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.

Tuesday, December 27, 2011

One rubbish and recycle bin used for the whole year

Principle 6: Produce no waste

One year on, and mission of only using one rubbish and one recycle bin achieved. Christmas tree with mostly home made decorations made from recycled paper in background.
Our 'binimum' mission of filling one recycle bin and one rubbish bin in one year has been successfully completed! There was even a little bit of room left for more recycling, but we wanted to hang onto some of our containers because they are so useful.
I was pretty sure that we wouldn't make our rubbish goal with a couple of months to go, but some gentle persuasion (jumping on rubbish) we managed to get all of our household and shed waste into the rubbish bin. Unfortunately it was so well compacted that only half came out when the bin was 'emptied'!
The recycle bin was less of a challenge, though it is twice the size of the rubbish bin. We reused a lot of the containers that we bought, and even asked for more from our neighbours when we were preserving. I'm sure that there is a limit to how many you can hold on to, but I'd still like to get some more of those oil cans to turn into drawers.

Here are some of the things that we did to reduce our waste:
  • Old or underused clothing gets given to friends or sent to the Op-Shop if it's good enough, if not we cut them up and use them for once-off baby wipes which are then composted (not synthetics). Other old clothing material is used as rags before being thown in the bin or composted as appropriate.
  • Underused toys or electronic gadgets are given to friends or sent to the Op-Shop if they are good enough. If not they are disassembled to recover anything useful (like screws) or recycle what we can before the rest is thrown out. I even unsoldered a circuit board from a broken toy organ today and recovered a number of LEDs, a switch, speaker and electronic bits & pieces. I wonder if I'll ever use them?
  • Plastic bags and containers are washed and dried if they are good enough, so we can reuse them. Some are given away with excess produce to friends, most end up recycled or in the bin.
  • Soap nuts were used for washing dishes and clothes. Bi-Carb, vinegar and 'Sard Wonder' soap for other cleaning.
  • Our philosophy is to grow, make and use as much as we can ourselves, which avoids most waste all together. 
  • We try to swap or exchange with local friends who also grow
  • We try to source what we can from local farms, buying in bulk (like wheat and olive oil). 
  • We buy bulk foods using our own containers where possible, and use the supermarket as a last resort (it is really handy at times). 
The experiment of radically reducing waste is not only possible but fun and creative too. We wont continue the challenge in the new year, but will keep track of how many bins we put out. I'm curious to see how much waste we produce over the coming year now that we have become more established in our home and are more aware of how to reduce and even eliminate rubbish altogether.

Many containers reused in the shed.  Three old doors and offcuts used to make the working bench and shelves.
Particularly useful are the old oil tins that have their sides cut out of them, making fantastic drawers. Smaller tins are used to divided them up.
Some tin cans were kept in the shed for use later. I've found the sardine cans useful in the garden as beer traps for slugs and slaters.
An old paint tin used to store small metal scraps that will be recycled when I go to the transfer station next
Some extra beer bottles left over from my 40th that are yet to be cleaned and reused for preserving or brewing
Jars and beer bottles reused for preserving some of our boysenberry harvest. We made cordial, jam, sauces and just plain fruit.
Bottles reused for purchasing liquids in bulk and for storing Kunie's kombucha
Other jars and containers are washed and kept inside for storage or preserving
Paper, boxes and excess produce scraps are fed to the compost. Tasty produce and food scraps fed to chickens and worm farm.
Kai in the tree house serving up a imaginative meal of 'carrot and pumpkin soup with lollies', reusing broken toys, beer caps and old containers.

UPDATE: 31st December 2011
I was contacted by a social worker in India recently with this question:
"We have no government/city waste management available here. We compost our food waste, burn our paper, reuse/recycle our plastic bottles...but we have nothing to do with wrappers (for potato chip bags, candy wrappers, etc.).
We don't have a lot of these items, but we want to know what to do with it. How we can bury it so that it has low impact on the soil."
At the time I responded with:
"One thing that you may want to consider is looking at the properties of the material. The fact that it doesn't break down could be useful. Perhaps they could be twisted together and made into something else that is useful, a basket perhaps? Be creative and think outside the square...

Of course it would be better not to buy them in the first place."

The question has stayed with me and I mentioned it to my builder mate Pete who suggested that the material might make good insulation. Crumpled up and stuffed into bags it could be used in the roof space or wall cavities. Then I realised that a lot of the chip and lolly wrappers these days have foil inside and I wondered about finding a way to stick the wrappers down onto a sheet of something flat (even sew them on some material) and use them like building foil to reflect heat.
They could also potentially be used to replace foil in conjunction with other waste plastic to replace the paper (for insulation) in the making of solar cookers like the tyre cooker from the video below.


Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Town branding rejected - with some help

Principle 4: Apply self regulation and accept feedback

After seeing the new Seymour branding designs at the local market I was inspired to write an article in the local paper offering an alternative to a military theme for the town, that being the railway. It seems that there was quite a bit of support for my suggestion, and others who supported the inclusion of the Goulburn River / Historic Bridge along with the Military and Railway. In fact nobody that I spoke to supported a Military theme on it's own.
Unfortunately the recommendations made to council did not reflect this and figures supplied in the recommendations still suggested that 90% of people supported the military theme.
I wrote this letter to the councillors just before their meeting:
I write to inform you of my objection to the branding of Seymour with a Military theme and the process employed.

The options provided to the public were all military based and did not actually provide any real option at all.

At Chris Guthrie's presentation at the Seymour market he did not present an option to object to the concept, but asked which of the logos was preferred. In my feedback at the time I selected one of the designs (best of a bad bunch), but asked the question why Seymour was not being branded as a railway town. Chris dismissed the idea and included my feedback as support for the design that I indicated. I later provided extensive negative feedback to council via email.

It seems that feedback made by passers by at displays is valued in the same was as extensive and well documented feedback presented to council.

I later wrote an article in the 'Seymour Telegraph' proposing branding Seymour as a Railway Town and asked locals what they thought about the idea. Everyone that I spoke to thought that it was better than a Military theme and offered more business opportunities for the town. This suggests that the "90% support for a military theme", as Mr Guthrie suggests is not accurate at all.

I have also been told that staff at the shire have had only negative feedback to the military image, and that "something is really wrong with Chris's calculations".

I request that you reject Mr Guthrie's recommendations and look at real options for the branding of Seymour. That being the River, Rail and Military - even in combination.

Regards,

Richard Telford
Graphic Designer for the branding of Violet Town
and Seymour resident
I wasn't the only one to object to the original branding concept, I had support from other locals. Together we put pressure on council to reconsider, and they did. The result has given me some faith that I can make an impact on the wider world and that hidden agendas will need to face scruitiny and feedback from people like myself.

Article from page 3 of the 'Seymour Telegraph' Dec 14th 2011

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Something smells fishy around here

Principle 6: Produce no waste
Principle 11: Use edges and value the marginal

Snapper fish stock in the making
A phone call from my mate Brian produced an unexpected frenzy of activity at our house recently. In preparation for a wedding reception at my old home of Commonground, three and a half large (20 litre) buckets of filleted Snapper fish frames (and one whole one) were made available to us. There were probably 30 - 40 of them, all caught in Port Phillip bay the day before. Rather than just compost these we decided to value add them, as Kunie was very excited by the idea of producing fish stock.
We weren't really set up for dealing with such an abundant harvest, but got to task as soon as I came home with them. I chopped up the frames into more manageable pieces using a tomahawk and we filled up a large pot which was topped up with water and put on the gas - about five times. Once brought to the boil the frames were removed and fish meat carefully separated.
Meanwhile... I raced off and went shopping for a freezer, as we had no way storing that quantity of  meat, along with one whole fish. Being 4:35 on a Friday afternoon I didn't have much time. Fortunately I'd done a fair bit of research on freezers in the past, and had a good idea of what I was after and what was a good price. I wanted a small chest freezer, these easily be converted to a super efficient fridge with the addition of a control box that uses a temperature sensor to turn off power.
I managed to buy one and find a mate to pick it up for me within the hour.
We were up till 1:30am separating the meat and packing it in the freezer, collecting about 7kg in all. The next day we used the stock from the initial cooking to boil up the bones again, to extract even more flavour. We decided to light a fire in the backyard to do the job, cleaning up scrappy bits of wood to do the job. We ended up having three pots on the boil for most of the day, making about 10 litres or so of very strong stock and quite a smell too boot. We bought 10 ice cube trays and froze some in this way, with the rest in small zip-lock bags.
While I was keen for the chickens to pick over the scraps, they weren't interested. The bones ended up in the compost bin covered with a layer of soil. The smell has lingered longer than expected, but the little insects are having a ball and should get through it in no time, producing fantastic compost for our vegies.
I couldn't bring myself to eat fish soup for a few days after, but yesterday we had a noodle soup with some fish stock, and a risotto that used the stock and fish. Both were delicious!
The new freezer has got us thinking about a mission for next year, a year without a fridge... more on that later.

Monday, December 5, 2011

Tree House evolution

Principle 5: Use and value renewable resources and services

Kunie collecting vegetables for dumplings while Nana, Sen and Kai watch from the tree house
Over the past four months the stark box in a tree has transformed into a treetop wonderland. As the canopy regrows after the heavy pruning it provides a ever changing shaded play space that overlooks the gardens and activities below.
Pruning continues ad hoc as the internal area of the tree house is used in imaginary games (fishing, cooking etc). It's envisaged that the larger surviving branches will be tied together to create an espailered dome after the leaf drop, further enhancing this creative space that continues to evolve.

Kai in the tree house

Kai preparing a meal of 'bacon and eggs' for Nana in the tree house




Friday, November 18, 2011

The longest pelmet ever?

Design Principle 2: Catch and store energy

I spent quite a few months thinking about the best way to build a 7m long pelmet, and came up with this approach...
Living room pelmet under construction with extra support added to curtain rail to prevent sag
The finished pelmet, made with lining boards recovered from the original bungalow, oiled and varnished
...90x45mm pine battens were screwed into the box beams on the ceiling, supporting the structure. 75x19mm pieces of pine were attached at an angle to the battens so that they run vertically and a small chock of wood was added to brace them onto the rail brackets. The weather boards were nailed onto these mini studs. I added some extra support in between the curtain rail brackets using metal bracing off-cuts. I added a plain pine cornice and oiled and varnished the lot, so that it ties in with the rest of the room.
The diagram below shows how the pelmet prevents convection currents in winter, during summer our eaves do most of the work by preventing any sun from hitting the north (sunward) facing windows. Sun reflection off the decking and the external temperature transfer heat through the glass during summer. We close the curtains on really hot days, keeping the room dark and reducing the heat transfer as the hot air gets trapped between the curtain and the pelmet, unable to continue to rise up. Gaps at the edges of the curtains reduces the effectiveness of this though. Extra external shading would be better, but I have been reluctant to install sails as everyone that I know that has them does not take them down during winter. Options of easily removable shading or decidous plants are more appealing, but I haven't quite figured the best way to do that yet.
Curtains and blinds together with pelmets will help to keep heat inside the home. They prevent warm air from coming in contact with the cold glass. Source: www.sa.gov.au
 
I was contacted by a teacher who was running the 'Home Sustainability Course' at Seymour's Go TAFE. She asked if she could take her group to tour our home during mid winter, and I was happy to oblige. As a bonus, one of the teachers that joined the group was an energy assessor who brought along his thermal camera. Wayne took some around the living room that show the effectiveness of curtains with pelmets in regulating temperature extremes and how aluminimum and single glazed glass act as thermal conductors.

Sliding doors on northern window (Aluminium strip between)

Thermal shot showing west living room window with curtain open

Same location showing west living room curtain closed (with pelmet)

Thermal shot of west wall showing timber studs acting as thermal conductors, not as dramatic as aluminium or glass though.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

Finishing touches

Principle 7: Design from patterns to details
There have been a bunch of jobs that I've been working on while the family have been in Japan visiting family. The types of things that I can live without doing, but haunt me every time I walk past them. The details.
The bathroom sink cover plate was quite a task, though a relatively small one. I tried to find a piece of timber that would cover the plumbing with a natural edge on the bottom. Of course there wasn't one suitable, so I had to make it up, gluing two pieces together.
I made up a template to get the shape that I was after and transferred this onto the red gum. Getting the curve to fit below the sink was a bit tricky without the right tools. A band saw would be great, but a drill and some wood files had to do.
I attached brackets to the inside and mounted the final piece from the back. It was oiled with linseed and painted with three coats of floor bio varnish so that it matched the rest of the bench.


Creating a template using cardboard to cover the plumbing

Cutting a curve through 35mm red gum using a drill

Joining two pieces of red gum using PVA glue and clamps

Finished job; sanded, linseed oiled and three coats of bio varnish
Principle 6: Produce no waste

When we moved in we were in such a rush that some of the I didn't get a chance to paint the floor as much as I would have liked. I gave the bathroom floor another six (or so?) coats of varnish to protect the timber, as it was beginning to show signs of water damage. I gave the toilet, hallway and kitchen floor another couple of coats after giving them a good clean and light sand.
The kitchen bench got another six or so coats too, as it too was showing signs of wear, and the silicon was touched up around the edges.
The Natural Timber Oil that I used for the north facing deck was very disappointing, but on the south side, where it is in shade and under cover it looks great. I decided to over paint the north deck with linseed oil instead, giving up on the 'polished' look, but re coated the south deck with the remaining timber oil as it has held up well. The north deck also needed some leveling out as the red gum had moved in places which created some tripping hazards.



Another six coats of vanish for the kitchen bench
Small areas of the red gum deck have moved and were planed and sanded back

Rather than continue to use the disappointing decking oil I decided to paint it with linseed oil
Front deck freshly recoated with Bio decking oil (2 coats)

Friday, October 21, 2011

Heritage right outside the door

Principle 1: Observe and interact


On a walk through the Seymour Market recently I noticed a council display putting forward some logo designs for the new town branding. All four of the designs were a Military Theme. As it happens, I have been reading a book about the history of Seymour called 'New Crossing Place' by H. G. Martingdale. The impact of the railway on the town was enormous, and I felt that council should consider, and offer as an option, the branding of Seymour as a Railway Town. 

The Yarra Parlour Car (1906), refurbished in 1964. A stunning display at the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre that was originally used by people who thought that first class wasn't good enough, and paid for the privilege.
A detail from the Parlour Car showing one of the lights (originally gas), pressed metal ceilings and lead light windows
The X31 loco (1966) at the Seymour Railway Heritage Centre. For every one diesel introduced from 1965/66, two steam trains were scrapped.

I contacted Chris Guthrie, the business development officer who presented the councils proposal and asked why the option of branding Seymour as a Railway Town was not put forward. In his response he said:
"...during consultations undertaken to date (around 180 people have provided opinion already at public displays of the brand throughout the town) the Military Theme has gained strong support. I would say overwhelmingly – above 90% of people support this approach. People are generally proud of Seymour’s military heritage and history and are happy to support the approach.  Railway Heritage has been mentioned but only by a very small minority."
While there seems to be strong support for a Military Theme for the town, there was no alternative offered. I began asking what other local people felt about the Military Theme and was not surprised to hear that most people had no idea that the branding exercise was happening and that most people that I spoke to preferred the Railway Town branding alternative as an option. I contacted the editor of the Seymour Telegraph, our local newspaper and asked if he would be interested in the story. He was "more than interested", so I wrote the following article.

Railway Town Revival? 
(retitled Promote Railway Past, appeared in Seymour Telegraph 19th October 2011)

The role of Seymour as a 'crossing place' along the Goulburn River was transformed after the floods of 1870, when the railway arrived in 1872. With the addition of a Goods Shed later that year it became the first railway town in Victoria. The town centre gradually moved east from Emily Street to the higher ground at Station Street to avoid the risk of flood damage and take advantage of the commercial benefit of the new railway station. The railway became a logistical hub and a boon to the emerging farming economy that had relied on bullock drays, stage coaches and paddle steamers to transport people and goods. Being near the junction of three train routes brought with it large marshaling yards, an administrations and maintenance centre. At its peak the railway employed over 400 men and about one third of the towns population were railway families. The refreshment rooms at the station became the largest in country Victoria that once employed 34 people and catered for 150 in the buffet and 112 in the dining room.

The future of transport
With the arrival of cheap oil, cars and trucks took the place of many of the railways functions. Worldwide oil production is now declining and trains are once again becoming a preferred method for transportation. Trains are the most efficient form of overland freight / long distance passenger transportation that will reduce our greenhouse gas emissions and lessen our impact on climate change. Major investment has been made on upgrading the rail networks and patronage has increased on regional lines by over 100% during the last six years. In the transition to a low energy future trains will play a major role, and Seymour is well placed to support the revival.

Seymour, a Railway Town
There are a number of existing enterprises, events and attractions in the district that support the branding of Seymour as a Railway Town.
- The Seymour Railway and Heritage Centre, located near the heart of town, with tours of vintage locomotives, magnificent parlour and royal cars and an assortment of carriages.
- Regular heritage train tours that run from Seymour to locations such as Tocumwal, Geelong, Melbourne, Marybourgh and Creswick.
- The restoration and maintenance of locomotives and carriages by local volunteers at the Heritage Centre.
- The Goulburn River High Country Rail Trail which runs from Tallarook to Alexandria / Mansfield (134km) due for completion at the end of 2011. Funding is currently being sought by council to extend the trail to Seymour.
- The grand buildings of the Seymour railway station including the largest country refreshment rooms in the state.
- The 'Tastes of the Goulburn' food and wine festival, held at the station each year for the last 10 years - usually featuring heritage train rides.
- The high profile steam train at the JW Elliot reserve on Anzac Avenue, opposite the train station.
- The Kerrisdale Mountain Railway and Steam Museum display (20km S.E of Seymour)

Attracting more business to Seymour
Further investment in developing the Heritage Centre as a major tourist attraction would bring with it more business to the heart of Seymour. It's location, an easy walk from the station, brings people to the doors of local shops. With picnic areas nearby, pubs, restaurants and take away food stores along Station Street there's plenty of reason for visitors to stick around. Not to mention the Post Office Gallery, Goulburn River Walk, the Vietnam Veterans Commemorative Walk (that will be constructed), the Light Horse Memorial Park and Bushland reserve further afield.
The refreshment rooms at the station have great potential to become a social hub for the community, much like Maryborough Station which has a café, wine bar, art gallery, antique store and holds markets that attract around 3000 visitors each market. Building on the Tastes of the Goulburn, Seymour stations refreshment rooms could build on the existing café and offer gourmet local foods and wines and display local artwork and crafts with more support from the local community. Perhaps a restaurant, food co-op, or model train display in the unused dining rooms along with a community market in the park could add to the attraction?

Will a Military Theme benefit local business?
The councils current proposal to brand Seymour with a military theme does not bring visitors into the heart of town. The main military attraction to the area is the Tank Museum in Puckapunyal. The Commemorative Walk and Light Horse Park are attractions that support the rich heritage of the railway, which originally attracted the military to the area, but are not major tourist attractions in themselves. A military theme would best be reserved for Puckapunyal, where the military reside. Let's look to a future for Seymour and build on our railway past.

Chris Guthrie, from Mitchell Shire, stated that over 90% of people he has consulted support the military theme - but there was no alternative provided. Your feedback is urgently needed if you support the revival of Seymour as a Railway Town. Feedback on the branding exercise ends on Friday the 28th of October. Email tourism@mitchellshire.vic.gov.au with your comments or suggestions.
Article that I wrote for the Seymour Telegraph that looks at branding Seymour as a Railway Town, rather than with a military theme which is being proposed by council
Q-class steam locomotive, Seymour roundhouse, circa 1890s (from Museum Victoria)
'Seymour Loco' (Seymour Locomotive Depot) 1950.
To the left of the picture is the coal stage, an elevated track that was used to transfer coal. Large amounts of firewood stacked at base of photo, used to start off the boilers. The large roundhouse (now demolished) was a maintenance shed built around the turntable, which is still in operation. Oak Street on bottom right of image.

Since I wrote the article I have been contacted by steam driver Jim Rae, who worked in the railways for 38 years from 1949, and in Seymour from 1954. He worked with Jack Kidd, who was part of the maintenance crew, and the man who owned the bungalow that I deconstructed and turned into Abdallah House. He brought around the Seymour Loco photo above and told me all about what was happening in the image.  This area is just 100m from my house, and looks nothing like this now, none of the buildings remain. I am looking at recording an interview with Jim as he discusses the history of the railway heritage of Seymour.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

New life for Cherry Plums


When I bought this property I inherited about a dozen wild Cherry Plum trees. I've retained most of them with the idea of grafting on other fruiting varieties. Using the Cherry Plum as a root stock gives me the ability to graft on varieties of the Prunus family: Plums, Peaches, Necatines, Apricots, Almonds and Cherries.
The Cherry Plums were all out of control, I removed a few of them and have been gradually prunning back the rest of them, using a few different approaches.
  • The ground level pruning approach, with lots of young whips coming up. 
  • The hack it back really hard approach, with pretty good recovery. 
  • And the slowly, slowly approach which leaves some mature branches to bear fruit and still offer shade for the summer. I've used this later approach in prunning the established apple and pear tree, with a three to four year vision for bringing the tree down to a more managable level.
I've uses hand tools for the majority of the pruning, and it's been a huge job. The advantage of using hand tools is that I can use every part of the trees in the most constructive way. Large branches were cut using the prunning saw for use as poles / firewood. Medium sized branches were cut into smaller pieces using heavy duty lopers for use as firewood and stakes. The whips and small branches were cut using the secateurs and used for weaving on garden edgeing or kindling. Leaves and twigs were cut up usings secateurs for mulch, though I've recently been given a electric mulcher that I'm now using for that job.

One of our Cherry Plums before pruning
Lopers, pruning saw, secateurs and gloves used to cut back overgrown fruit trees making mulch, firewood and poles in the process
Weaving long whips through stakes that surround a vegetable garden, with lettuce and parsley taking advantage of the edge

Weaving smaller straight stick into reinforcing steel off-cuts as a garden edging

The trees have been cut back pretty hard, leaving the really large branches for the chainsaw, some mature ones to fruit and young whips remaining as grafting stock. I was given a range of largely unnamed prunus scions to practice with along with guidance from local gardening expert Brian Bowering. I made about two dozen grafts using the cleft / wedge and whip and tongue grafting methods. The idea being that I should do as many grafts as I could to practice with the tools and techniques, surprising to me was that most of the grafts took. As well as good technique / guidance, the timing is critical. As the tree begins to move out of dormancy, before the buds swell too much.

Cherry Plum heavily cut back, but leaving some braches to fruit and whips for grafting on to
Grafting knives; orange one with a flat edge and a sharp edge folding knife. Tape; green one (florist tape) is used for taping up the end of the scion to reduce moisture loss, while the clear tape is to secure the graft.

A Peach (I think) cleft grafted onto a Cherry Plum, notice tag at base to identify it
The graft has taken, the tape will be removed at the end of the season

Monday, September 19, 2011

Building a treehouse

Principle 11: Use edges and value the marginal

The tree house, which should soon be overgrown with new foliage
I had been wondering whether or not to remove this large tree from the backyard for some time. I've had it identified by a couple of people but never written down the name and forgotten it promptly. It's an elm of some descrition I think and I'm pretty sure that it's considered a weed. It's a fast growing and brittle timber, very light like balsa wood. I prunned it heavily to about a third of it's height about a year ago.
There have been a few good reasons why I've kept it, even though it shades out my minimal prime vegie growing land. It's deciduous, providing shade in the summer for the kids to play under, it can provide an ongoing timber source (firewood, garden use) and I saw potential for it to become the base for a tree house for the kids. Creating space where there wasn't any before - important stuff on a small block.
After a year or so of mulling over the idea of a tree house I decided to do it. I got inspired into action by a mate who built one for his kids, "even though there were plenty of other important jobs to do", you've got to do these things before the kids grow up. I was keen to get the job finished before the new growth started so that it would eventually soften the stark project.
I had the idea of using chains to suspend the floor joists. There are three joists, the middle one sits nicely within two opposing forks in the tree, which just happen to be near on level. The other two have a direct connection to the tree at one point and hung from a chain at the other. One of the advantages with the chain that I see is that it can be adjusted as the tree grows, to help keep the floor relatively level. The joists were fixed together to make the base frame, painted with linseed oil and strips of cement sheet were fixed on top before flooring was laid, to help prevent rot. 30mm x 90mm timber was used for flooring to give added strength and longevity. Uprights positioned and corrugated iron fixed for walls, which brace it well. Then it was painted with linseed with the help of it's new owner.
It feels very sturdy and can easily hold the weight of a couple of adults. A lot stonger than the tree houses I made when I was a kid. I think that it should last as long as the kids should want to use it... then I got thinking wouldn't make a great platform for a urban beehive?

Two chains were used to suspend floor joists
Cement sheet offcuts were used between the timber to help its life

Thick hardwood (old wall studs) timber flooring painted with linseed oil

The grand opening on Kai's 4th birthday

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