During the day the whole team arrived from various points of the compass. Ten adults and five children in total. With Rory and Ali visiting from Wheathampstead we had a powerful labour force. There was action on all fronts. The four door frames for the polytunnel were assembled each requiring 200 nails! The instruction manual is a bit of a crossword puzzle at times but we worked out how the door posts are positioned and set. The first one was hung from the frame and cemented in place successfully. Tussocky grass and stones were removed from the area under the frame. Meanwhile the huge pile of horse manure that our local farmer has been delivering weekly was turned and restacked. A huge bonfire mostly of accumulated bramble cuttings burned to ash which will go onto the raised beds. More clearing of the ground alongside the byre wall was undertaken. A late surge of nailing saw two polytunnel side rails put together and laid alongside the frame.
Taking advantage of another fine morning we have the whole team onsite early. The forecast was for rain so we were eager to capitalise on yesterday’s work. One of the two sets of doors were hung after a minor crisis in understanding how to apply hinges. Luckily a phone call to the supplier quickly gave us the key information that was not in the manual. We were impressed that they were on call on a Sunday. We were very pleased the doors fitted nicely and worked as intended. The two prepared side rails were attached around the base of the frame and a third assembled and bolted into position. The rain started late morning and we packed up for the day. Whilst all the construction work was afoot children were playing in and out of the caravan, baby Sylvie was minded and brews and biscuits provided to the workers. The background work and negotiation needed to enable mums and dads to take a turn at the main tasks is not to be underestimated. Catering is also a key job. We are a group of chiefs each used to organising and managing but so far we seem to find a way to make all this happen without heavy planning or complex management. Net product is a shared satisfaction in our achievements and a good laugh along the way. We all ended sitting around the makeshift table under the passageway enjoying soup and sandwiches before each going our separate way.
The final task was to deal with the toilet waste. The urine container in the composting toilet had filled well and was emptied on the horse manure, all good for compost. The solids bucket was emptied into a repository comprising three tyres stacked one on the other and covered with a large board again for future use. We have all been impressed with the efficiency of the toilet. There is no odorous downside and it is simple to manage.