Saturday, January 5, 2013

Olivia and Bryant

Christmas lunch
As mentioned in our Christmas post, Olivia and Bryant arrived soon after Ortzi, just in time for Christmas Day, and we had a ball.

The first few days were largely spent preparing for the big day and getting to know each other, but both Bryant and Olivia were so enthusiastic about getting some work done, we did manage to squeeze in some jobs such as watering the gardens (our summer is starting to get very dry), weeding and wood splitting. In any spare moments, Olivia would be outside finding more places to weed and harvesting these for our compost.
Relaxing under the verandah
Olivia and Bryant turned out to be a good team on the wood splitter with Olivia operating the lever that drove the hydraulic blade and Bryant manhandling the logs, lining them up to be split in the right spot. Even though the weather was warming up, we managed to get about a month’s supply of firewood stacked away, so it will be completely dry by the time we need to use it.

Planting some more lettuces
Olivia with our crop of broad beans

Together we harvested the last of the broad beans. The stalks were cut off at ground level and left on the ground to be used as a mulch, until we are ready to plant brassicas (cabbages, broccoli and cauliflower) later in summer.

We gathered green pods to shuck for the beans to be used in a broad bean dip and the ones that had dried out were collected for further drying, so they will be ready to be used as seed for planting later in the year.

Bryant shifting mud bricks. Phew!
After we had recovered from our busy and joyful Christmas we spent two days working on our new mud brick cottage.

Bryant helped mix up the mortar in the concrete mixer and shifted a huge load of mud bricks close to the wall that we are building. With his help, we have now laid a total of around 100 bricks (only 800 to go).

Bryant mixing mortar
Bryant and Olivia were keen to show us some of their favourite recipes and we were happy to oblige. They took a turn in the kitchen and not only produced some delicious food, but gave us some great recipes too.

Yummy tortillas
The meal of Tortillos was not only beautiful but very, very yummy. It may have been the artichoke hearts that were added that made it SO tasty.
At work in the kitchen

For dessert they produced a “Dump” cake (a special recipe of Bryant’s mother), which was absolutely delicious with its filling of blueberries and pineapple. Then the next morning they made some delicious pancakes using, mashed bananas, eggs, cranberries and using no flour.

The delicious "Dump" cake
Apart from the great company, we really enjoyed Bryant’s and Olivia's visit because of their enthusiastic interest in learning about how permaculture principles can help people develop sustainable lifestyles. As they learn more, they are passing this information on through their blog and have plans to develop an online library of articles, informative video clips and other resources. Ultimately they would like to put all their knowledge into their own property.

Hmmm! I smell a tortilla coming up
Olivia and Bryant have now returned home to Wellington in New Zealand and are back at work, and Ortzi is staying for a few days in their flat. Hopefully one day we will catch up with our wonderful helpers again.


Louise Glut said...

Great work everyone! I'd like to read their blog. Did you note its address? I am just starting out on our nee property and would like to see what their reflections are. Stay fire free.

Andrew and Heather said...

Thanks for the comment Louise. Bryant and Olivia are still working on the Sustainablity/Permaculture Web page and haven't published it yet. When they do we will post the address as it sounds like it could be a valuable resource. Hopefully its not too hot where you are and fire free too.

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