Archive For March, 2012

>Spring update EPF 2012

Last Winter has been an unusual Winter. For the first time in 25 years Sunseed closed to volunteers to focus on improvement works. That was not only refereed to the houses and commodities, it was also about internal structure, management and organisation.

All the staff members have been involved in many different meetings and working groups to analyze current situation, identify needs, brainstorm ideas, plan future actions and ways to make them happen.

EPF department (Patricia and Martin) has been involved in some of these working groups: Appreciative inquiries, Volunteers experience, Networking, Income generation,                                                                     Sunseed Policies,…;

It has been great! We have had satisfactory result with which we are working now, and some of these  working groups are still going on…

Other big part of the work during this Winter has been revamping our website. Our friend Mick Fuzz has done a great job, setting up the new website into wordpress and showing all the staff how to use it. Dave Buchanan, other old friend of us and webmaster, made the transfer of the page. Then one by one each department is making its bit on creating the product you are reading now!!            Muuuyy bieen :)

EPF have been preparing the way for new volunteers and interns to come to Sunseed in the next years. Updating and translating documentation and formalizing collaboration agreements with several Universities & students for students placements & internships; as for example  Brandenburg University in Germany, CATT Innovation Management GmbH in Austria, Ca Foscari University in Venice – Italy..

During the Winter we have made the plan for the department for next year, that is the EPF Annual Plan 2012 that soon will be available in the web; including the aims and actions for the next months.

And of course, we have been preparing Sunseed 2012 Courses, Guided Tours and other activities. For this year will organise: two practical courses on Permaculture , two courses  on Solar Power – design and installation courses, two courses on  Thermal mass stove courses, a course on  Natural plaster, a course on Solar oven course and a course on 1 Solar air heater with recycled bottles.

There was space for little jobs, such as checking Sunseed information boards for updating.

Althought Sunseed was officially closed, we had host a Documentary filming;  Carlos, Jean luc Danneyrolles and Samuel, from the Frech project “Le potager d ́un curieux”  came to film during a whole day, exchange seeds and tell about their experiences visiting sustainable project from France to Granada. It was great to meet them and share dreams and realities. Good luck with your project!

In between all of this, we find the time to read, study and learn from each other. To enjoy our life together, what we offer to each other and the nature that involve us, the nature that is inside of us, the nature that we are…

We had beautiful walk … as for example to contemplate the almond blossom in January…

And now……Now we are ready now for a new start!!!  Blossoming with the spring full of projects, volunteers, activities and buzzing of enthusiasm!!

Would you like to join us?

Patricia Canas Rios – EPF Coordinator –    March 2012

>Spring update 2012

Sunseed has a new bridge! It replaces the slightly daunting stepping-stone river crossing to the River Terrace. Created from reclaimed wooden planks and pallets it uses a reciprocal structure. Two weeks ago Leo lead a seminar on Reciprocal Structures, demonstrating how to build strong roofs, bridges or houses without nails. The wood for the bridge was cut to size and trialled by the Eco Construction team on the far terrace before being dismantled and carried down to the site for reassembly. Wooden pallets were added to the structure as the walkway and stones used to stabilise the base.

The gardens, Diego I and II in particular, have been transformed in the past few weeks by hard labour from the garden team and volunteers. There have been a few group flash-weeding sessions, new beds dug and compost bays built. Both the raised and sunken beds have been well irrigated and mulched with layers of cardboard, goat manure, compost and seaweed. Planting has commenced, initially parsnips and carrots, in conjunction with the bio-dynamic lunar calender.

There have been exciting improvements and creations in many of the living areas over the past few weeks. A new washing area and shower room has recently been completed using recycled tiles and glass bottles to create a beautiful colourful space. The living room has had a make-over with the addition of a study and library area made from recycled wood and tiles, argarve and gypsum. And Gaye’s House now has a cosy sitting room complete with a wood-burning stove and electricity.