale and best wishes for the lime! I sincerely hope the showers we've been having in the South East avoid you.


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