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Adobe.. dobe ... dobe

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We moved into our humble abode a little over 4 years ago, but still the march to complete the house pushes on - from within. 
Over a year has passed since my last blog post, yea I know - I'm totally blog slack! On-wards an upwards aye :)
From abode, to adobe! (pronounced ah - doe - bee) ... mud that is, glorious mud. Some people put it on their faces, we just put it on our walls :)   We are laying Adobe veneer bricks (ie. non-structural) supported vertically by a fortified timber framed wall. Each of the bricks is about 4kgs and we have placed a total of about 700 bricks in our house - yes that means 2.8 tonnes :)  The bricks give good insulated thermal mass and the clay content regulates air humidity to comfortable levels. The external timber frame walls have wool insulation in them to R3.6.   
You might remember a previous post where I showed the putting up of the first adobe mud brick wall in our kitchen. Well now we attempt the same task, just about every where else on the gr…

Atamai Open Day 2015

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So yea ... that came around quickly! Has it really been another year at Atamai? About 3 weeks ago we had our annual Atamai Village Open Day. The day started somewhat dreary with clouds and rain - but it fined up real nice in the afternoon, just in time for a great day. We didn't get as many through the gates this year (probably because of the weather), but there was still a sizable crowd who came and enjoyed the house tours and the spread of Atamai related crafts, produce and food. It was great to see some new faces as well as welcoming some of the other regulars.
Here is a selection of photos from the day ... 









Ross from Scytes NZ made his regular visit to our open day, always a treat to seem him demonstrate his scything skills on our thriving slopes :) ...


Our open day wouldn't be complete without a tour of Te Mara farm, thanks to Bob the farm wrangler ...



There was also a some village crafts and products on display and for sale ...




... as were some of the produce from the f…

Garden Galore

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Howdy folks! The 20th of October 2014 marks the date of my previous post nearly a year ago. Much has happened since then!



One of the biggest changes we have experienced since moving to Atamai, is the expansion of our efforts in the vegetable garden. It has been no trivial exercise going from small “square foot” gardens in our city house in Christchurch, to our current vege garden of approximately 80m2. Last year we managed to successfully grow approximately 40m2 and we are doubling that this year, all going well. We have adopted (for now) a rotation system from Kay Baxter at Koanga Institute in the North Island. This system divides the garden into 4 equally sized sections that each consist of legumes/nitrogen fixers, heavy feeders and 2 sections for grains. The grains are there to build up carbonaceous material that will be used for the compost, and at the same time getting some grains for our consumption and for future planting. Our bulk grains are still sourced externally. Below you …