Greg Clark

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since Nov 20, 2015
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Recent posts by Greg Clark

Brad, thanks for your encouragement and useful info. The only reason I thought to make grooves in the shingles was to replicate the natural grooves you get when you split the logs. I hadn't thought of the reactions due to cellular damage. Its a good point, especially because the humidity is so high here that mould or fungus could be a problem. Ive heard that the tannins in teak are a preventative, but you can't be too careful.

I decided not to try to split the logs because the local carpenters are not at all familiar with doing that, the logs are not that big, and the time it would take, I only have one froe. I can get them all rough sawn with a bandsaw in an afternoon.

Regarding coming to India and not wanting to go back. Thats what happened to me 30 years ago. I couldn't even think of going back now. I'm resigned to living the rest of my life here. There are so many problems in India, mostly in terms of efficiency. But the people, the atmosphere and the culture particularly in the rural areas are what keep me here.

Thanks again!
There is nothing there now. The fields got plowed eventually and they are back to planting wheat and barley.
2 years ago
In the end we discovered some things about that part of Spain that I wasn't aware of. Apparently the whole area was becoming desertified. The Sahara desert was moving into Spain from North Africa. The whole of the south of Spain was really dry already. There had been a drought in our area from '95 till 2000. We moved there in 2001. The first year was great and we grew most of our veggies. The second year the drought returned and the creek dried up. Everything started to dry out and die. Then my father died suddenly and I inherited his property in London. We decided to sell the London property and move back to India, where my son had been born and the project was abandoned. It was a great experience though. I often think back to those days, it would have been great to finish the yurt. If I had known about permaculture back then, I may never have left.
2 years ago
The main yurt was built on a slight hillside, so I used the opportunity to make a raised foundation so that we could create more depth and incorporate a good sized sleeping loft into the yurt. The foundation was also wide enough to stack straw bales. I had to adapt the yurts roof, something I'd never seen done before to provide a good overhang. I used steel cable to anchor the overhang onto the foundation. This cable became flush with the straw bales and would have been plastered into the wall. That may or may not have been a good idea. In a storm the cable might've flexed and cracked the plaster. I'll never know because it was never plastered in the end. We used a mix of sawdust, mud and cow dung for the floor of the yurt to provide a strong insulated floor. If id have thought i'd have put in underfloor heating pipe.
2 years ago
I could have used thicker plastic, I don't remember what I used now, it was about 15 years ago. If I were to do it again the only difference is I'd make it permanent and use glass.
2 years ago
Hazel is a very limber wood. It was used by the Irish for centuries to make their bender tents. I made many benders when I was on the English free festival circuit. Another wood thats good for this is willow which can be more difficult to find. If you get a hazel rod about 1-1/4" thick at the base and about 8-12' long you can bend it gently around your knee, gently and gradually easing it into a curve, move the rod every 2 or 3 feet continually giving a gentle bend so that eventually you get a nicely curved and strong rod. You have to be gentle or you can break it. You can embed two of them about 6 feet opposite each other, about a foot into the ground, then pull the top ends towards each other and entwine their ends together and tie them with string to make a loop hoop with the top about 6 feet above the ground. You can make a row of them, and then thread straighter rods, weaving them between the uprights and tie to make a really strong light structure, which can be covered with tarpaulin or plastic.
2 years ago
The hazel rod frame greenhouse with wattle retaining wall and stones on the bank and on the path to store the days heat. Unfortunately I don't have any pictures of the great harvest we had that summer. My camera had broken and I couldn't afford a new one.
2 years ago
Simultaneous to building the yurts we began to try to get the land back into production. This part of Spain is known as the bread basket of Europe. It is known for production of wheat, barley and other grains. The land was pretty depleted when we got it. So with what little dung we got from the four cows our families shared we attempted to grow some of our food. I didn't know about permaculture then, but I did try to follow the work of John Jeavens with the double digging of beds, along with following Rodales companion planting guides. This part of the valley was south facing. I was walking on the property looking for a good spot to settle, when I discovered this particular spot which in bright sunlight was warm enough for me to remove my coat, while the rest of the valley was minus 16c. I decided to build a greenhouse along this bank, and stacked it with stones that would absorb the days heat and give it off in the night. It worked really well. I used hazel rods to make the frame and to make a wattle to hold back the soil on the bank. I also installed a hand pump to bring up water from the stream below.
2 years ago
There was a creek the lay between us and the land. In the spring that creek becomes a fast stream so we needed to build a bridge over it. Here are a few photos pf the bridge building.
2 years ago
After selling the yurts, we had enough to build two yurts for the project. We dug out a trench the size of the yurt base, piled the dirt into a cement mixer and added 6% cement, then piled it right back in the hole. It made a pretty solid foundation. Then we mounted the frames on the foundation. I left room on my yurt to stack straw bales around the outside. Then I planned on plastering them with a lime mud plaster.
2 years ago