14th November 2014
The anniversary of the beginning of this project is 7th November, the day i signed to buy the land in 2008. I am taking some time around this important date to reflect and collate information about the project to produce this annual report. 2014 has been a very different year for me, as a mum! And i’m currently struggling to balance my almost full-time job at a secondary school, with my full time job of being a mum, with finding time to keep up with The Boodaville Project. As usual I would love to have more people involved in the project and am looking for people interested in organising events on site – particularly the festival for 2015. Please read on to see exactly what we achieved this year, and how we did it.
A- EVALUATION OF LAST YEARS GOALS
B- SPENDING THIS YEAR
C- GOALS FOR 2014
A- EVALUATION OF LAST YEARS GOALS
Goals set fot 2013-14
- Permaculture The site needs to be developed along permaculture principles. Anna will do a Permaculture Design Certificate and put together a site plan with a group of interested collaborators. During several workcamps and volunteer weeks in 2014 (maybe in the style of a “Permablitz”) this plan will be put into action.
I’m pleased to say that I completed the Permaculture Design Certificate with the group Permacultura-bcn.org and started collecting data for a site plan in this google doc. Several interesting ideas for development have been suggested by permaculture teachers who have visited the site, a) a design for permanent paths, b) a large water catchment from the old house, which could be drinking standard water. We ran the biggest course yet on site (more detail later) and developed some water catchment during the practical work.
- Festival The Boodaville Festival is going ahead and the organisers for 2014 are Austin and Anita.
Sadly the festival did not go ahead, we had a bonfire, there were about 12 of us! It was cold. Kira stayed warm in a pram with many blankets.
- Infrastructure workcamps/volunteer weekends There is ongoing infrastructure work / maintenance and farm work at the project site. Most notably the upcoming olive harvest. It is hoped that collaborators and regular volunteers will be interested in managing visits for newcomers so there will be many chances to repeat weekends such as our very successful “drainage weekend” in April 2013.
We did some great work on the infrastructure this year during a woofer week at the end of July, a weekend with visitors from the permaculture course, and some volunteer opportunities at the very end of July and in the middle of August. The site accommodated 30 people for a 10 day course in August thanks to the work we did. We rebuilt the kitchen to make it big enough, including a mud covered cool storage cupboard for fruit and veg, and the fantastic John and Marina lived on site for a couple of weeks and built a structure to become the roof of the kitchen. We built around the compost toilet to create a bathroom with water collection, shower, toilet, amazing views, and a roof. The walls are still temporary. The dining room classroom area has a cane structure to make it easy to cover with plastic. BUT the plastic covers on these two structures are the next improvement we need to make! The work on the small house was done by builders not volunteers (more later). The olive harvest last year didn’t happen. But this year the trees are loaded and we’re going to try again.
- Involvement in local Ecoxarxa The Ecoxarxa had an important meeting in September 2013 and will be keeping in contact and sharing ideas and resources during 2014.
I am in regular email contact with the local group of permacultors. There are many projects in the area! Sadly I haven’t been able to attend a monthly meeting with all of them yet. When I get away from Barcelona to Boodaville I’m always extremely busy. In general I’m always extremely busy, or sleep deprived.
- Roof/floor/doors/shower done in small house The next step for the small house is to get a quote from the builder for the roof structure and find a way to pay for this. One of the crowdfunding aims was the completion of this house, so the available funds may be used for this. When the structure is in place the green roof, radiant floor, doors and shower can be completed as a series of volunteer opportunities and workcamps. To teach on these workcamps experts in the area of bio construction, carpentry and plumbing will be needed.
YES!! we have a roof, and a beautiful stone house with a chimney, but still need to cover it with earth. It was fantastic during the summer to have a cooler space and a proper shelter (all be it without doors). One of the teachers on the course in summer is interested in designing a passive solar floor heating system which we may try to implement in Spring ’15 in a workcamp.
- Continued contact with potential partners As well as developing the site in the short term, the long term goals of forming a cooperative, getting basic planning permission for the large building and designing the large building need to continue. Anyone interested should contact Anna Gurney and (when possible) meet and arrange a visit to the project.
Life is complicated and people have many things to do… however a few new friends this year have expressed interest in supporting the project, and they are very skilled and realistic, so I’ll keep you posted on this. As always, if you want to get involved get in touch!
- Generate income through offering the site for meetings/yoga retreats/alternative tourism
The big success story of the year is the EU funded Erasmus+ program we offered. The course entitled “Towards Sustainable Living and Self Reliance” was offered to 21 participants from 7 different European countries. See this video (mostly in English) and many photos and comments from participants. The course was a collaboration with the association Viaje a la Sostenibilidad and I thoroughly enjoyed working with Carlos Buj and Serbal on putting the course together. The breakdown of the finances is given in part B but the non-financial benefits from this course are very very important. For example, we gave many opportunities for volunteers to spend time in this idyllic rural project, and Boodaville has reinforced links with Ryan Frank and Susie, with Chris Fraser, an expert in bioconstruction, and has started working with Alessandro Ardovini. The kitchen managers, Alice and Grace had a challenging but rewarding experience and it showed us all that we are ready to host guests and courses on site.
B- SPENDING THIS YEAR (in euros)
TOTAL SPENDING THIS YEAR: 18,965.41€ of which 15902.90€ was capital investment.
Building work on the roof : 10759.70€
EU Course : 8205.71€ (after tax) of which 4071.40€ was on tools, equipment, building materials etc. Other site improvements and feeding volunteers : 1572.01€
WHERE DID THIS MONEY COME FROM?
EU Grant: 8205.71€
Crowdfunding Money : 1572.01€
Paid by Anna : 10759.70€
Personal bank loan : 6000€
Personal loan "Boodaville Bonds" : 1000€
Spent this year : 3759.70€
FULL DETAILS OF THE ACCOUNTS ARE PUBLISHED HERE
C- GOALS FOR 2015
Permaculture Design implementation
URGENT : Finish the drip system, put a filter in the road water catchment, put an escape on the water collection system at the bathroom.
- Permanent path design
- More water catchment
- General site design
More work on the house
URGENT: Get the roof and walls covered in earth
- Radiant floor
URGENT : Olive harvest
Activities and events
- Boodaville Festival 2015 and preparation volunteer opportunities
- EU Funded course for 2015
- Radiant floor workcamp
- WWOOFERS and volunteers on site from April until two weeks after the festival. Working on implementing the permaculture design.
- ? Repeat the course “Towards sustainable living and self-reliance” for paying participants.
Partners and Ecoxarxa
- Continue to network with local projects, and any interested collaborators
Become an association
* Definitions used throughout this document :
Workshop – a session run by a qualified teacher for which participants pay.
Workcamp – a stay at Boodaville during which an expert is on site and working and learning occurs. Participants contribute to the costs of their stay.
Volunteer opportunity – a stay at Boodaville during which working and some learning takes place, volunteers pay nothing towards their stay but work a minimum number of hours each day and are expected to follow the schedule strictly.