Using permaculture ethics & design principles to transform an old energy guzzling bungalow into a showcase of sustainable design. It's about energy cycling, building community, self-reliance,creatively using & reusing materials... all without spending heaps of money.

Sunday, July 19, 2009

Collecting and using local resources

Principle 5: Use and value natural resources and services

There are two parts to this principle: the using and the valuing. It's important that we address both. For instance, we can value rain, but unless we use it, we'll need to rely on more energy intensive methods to have access to water. Conversely, if we use water without valuing it, we will one day run out and wonder where it all went.

I heard about a second-hand water tank that was for sale that suited my needs. It was manufactured in Seymour, but needed to be picked up from Broadford, about 20km away. Fortunately for me, my mate Brian has had some experience moving such things and has some great knot tying skills; he gave me a hand. Soon we will be able to collect rainwater (after we build a roof to collect it) to use on site.


The 23,000lt galvanised water tank loaded and ready to go


We unloaded and rolled the tank into position. On top of the stone covered pad, we laid a corrugated iron base for the tank to sit on, which will help extend its lifespan


The tank was then filled with 5cm of water so that it doesn't blow away in strong winds.


I've been collecting all manner of natural resources on site. Piles are growing, moving and being used. Here are a few of the things that I've been collecting:


Red Gum slabs (milled at the house site), stacked for air drying


Red Gum boards (milled at the house site), stacked for air drying


Red Gum branches, for posts, poles and firewood


Red Gum, plum and pear branches for poles, screening and firewood


Red Gum mulch for building top soil, reducing evaporation and paths


Red Gum sawdust for composting


Top soil for garden beds


Sub soil for landscaping


Tiles from deconstruction (not exactly a natural resource, but a resource all the same) - still trying to figure out a good re-use for these


Also sourced on site, concrete path sections which may later become a permeable driveway


Packing sand, mined from the nearby river


A couple of wheely bins sourced from the creek across the road - to be used for composting


and second-hand bricks, sourced locally



6 comments:

Gina said...

Impressive array of useful stuff! Bravo Richard!

Anonymous said...

I use house tiles for edging paths and garden beds, you can also use them as fantastic reptile habitat as they warm in the sun.

Meg said...

Heya,

Do you have the guy's number who you bought your tank from?

Thanks.

permie said...

I bought the tank second-hand. He does not hve another for sale. You can buy them new from Rural Tanks in Seymour Victoria Ph 03 5799 0133 or Mob 0414 679 424

Meg said...

Thanks Richard!

joann ortiz said...

nice conservation, good for consumptive use.