Annual Report 2017

(versión en castellano)

14th November 2017

OJ died, and from there we had to move forward. He died in February, the day after our crowdfunding event in Barcelona, right in the middle of the campaign. To find a way forward after this tragedy, with some of the closest people to the project we formed an informal advisory board and that has been a huge support to me during the year.

Two days before the end of the crowdfunding campaign in March we made the target!! Thanks to a very generous former Boodaville participant and many more supporters. That was the first “UP” part of the rollercoaster that has been this year.

During April and May we were finding our feet with 2 new long-term residents, volunteers, some new collaborators, plus long-time collaborator Rob Durand.

With the support of the advisory group and Nico and Andres from allmyfrnds we had an amazing festival, the biggest ever with great music, really delicious food from Emilien, and hilarious games at the river. June was quiet and energy was low on site, then me and Kira spent the whole of July at Boodaville. With Marc Haetjens we ran an absolutely fantastic Living Permaculture course, the third big “UP” of the year! After the course we tried to resolve conflicts between the long-term volunteers, which resulted in one of them leaving. We spent an intense, emotional and soulful week with OJs mother and friends, including a ceremony where we spread some of his ashes in the future food forest. The last week of July was spent with Gerald working on further water catchment and silt basins. For three weeks at the end of July and beginning of August, none of the long-term residents were on site and we had some excellent volunteers step in and rise to the challenge of life and work at Boodaville.

August was quiet and in September with a new group of volunteers, and one of our returned residents we were set to do lots of planting for the regenerative agriculture plan, and the idea was to irrigate until rains started coming in October. We cancelled the last courses and most planned events in order to conserve energy to focus on the regenerative agriculture and other jobs. Sadly some volunteers that had been booked in for a month cancelled the day before their arrival, and there were differences of opinion among the volunteers on site. Combine this with the fact that temperatures stayed ridiculously high until mid-October with no rain, and there were perfect conditions for things not to go to plan. By the end of September all the volunteers who initially signed up until the end of October had left. Some fantastic people who hadn’t signed up to anything held the fort and got some last jobs done before the site was left empty the first two weeks of October. We packed up for winter with a few awesome project collaborators over a tiring weekend in mid October and the contrast with the end of year party last year was incredible.

However… because of permaculture design and mulch, the plants have survived the October drought, and let me tell you about our visit in November

Sunshine, seedlings wrapped in newspaper all over the place, music, a small group of friends and family mulching, planting tiny trees, music, digging, lots of straw and some manure, children sitting on the ground surrounded by tiny onions they are separating and planting. I actually said to Bernat “This is like heaven”. In two days we finished all the planting jobs that were still on the list and collected the first part of the olive harvest.

Let’s hope those onions survived the below zero temperatures this week.

Rollercoaster!

Next year we will be continuing the journey and are looking to fund both courses and volunteers with the help of the Erasmus program. We’ll run some bigger Living Permaculture Courses but the really important work, pending from last year, is continuing the process to find and inform potential members of our future eco-community and working cooperative, and to start planning a future together.

Anna Gurney


INDEX

A- EVALUATION OF LAST YEARS GOALS

C- SPENDING THIS YEAR

D- GOALS FOR 2018


A- EVALUATION OF LAST YEARS GOALS

Goals set for 2017 

Events 

  • 2 or 3 Workcamps

We came up with a brilliant new name for these programs “Living Permaculture” courses. Which really summarises the kind of education we offer at Boodaville.. “Don’t just bring a notebook and hear about what permaculture is, come and live it, breathe it, experience it for yourself!” We tried a few different marketing techniques – including paying for a listing in Permaculture Magazine, but only filled place on each of the May courses. The July course was great, still only half the participants we have space for, but many volunteer enquiries converted into paying participants and everyone was extremely happy with the program. The October event was postponed to 2018.

  • Festival 27th May weekend

Fantastic! We had hot and sunny weather. Nico and Andres organised all the music! Hooray! Some people commented it was a bit too loud so we will look at the acoustic Friday option again maybe. The bar was amazing, Ben did a superb job. Kerry was legendary as ever and Rob was on fire.. This year other people took up some of the organising work and I had way less on my plate than normal. I did end up running the games with Kerry – synchronised swimming is always a winner 😉 Working with the brunch team was hilarious as I hadn’t ordered enough food yet we managed to feed 60 people.. that’ll be better next year! Some people, i don’t know who, had a fire on Saturday night which is not at all cool. The workshops were fun, less prominent that last year I think. Roll on next year!!

  • Family activity end of July

Only one family came – and just for 2 days! Promotion needs to be done way earlier for this event. We had a lovely week taking the design forward with Gerald. A really family feel with the 8 of us that were on site.

  • Retreats – at least 4

We did one and a half retreats. April cancelled beacause of OJ, June happened and was windy but successful, September was a half retreat, we had one guest and a yoga teacher and did some meditiation activities. October was cancelled

  • Erasmus training for Permaculture teachers beginning July? Deadline for application Feb 2017

Funding wasn’t approved. We reapplied for the October 2017 deadline.

  • Michael Jones day trip about 4th July

This was a lovely event, some Chinese students visited us! We hope to repeat next year, and do more permaculture workshops with Chinese youth and show them the site and the local area.

  • End of season party?

Noone felt like celebrating!

  • Another Permablitz with Kate?

We had a great event in April with Kate doing the next step of the food forest. We had a ceremony for OJ and it was raining and very beautiful. At this time I felt really connected to the new long-term residents and was hopeful about the season ahead with them. This was a costs covered only event, and we weren’t pushing it to try and get a large group.

  • PDC? probably not this year.

NO

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.

This work was finished in August. We still have one more trip to the dump to get rid of some old doors, and the metal and plastic is all piled up behind the old house. We need to find a new home for it and designate a “recycling centre”

URGENT : tile the house

Completed April 2017

doors on house

In two weeks of “Living Permaculture courses” but with only 1 participant in each course, Rob led the team and managed to complete 2 doors out of three. They still need filling in around the frames, and we need to plan and complete the last door, and decide on the lighting problem – the doors don’t let light in.

paint ceiling inside house

Not done – in the end we decided it was better to do this after the tiles, and it is therefore not urgent

improve humanure use

We built a tipee toilet! Designed with Marc Haetjens we now put humanure directly into the ground on terrace 3. We also built a zai system to put food waste directly into the ground. These systems create a little more work at the point of pooing/throwing away the food, but there is no further work after that. We also experimented, not very succesfully with lactobacteria to speed up composting processses. We also added water to older food waste on the compost heap, and to the humanure in the throne toilet, to try and improve the composting process and not just let it dry out and crisp up.

shower in house

Pending

more work on regenerating land, designing the terraces and site design in general

We made fantastic progress in some areas during 2017. The zai project and the tippee toilet on terrace 3 is great, plus the work in the food forest during the permablitz with Kate. Sadly the work in April we did planting on Terrace 5 was undone in May as flies were nesting in the straw the solution was to cover the straw. The plants also got buried at this time, and the earth on top created a crust which we found was impeding seed growth in October. In general there has been a realisation this year about the effects of the impenetrable clay soil we have.. the plant roots can’t grow beyond the size of the hole we dig for them. We have seeded lots of “pioneer plants” including Daikon to try and naturally break into this soil and we have some ideas for solutions  –  see the “goals for 2018” section. I really need to have a proper meeting with Kate to learn the plan for the food forest areas we are working on. Last year this was conveyed to the long-term residents at the beginning of April, but on returning to site Kate could see that progress hadn’t been made according to the plan. A solution to this, apart from me making sure I have all the info, is to look for long-term residents who already have a PDC.

The work on planning the long-term design has not progressed very much this year. (It was in the calendar to do in April, but due to OJs death there were other matters to be dealt with at that time, and then the season fully started so there wasn’t time to return to this work)

Trees planted this year : Kaki under rocks near house (looks bad), Almond under rocks near house (looks good) Fig in the grey water mulch basin (had red spider, looks ok though) 2 pomegranetes in the food forest (look ok). Very small Mulberry in front of kitchen (Planted Nov) Hackthorn in the windbreak (planted Nov)

Trees planted previously : Apple (soooo happy!) Bill Mollison’s Almond tree (just about ok) Madrono (dead) Fig (dead and replaced with pomegranite) 2 Nectarines (not very well at all but not totally dead)

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.

Pending – this was planned to be done in April, but without OJ there was too much work managing the site to do anything else.

Do a design with Alessandro/Oriol to bring water from road to terraces

They ran a workshop at the festival, and in July / August / September the work was continued. There is now a trench directing road runoff across the food forest. We will observe this and tweak the design if the trench needs to be deeper, or if there is a silt problem

grey water catchment?

The kitchen sink is now draining into a large mulch basin and irrigating a new fig tree! All the drips from the washing up are going somewhere useful!! Plus we can drain pasta and rice then pour that water in the sink to be filtered by the mulch and water this fruit bearing tree.

stone floor outside new house – check this works with design

Pending

wood floor in dome?

The conversation about what would be the best floor in the dome were long and circular. In the end we went for gravel – this floor is going to be open to the elements every winter when we take the cover off the dome. For retreats we can cover the gravel with a thick carpet and it will make a decent floor for yoga.

URGENT : cover for dome

The cover was put on at the beginning of April and we are happy to be in regular contact with Jordi who will help us fix it again next year. We will speak about making sure it is waterproof, maybe by treating the material before we put it up next year, and also look at the need/possiblities to put front pieces to close it on windy days.

furniture for dome

Pending. we made a table out of an old door which stayed there all season!

water catchment from new house – see design on A3 sheets for water catchment plans

There doesn’t seem to be any real water catchment possibility from the new house.

replace upper walls and roof on old house, set up water collection and proper drinking water tank on north facing wall

The roof replacement is planned for a two week Living Permaculture course with Marc Haetjens, June? 2018

oven? – check this works with design

Pending

throne toilet solution

We spent the season regularly putting water into the toilet to help accelerate the composting process. Marc may help us refine the design for long – term use, but we have a new toilet now, so we may just use this one once a year at the festival, then just empty it once a year.

take down shade structure? put fire pit here?

The structure is still there in case it is useful for some future design. The fire pit is still planned, but it is not urgent.

Continue working with local partners and be involved in local networks and explore ideas for collaboration such as voluntariado corporativo

Anna discovered the Mil Anuncios whatsapp group which is a great way of  connecting with the community, and met a few more locals in person. No real collaborations were discussed, and we haven’t explored voluntariado corporativo.

Continue working with Alessandro on the PC design.

Little progress was done on this

Finish the prospectus and present Boodaville as a future Ecoaldea at the RIE gathering in August2017, keep a video diary of the process.

Pending – this was planned to be done in March, but there was too much going on after OJs death. I have made 2 videos! and am yet to publish them. The RIE gathering was unexpectedly early this year, so I couldn’t make the dates.

Have permanent residents from April – October with clear work schedules and roles.

Where do I start?

Without OJ we started the season with two long-term residents that stepped in last minute. I am so grateful to them for jumping in and getting involved with the project, starting with the moving ceremony for OJ in April

I hope that they learned a lot from their stay. They have been part of this rollercoaster year with ups and downs –  Irene stayed for very nearly the whole season, Zac was there until mid-July.

I have learned a lot about managing people this year, most importantly that communication is incredibly important and much much much harder than anyone thinks! But also that there are times when instead of repeatedly trying to resolve a conflict, it can be better to separate the team, especially when the team is a temporary 6 month arrangement. In future I hope to be able to do that more quickly without burning so much of my own energy on individual people rather than the project as a whole.

During the whole season I was trying to implement from afar the “clear works schedules and roles” but one of the volunteers who left in September after a month shared this comment  “Maybe tasks like cooking, washing dishes etc could be part of a weekly schedule” Somehow it didn’t work this year!

Paperwork – accounting, trimestrales, licencia de actividades de formación

Trimestrales were done for the first three “trimestres”. I’m not sure what will happen now I missed my 303 form in the last quarter. I have all the receipts to justify spending of crowdfunding and other donations to the Aso bank account. This will need to be put in a ledger by me or a real accountant. I haven’t looked at the licencia de actividades.

More investors and review returns policy

Massive investment in March means we are doing very well right now! I need to review the returns policy with Investor 2. We spoke about having a dinner to talk about it, but haven’t set a date.

New website and marketing plan from Kat – FB strategy, Instagram, get in print for workcamps – new name for workcamps? 

Logo : Kat Affleck did the new logo, it’s great!

Website : I’m getting by with the new wordpress. It still needs some work, there’s no search and the favicon is wrong.

FB strategy : we have one, but we haven’t followed it very well. I’m thinking of asking Ashley to take this on.

Instagram : We have one! see next point

Twitter : I still tweet enviro news regularly. But have not used it for promotion enough

Youtube : The channel is pretty good we should share it more, i have 3 videos to upload that I haven’t done yet.

Getting in Print : we paid to get in PC magazine, but i’m not convinced it was ever actually published. I sent about 3 press releases.

New name : Living Permaculture courses. Excellent name.

Volunteers/interns to help with marketing social media and event organisation

A huge positive this year was our intern Summer. I’ve never met her! We just had one skype meeting, and for 5 months she was posting on twitter and instagram on behalf of Boodaville. She worked completely independently to select articles and photos, and just by reading previous posts she posted excellent comments. Thank you so much Summer!!!

We had an organising team for the festival which was amazing 🙂

I ended up doing the fete of fun in February on my own.. which was not that plan.

URGENT  : Fundraising during winter 2016/17 – event? crowdfunding?

YES!!!!  Thanks to Bernat and Alessandro for helping make the video on a cold February day and hooray for making this work and earning €3390! (before the fees were taken out!) Special thanks to Alison who completely saved us with a really generous and much much appreciated donation. The video and campaign are still online – and see the spending section for where it went!

Run Boodaville workshops in other locations

I presented Boodaville at the #APLEC in Barcelona and ran an intro workshop plus planting trees from seed at the Riberola Festival. We’ve done some Boodaville style workshops as part of the Environmental Club at Oak House School. I taught the “Community Design” session in the Permacultura Barcelona PDC.

Look at potential collaborations between Boodaville and Youth in Permaculture, collaborations with Oak House?

Youth in Permaculture project has taken a fair amount of time and energy this year. It is a huge project with a core team of around 20 people. Several Boodaville visitors have been introduced to the project and there are more ideas for 2018.

At Oak House I have been working more with urban permaculture design and managing/designing mini-projects.


C- SPENDING THIS YEAR (in euros)

TOTAL TURNOVER THIS YEAR: 15,055€ of which 6,833€ was capital investment.

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Income from investors : 17,000€ of which Capital expenditure : 6,833€ (all materials for tiles, doors on house, grey water and water catchment, gravel and payments to professional builders, plus loan for roof paid off : 1,797€) Money in the bank : 10,167€  Outstanding loans : Investor 1 – 1,000€,  Investor 2 – 3,000€ plus fee, Loans by Anna – 2,606.10€ (2016) + 1,068. 43€ (2017)

Income from donations : 7093.45 € 

Loan by Anna : 1,268.43€

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Spending to keep site running during the year : 4,974.88

Spending on activities : 3,387.00€

———————————————————————————————————————

Net profit : 0€

(NB Anna did not receive any euro payment for any work done on running the association and all its activities including organising, managing the site, promoting, teaching)


CROWDFUNDING SUMMARY

The crowdfunding campaign was successful in the face of adversity! We reached the target of 3,000€ and then passed it 🙂 We received 3,183.45€ to the Boodaville bank account.

We then overspent on the budget by 1,268€.

Sections that were on budget : Site costs, Insurance, Admin/marketing, Design, Material.

Sections that were over budget : Maintenence (500€ over) and Transport (652€ over).

Reasons for going over budget :

  • Running a car is expensive – 795€ this year for insurance, mechanics bills, ITV, car tax
  • I included my train travel to Boodaville in the transport budget – 116€. I think that’s a valid expense though.
  • Unexpected maintanence – Car mechanic costs, fixing the bell tent
  • Petrol consumption was higher than expected

C- GOALS FOR 2018

Events 

(objective for European Voluntary Service application is 40% courses 60% small community. this plan hits that target)

Living Permaculture Course 7 – 14 April – Implementing the design for food production. Facilitator – Gerald

Design your Life – Erasmus+ Youth Worker Training – 28 April – 5 May (last 2 days in Barcelona)

Boodaville Festival 25 -27 May – Hopefully with Allmyfrnds again!! Dave confirmed for food, Ben wants to upcycle t-shirts and run the bar, collective task towards the project? Cleaning out the old house???

Living Permaculture Course 8 – 23 June – New roof and wakka water Marc and Alessandro

One day event with Michael Jones and the Chinese students approx 4 July

Living Permaculture Course with the scouts 14 – 21 July – task to be defined. facilitator ???

Living Permaculture Family – 21 – 28 July

Erasmus + Youth Exchange / YIP / Gaia – 2 weeks September 2018

Living Permaculture Course – 1 week October – task and facilitator tbc OR maybe something with Alex from Riberola Fest OR workcamp with Tereza organisation

Restorative Retreat Weekends : ? try and fit 4 in the calendar.

Other day events organised by volunteers (as agreed in the EVS project)

? Permaculture in Business weekends? (Phil Walsh, Sarah from July 2017)

? Permablitz and end of season party

Work on house/site

PRIORITY : Fill in the gaps around the doors, put in the third door.

PRIORITY : Extra poles on kitchen structure and finish kitchen roof

Unpack after winter

Replace roof on old house and water collection from roof.

Summer jobs : Set up veg gardens, Make the “recycling centre”, cover on dome (Jordi will come and show us! Get the front part?), furniture for dome

Preparing the new house for year round living : shower in new house, pump from tank up to deposit above new house to provide water for house, rocket stove in new house?

Land regeneration jobs : new tippee toilet hole, regenerating terraces, more water catchment, greywater from lower shower (and bathroom?), look into ideas for producing food in the forest boundaries where soil quality is better, rather than the compacted terraces.

stone floor around house?

oven

URGENT : Finish the prospectus and present Boodaville to interested people as a future Ecoaldea.  

Go to the RIE gathering in August 2018,

Keep and upload to youtube channel the video diary of the starting a community process.

Find the people who will form our future community!

URGENT : Get EVS accrediation and get an EVS project in by 4th Feb

URGENT : Apply for Youth Exchange – Youth in Permaculture by 4th Feb

Find people who want to live at Boodaville April – November 2018 and train a site manager who already has the right skills for the job (Maja?)

Find a way to finance running the site next year if we don’t get EVS

Continue working with Alessandro on the PC design – Do this in conjunction with the prospectus to have a broad long-term design on the computer – which software?

Paperwork – accounting, trimestrales, licencia de actividades de formación

Review returns policy and investments

Website and marketing plan.  FB strategy (Ashley?), Instagram, Twitter and Youtube channel, newsletters management and strategy.

Volunteers/interns to help with marketing social media and event organisation

Run Boodaville workshops in other locations – Anna’s teaching commitments already include Environmental Club at OHS, PDC sessions with PB and a Permaculture Masterclass with Carlos.

Look at potential collaborations between Boodaville and Youth in Permaculture, collaborations with Oak House?