18th November 2016
2016 has been massive. For us at Boodaville this is because we’ve leapt forward with the project, and further away we’ve seen the world rocked by “post-truth” politics. The effects of these surprise election and referendum results will mainly be seen in 2017, but from our perspective they reinforce the idea that “democracy is not just a ballot box “. As well as being aware of global issues and ticking boxes / supporting campaigns, we must focus on the longer-term; start engaging in the deep work of co-creating our own communities and find new forms of direct democracy to shape our collective future. 2017 will be the year that Boodaville publishes a prospectus outlining the present situation and future plans as we start seriously looking for people who want to buy-in and join and shape our eco-community.
I can’t even summarise our achievements in 2016 in just a couple of paragraphs so please scroll through the whole report to see everything! The most important change this year was that long-term volunteer Ondřej (OJ) started living on site in April, meaning we could have a constant flow of volunteers, be totally flexible with workcamp dates, and no time was wasted packing and unpacking for short stays! It also meant much more money spent on the project to keep the site running, keep everyone fed, and make sure the materials to work with were provided. I thank OJ very much for the time he has offered the project this year, it has been a positive experience for both of us with a ton of learning on all sides. I expect him back in April 2017 and as Boodaville is now an official non-profit association for sustainability education, we hope to finance the running of the site through events and donations in the future.
With hundreds of volunteers and participants passing through we have built the kitchen roof, worked on regenerating the soil on all the terraces, finished the walls and floor inside the house (including under floor pipes for the future radiant floor heating system), landscaped the top terrace, maintained all the existing structures and built a huge dome for dining and workshops next year. The geodesic dome is the big change on site and for me this beautiful structure symbolises the connections that have been made between volunteers, participants and facilitators this year and fills me with energy to carry on. Thank you so much to each and every one of you who has been part of Boodaville this year, let’s all stay on the path of people care, earth care and fair share and leave the world a little (or a lot) better than we find it.
A- EVALUATION OF LAST YEARS GOALS
B- OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS
C- SPENDING THIS YEAR
D- GOALS FOR 2016
A- EVALUATION OF LAST YEARS GOALS
Goals set for 2016
Events planned/proposed :
4 Restorative Retreat Weekends : May, June, August, Sept
We ran three retreats this year! The April event was cancelled due to lack of participants, which was lucky as the weather was awful that weekend with high winds.. the worst of all weather. Except maybe hail.
The July and August retreats had few participants but went ahead, the September retreat was a great success. All retreats involved a professional massage as OJ is a qualified masseuse with a table! More next year – and some better marketing tactics, maybe a FB group or page just for #boodavilleretreat.
Workcamps : April (2 wks), May (2 wks), July (1 week), Sept (2 weeks), Oct (2 weeks)
The kitchen roof workcamp May 14 – 21 was the only true workcamp this year. There were enough participants, and Martin Dobson – who lived on site for 6 weeks with Beth – did an amazing job designing the structure, planning the materials needed and organising and facilitating the work done. Rob Durand worked brilliantly supporting Martin and as our on site carpenter. The objectives of learning, living as a community and getting stuff done were definitely achieved… although the quantity of work to be done was too much on this course and participants need to work less hours in future workcamps.
In September 17 – 24 we worked with Oriol Fernandez for a small workcamp to apply the permaculture design. The work was landscaping and creating gardens in front of the kitchen and dome, and earthworks – planning a swale to bring water off the road. This was going to be a two week workcamp including laying the radiant floor, but the radiant floor was postponed until October to give us more time to research the pros and cons of the design.
In October we didn’t have the energy to organise a workcamp around the radiant floor work. It was done with the volunteers on site at the time.
The other workcamps were cancelled to make way for the Build Your Future dome course, and because the calendar was too full.
Boodaville Festival : Proposed date 29th May weekend.
The festival was a success this year in terms of number of people, amazing live music, connections and fun times, a wide range of workshops for adults, great food and an amazing kitchen team (thank you so much Chloe, Alice and Pablo). We covered our costs and even made some income for the Association. It will, however, be remembered as the year that hailed. A huge hailstorm on the Saturday afternoon stopped some people participating in the river games and left the site muddy and a few tents wet inside. It also provided drama, a new experience, and a lot of free “sky ice” for drinks from the bar in the evening.
The organisation of the event was difficult in some ways – Anna ended up as the only one on the organisation team. But brilliant in others – since Anna didn’t have much time in between 2 year-olds, life and running the site and association she waited for collaborators to contact her, and they did! It should also be noted that the headline band, and the team running all the kids workshops cancelled the day before the festival.
Family PDC : July – 1st Saturday until 3rd Saturday.
We scaled down from a PDC to a “Family Permaculture Course”. We went ahead with the course with just a few participants and it was an excellent experience for the people who stayed the whole course. Toni our facilitator came for the full week and was brilliant. Kira had an amazing week 🙂 In total another 9 participants came for parts of the program, but the arrival and departure of people almost every day was disruptive, and participants signed up very late. Our paradise day by the river in the mountains was a highlight of the whole year!
Organisation : It was a “new product” for this year and not enough time was devoted by the team to marketing, product development. If we want to do something similar next year we should probably already be talking about it. Daniella realised she had other commitments and stopped her involvement early on. Maia was somewhat involved in marketing and planning, and was planning to come and facilitate 2 days of the program until she had to cancel a couple of days before. I want to make this happen again next year, the participants from this year said they want to come back, and Kira has many interested little friends but I’m not sure when or who I will do it with as Toni won’t be able to come. The idea of doing the full PDC is an exciting one, but is it realistic, maybe in 2018.
Anna to co-organise an event for teenagers with Viaje a la Sostenibilidad : June. Not at Boodaville
A new product – not enough background work. We cancelled it. Sadly Avalon also cancelled their event, I wonder if they are doing it in 2017? Instead of starting from scratch it would be great to collaborate with them. This is not so much a Boodaville event… it crosses over between Anna the secondary school teacher, and Anna Boodaville – which is a good merge!!!
Potential collaboration with PB and Erasmus+
This didn’t happen. The next deadline is February 2017, we’d like to present this project as a Boodaville project, and then collaborate with the excellent teachers at PB.
Potential for replacing one workcamp with an Erasmus+ dome program
YESSSS!!!! the forces of Spanish bureaucracy came together meaning that the delay in approving our status as an Association equalled the delay at INJUVE in reading and approving the “Build Your Future” youth exchange proposal. The proposal was submitted the 24th April, the registration papers for the association should have arrived by the 10th May. On the 17th June I got the paperwork for the association and the very same day an angry email from INJUVE saying I must have those papers uploaded within 24 hours to qualify for funding. The dome was meant to be!
I am extremely proud to have managed to constitute the association and get €13,350 funding in 2016. Thank you so much to Carlos Buj who was a crucial part of making this happen, and thank you to Alessandro Ardovini for all his support.
Volunteer Opportunities : We will need volunteers in April, around the festival time and probably in July.
We had volunteers on site for the whole season from April to October! People stayed varying lengths of time – the shortest a few days, the longest six weeks. There were only about 12 nights when OJ was alone on site, and the number of volunteers averaged about 3, with minimum 1 and maximum 6. In August the plan was for OJ to have a holiday for two weeks and that visitors would pay their costs, organise themselves and not work. This didn’t work out particularly well as visitors want to work, and logistically they can’t be completely independent.
Work on house/site
Plant green roof
We haven’t planted aromatics up there yet. But grass is growing where the humanure was thrown in October 2015. Thanks to Beth who replanted everything that was breaking through the gravel circle.
Thanks to Eloy and Joaquim Pardet and our very brave volunteers we got this done in October. Conditions were tough on site, living without using the house. The insulation and pipes were laid in 2 days by Eloy, then (only just in time for our end of season event) the mortar – a mix of gravel sand and lime – was laid in just half a day by the builder. We spent a few weeks speaking to every expert we could find about whether putting in the radiant floor heating was a good idea compared to having a rocket stove. In the end I concluded that since we are laying the insulation anyway, and since we are planning to have a solar water heater in the future anyway, the extra cost of putting the pipes in was a good idea. The tiles still need to be done.
Not done – although we have the waste water pipe already, so the position of the shower is basically decided! we will put the shower tray up a step so we have more flexibility about where to put plumbing!
More water catchment – kitchen structure/roof/water deposit
The kitchen structure is nearly complete – jobs to be finished are in an email from Rob Durand in June. We had a problem with the roof panels – they were leaching something orange into the water. It seems now, however, that this was a non-harmful pigment, and only for the first few months of use. We will buy the panels we need to complete the job and finish the roof in 2017. Also – we are a tiny step away from finishing the water catchment and setting up to fill a 10 000l deposit over winter. This is urgent work.
Continue work to decompact soil
There has been great work mulching the terraces with olive leaves, spreading manure (still to be finished) and planting cover crops to improve soil quality. The bottom terrace, our “future food forest” has been massively and brilliantly improved thanks to the amazing permablitz organised by Kate Curtis. The natural farming techniques involved are an exciting part of the site design and we look forward to seeing how they work in 2017.
General site design and implementation of the permaculture design – dome?
We designed and improved the area around the dome and kitchen. Did some earthworks – another swale with the scouts in July on the way to the house. The next question is how to catch water from the valley, keyline? reservoirs? large swales? small ditches? and general work on the long term design – gardens, food production, zones, heating and resource use. We need to prepare for winter next year in the hope that people will be living there in winter 2018. We’d like to work with Juan Pedro, and Alessandro, and follow up with Oriol after the workcamp.
Become an association
Continue working with local partners and be involved in local networks.
Done! OJ has worked a lot with Kurkum Farm, the Ecoxarxa came to the festival and we receive emails. There are a couple of English language online exchange networks. It would be great to link all the networks together and accessible to all people. I’d like to see more local people coming to our parties!
Continue working with Alessandro on the PC design.
Not so much progress on this – more in 2017.
No – move to 2017
Have permanent residents (collaborators and long-term volunteers) from April through to October, and maybe in the winter.
Yes!!! and we are looking for people to live on site from April 2017 either as long-term volunteers, or as people who want to buy-in to become part of the eco-community.
B- OTHER ACHIEVEMENTS
We were so happy with the dome, and proud of the work done this year to make it happen – we wanted to have a party. I wanted to put lights in the dome and celebrate, Kate wanted to get more micro-organisms in the soil. So we ran a full days activity with a natural farming permablitz in the morning and the party in the evening. On the 29th October about 40 people came to learn, work the land, share lunch and then dance and sit by the fire in the evening. I was really pleased with the event, it ran smoothly, lunch was delicious, people collaborated and stepped in to help out, the evening party looked and sounded amazing!
CEILING IN HOUSE AND POINTING WALLS
We managed to get all the pointing dine inside the house, and get the ceiling plastered before we put the floor in! Thanks to OJ, Maia for putting all their volunteer hours into getting the walls done. We still need to paint the ceiling.
Thank you so much to Agnieszka who was working 2 days a week on social media and marketing for 2 months! She learnt about the project and gained experience making posters and newsletters with different software, using FB and social media, and she taught me how to make kale chips!
C- SPENDING THIS YEAR (in euros)
TOTAL TURNOVER THIS YEAR: 27,171.25€ of which 9500.00€ was capital investment.
Build Your Future Youth Exchange // Income from EU subsidy : 13, 350€ Costs : 13,350€ Net income : 0€ of which Capital expenditure : 4000€
Income from investors : 5500€ of which Capital expenditure : 5500€ (all materials for kitchen roof and radiant floor, building work on new house, water deposit and connections, hardware)
Income from donations : 5,715.15 €
Loan by Anna : 2,606.10€
Spending to keep site running during the year : 3,382.46€
Spending on activities : 4,938.79€
Net profit : 0€
Total borrowed : 5500€ + 2606.10€
(NB Anna did not receive any euro payment for any work done on running the association and all its activities including organising, promoting, teaching)
C- GOALS FOR 2017
- 2 or 3 Workcamps
- Festival 27th May weekend
- Family activity end of July
- Retreats – at least 4
- Erasmus training for Permaculture teachers beginning July? Deadline for application Feb 2017
- Michael Jones day trip about 4th July
- End of season party?
- Another Permablitz with Kate?
- PDC? probably not this year.
Work on house/site
- URGENT : massive tidy up – we need to find a place to store junk, and clear up all the junk from other places and either take it off site or organise it. Ideally we should do this before we unpack the furniture. It could take a week.
- URGENT : tile the house
- doors on house
- paint ceiling inside house
- improve humanure use
- shower in house
- more work on regenerating land, designing the terraces and site design in general
- The next question is how to catch water from the valley, keyline? reservoirs? large swales? small ditches? and general work on the long term design – gardens, food production, zones, heating and resource use. We need to prepare for winter next year in the hope that people will be living there in winter 2018. We’d like to work with Juan Pedro, and Alessandro, and follow up with Oriol after the workcamp.
- Do a design with Alessandro/Oriol to bring water from road to terraces
- grey water catchment?
- stone floor outside new house – check this works with design
- wood floor in dome?
- URGENT : cover for dome
- furniture for dome
- water catchment from new house – see design on A3 sheets for water catchment plans
- replace upper walls and roof on old house, set up water collection and proper drinking water tank on north facing wall
- oven? – check this works with design
- throne toilet solution
- take down shade structure? put fire pit here?
Continue working with local partners and be involved in local networks and explore ideas for collaboration such as voluntariado corporativo
Continue working with Alessandro on the PC design.
Have permanent residents from April – October with clear work schedules and roles.
Paperwork – accounting, trimestrales, licencia de actividades de formación
More investors and review returns policy
New website and marketing plan from Kat – FB strategy, Instagram, get in print for workcamps – new name for workcamps?
Volunteers/interns to help with marketing social media and event organisation
URGENT : Fundraising during winter 2016/17 – event? crowdfunding?
Run Boodaville workshops in other locations
Look at potential collaborations between Boodaville and Youth in Permaculture, collaborations with Oak House?
* 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.