After a 15-year wait I'm getting close to...

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...having my own sauna! Dan has been constructing the foundations and the wood frame for months (what a fabulous 10th wedding anniversary present, thank you xx) and this week, with the help of some wonderful WWOOFers, we have nearly completed cobbing the exterior walls. We are using a French 'light earth' or 'light straw' technique, which we also used to construct our compost toilet. We built the toilet last summer and with the interruption of the almond harvest amongst other things we had to leave it unrendered. A year on, to our pleasant surprise, the unrendered surface of the walls is perfectly intact, with no damage from the weather. Hopefully after this year's harvest we will render both buildings with a lime plaster. We are planning to build a rocket sauna stove, but more on that later as the designs are still very much in progress...

With the help of permaculturists Alessandro and Esti we have also harvested our chickpeas, dried a load of tomatoes in our new solar drier and cooked courgette flowers in countless Italian ways. And of course enjoyed their thoughts, ideas and knowledge.

As well as Alessandro and Esti, we'd like to thank Ryan and Jenny for their help during their brief visit. Ryan, who works at the Permaculture Association in Leeds, made a short video during their stay and we look forward to sharing that sometime in the future!

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