Eco-construction maquettes

Sunseed is the perfect place to research, learn about and experiment with eco construction techniques. Through creating maquettes (scale models) – of geodesic domes, yurts, cob houses, and cane structures to name just a few – volunteers can learn in detail about these designs and structures, with a view to working on the real thing in future.

These models will become a beautiful educational exhibit for visitors, volunteers and school groups, and a reference for all those who come to work on eco-construction projects in future.

Time: 3+ weeks

Skills: ability to research independently and work with fine details.

If you would like to work on this project, please contact eco.construction@sunseed.org.uk.

SunseedEco-construction maquettes

Redesign our outside area

Sunseed has several outside spaces with great potential, but that are in need of a redesign to create harmonious, user-friendly spaces that make best use of the land available. Perhaps you have experience in permaculture or other design techniques and would like to put this into practice? Sunseed is the perfect place to experiment and create a design that will have a real impact on those who use it.

Duration: 2+ weeks (depending if it is just design, or design and build)

Skills: Understanding of basic design principles would be beneficial, and/or willingness to research and learn.

If you would like to volunteer on this project, please contact eco.construction@sunseed.org.uk.

SunseedRedesign our outside area

Stone flooring

Would you like to practice technical skills such as tiling or paving? Our outdoor areas are in need of new flooring, so it’s up to you to create beautiful, safe floors and walkways for the project that will make our outdoor spaces attractive and easier to clean! Undertaking this project will ensure that you leave a durable mark on Sunseed’s appearance.

Time: 1 week +

Skills: None required, but a methodical approach and eye for detail is a must!

If you would like to undertake this project, please contact eco.construction@sunseed.org.uk.

SunseedStone flooring

Natural pigments and paints

This project involves the researching, collection and processing of local natural pigments for the elaboration of natural paints using flour or lime. With the support of the eco-construction coordinator, the volunteer will experiment with different materials and techniques to find appropriate eco-friendly solutions to painting structures in Sunseed, making them more attractive and durable.

Required skills: None

Duration: 1 – 2 weeks

If you would like to undertake this project, please contact eco.construction@sunseed.org.uk.

SunseedNatural pigments and paints

Recycled showroom

This project will enable a volunteer to learn and experiment with different sustainable construction techniques. You will build sample structures to demonstrate to visitors, volunteers and school groups the functions and usefulness of recycled and natural materials in construction, including “eco-bricks” (unrecyclable plastic sheets stuffed into plastic bottles), glass bottles, cob and rammed earth.

(Shown in picture is a retaining wall made of tyres rammed with earth and bottles at a Brighton earthship)

Skills: None required, as you will be supported by the eco-construction coordinator, though basic construction skills are welcome, and a desire to undertake own research and learning is a must.

Duration: 3 Weeks – 1 month

If you would like to undertake this project, please contact eco.construction@sunseed.org.uk.

SunseedRecycled showroom

No Gas Week Challenge

We would like to prepare for an entire week where we would not use any gas to cook. This is a lot harder than it might seem. During summer, Sunseed has about 30 people eating breakfast, lunch and dinner.

However, we have alternatives to gas. At Sunseed we have several types of solar ovens (e.g. a parabolic cooker and a box solar cooker), we also have a gasifier and a couple of food and herb dehydrators. Some of these need some small repairs, but they are close to being functional.

As we share the cooking tasks in teams of two people, all the people cooking that week would need to learn about the alternative ways of cooking. The person in charge of this project would prepare and lead 2 or 3 seminars on alternative cooking (including using the solar cookers, gasifier, etc.) but also could include raw cooking. The project might include preparing a menu for the entire week and coach the cooking teams to help them prepare this menu.

Skills: Interest in cooking, wanting to learn about original and alternative ways of cooking

Duration: 1 or 2 months

SunseedNo Gas Week Challenge

Adopt a garden

This project offers an opportunity to adopt one of the gardens here at sunseed to learn basic techniques of gardening (watering, planting, fertilising etc)

Skills: Interest in gardening, wild plants, aromatics and perennials

Duration: 4 months- more

SunseedAdopt a garden

Demonstration wormery

To complement the worm composting system that is currently being constructed at Sunseed there is an opportunity to design and build a small scale, functioning, worm composting unit as an educational resource. This resource needs to be easily replicable with everyday household materials and transportable. Once completed the mobile worm composter can be taken to schools, festivals and other events to demonstate the benefits of worm composting to turn household food waste into a valuable fertiliser for the garden.

Skills: Interest in composting, vermicpomposting, design, practical skills

Duration: 1 month

SunseedDemonstration wormery

Tool maintenance

Clean, sharp, tools work better and are often one of the biggest expenditures in the garden. This project is an opportunity to learn how to maintain and look after the most common garden tools. Working with the Organic Gardens and Appropriate Technology department you will learn the traditional principles of blade sharpening, oiling and sanding tool handles, and many more skills involved in general repair and maintenance.

Skills: Interest in gardening, traditional skills, carpentry, tool maintenance

Duration: 1 – 4 weeks

 

SunseedTool maintenance

Introduce new areas for growing important perennial and wild plants for use in the garden

There are a number of perennial herbs and wildplants (nettles, comfrey, horsetail, chamomile, dandelion) that are used in the garden as an important addition to mulch, compost and compost teas. It is important that we increase the supply and availability of these plants all year round and begin building adequate stored reserves for when their properties are needed. This project will involve a range of plant propogating methods, seed saving, harvesting, drying and storing.

Skills: Interest in gardening, wild plants, aromatics and perennials.

Duration: 1-3 months

SunseedIntroduce new areas for growing important perennial and wild plants for use in the garden