Pigsty To Polybender

We have not posted in a while, as have been super busy since new year, strawbale building, flattening land, digging trenches, putting vegetables in, clearing brambles, fencing around the well, clearing the well, pruning olive trees, pruning grape vines, making tipis, planning for home ed holidays, workshops, and general holidays and much much more! More photos to follow in coming weeks of our progress with various projects we are undertaking, but in then mean time we can tell you all we are really starting to feel at home now, settling in and feeling like this is where we live, rather than holiday which is exactly how we should feel.  We have survived the winter in the barn with no insulation on the roof and with just a Woodburner, without doubt this is one of the warmest winters I’ve ever had, living in cold damp houses by the sea with no central heating has stood us all in good stead for being in a barn with no insulation, despite it being freezing here for the average temp in the area, five tonnes of wood burned later, we are through the other side and other than on damp days the Woodburner will be redundant for another winter.

We have been busy the last few days on a recent project which is to make a growing space, the vegetable garden has been cleared andy underway for some time now, in summer it’s too hot for most plants to be in a polytunnel however to get an early season started and maintain veg growing through the year we decided to make something at the lowest cost possible using the materials we have around us. We took twelve young eucalyptus, peeled their branches and leaves off and decided to make a bender tent/bow top polytunnel over the old overgrown pigsty in the veg patch by banging wood posts to the ground and attaching the eucalyptus with twine to the posts, slowly bending them to meet in the middle and tied off, a eucalypt for the central beam runs the length of the roof and at the back two other poles are bent from the ends inwards under the end arch, no nails have been used and and rough ends are wrapped in old horticultural fleece which was used for the new trees over winter, it is in a convenient spot at the bottom of the hill for Gravity fed water and cost us a grand total of £99 which was the cost of the uv resistant plastic, it measures 4m wide by 7m long and the pigsty walls will become the retainer for a raised bed and a low trough has been rebuilt with fallen pieces of stone to make a small pond heatsink. It’s been hard work, the brambles were decades old and way over our head in height, but we are happy with the job we have made and once a bit of tightening and earth on the plastic have taken place we will have a wonderful quirky, cheap growing space, which soon we hope till be the site for some avocados :) In total we made the whole thing in 4 hours, in reality it took much longer as baby jiggling, child playing, animal chasing/feeding etc slowed progress!

The site to the left was the pigsty, hidden under the brambles for a loooong time! 

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One thought on “Pigsty To Polybender

  1. Good work. We built a lean to poly tunnel on our allotment last year and it has made a lot of difference to out growing year in in Cornwall. We are in the process of building a geodesic dome at the moment which will be the centrepiece of our growing space and will house a micro food forest and aquaponics system. Are you in Portugal all the time know or do you still do stuff in Cornwall? We are planning to move to central Portugal in the not too distant future.

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