Archive | September, 2013

What a difference a builder can make

14 Sep


Thanks to Andy (a volunteer who is spending two months here at The Peace Factory) the steps leading up to the Little House have been repaired. We had been concerned about these for ages. Some steps had crumbled away and getting to and from the Little House was quite difficult, especially at night. Andy arrived and within a few days had started work. Fortunately we had a cement mixer, sand and cement still on site. It took him just three days to totally refurbish the steps. Andy is a professional builder from the UK, taking a two month sabbatical. But he has decided to do what he loves doing best – building!

Flushed with success, Andy then teamed up with Nadage, Alex, Sarah and Damien (four more volunteers) to completely re-work the garden between the factory and the Little House.


Without volunteers, progress would be very slow here. In return for their labour, volunteers receive free accommodation in the Little House. This has six small bedrooms (single bed, table, light and cupboard), plus storage space for suitcases and other possessions. They share the kitchen, living room, bathroom and toilet. Living communally generates a great team spirit. And you get to learn about other people’s cultures (and languages).

Organic manure – easy to find – hard to collect

3 Sep

We need organic manure otherwise the size and quantity of the vegetables from the garden won’t support our growing community.

Sylvain researched two farms who had organic herds and both agreed to let us have some organic manure. So off we set on the Fiat, towing the trailer. Trish, Richard, Nadege & Alex made up the team.

After over an hour’s drive we arrived in a tiny village where we were directed up a steep hill to a field containing several large piles of extremely good looking manure. The pile furthest from the gate was the oldest.

But how to get it to the trailer? The road was too rutted to reverse down, so we borrowed a wheelbarrow and filled the trailer.

20130903-224128.jpg. Everyone did their bit. 20130903-224205.jpgThis is Alex20130903-224221.jpgThis is Nadege

After filling the trailer, we gingerly drove back to Montolieu! Then we had great fun chucking the manure over the wall!

20130903-224536.jpgThe next step is to get more manure from the other farmer. Then it will be spread over the new vegetable beds, which will then be ready for planting.