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April 2016

Roof repairs

We think we've finally sorted the tiny leaks we had in the roof. Dave did some bitumen patching, I painted them and other areas that had revealed the bitumen (through the terrace paint) and voila - a heavy storm on Saturday 30th April tested the repairs - so far so good.

If you look at the picture below you'll see where I put fresh paint on in patches. To go over old ground, we use the terrace paint for 2 reasons - the first is to reflect the heat of the sun and so stop it melting the bitumen, which it does in July and August. The second is to make the water from the roof potable - so no traces of bitumen in it.

As you can see from the photo, there's an added benefit. The new paint is whiter making the surface cooler (where it reflects the sun). This means it catches more dew. A triple whamy!

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The whiter patches catch more dew

and additions

As part of repairing the roof we also put the bitumen on the extra roof overhang at the front. This has been protected by plastic for ages so it was really good to get it finished.

And as a grand finale I did an extra coat of fresh paint over the rest of the roof.

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New bitumen and paint for the roof overhang
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A fresh lick of paint for the whole roof

Here's a photo of the double rainbow after the storm that tested our repairs. We caught nearly 800 litres in our main tank and another 200 litres in our smaller irrigation tanks, that was after 1/2 an hour of rain.

We can't wait to get our other catch water areas and tanks sorted - can you imagine how much irrigation water we could've caught in a 100,000ltr tank over the larger catchwater area on the hill?!!

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A double rainbow after the storm
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A hare's tale

Sitting having breakfast on Friday 29th April I saw a flash of fur go past our window. When I went to investigate I saw a very large and beautiful hare sitting on our driveway. Of course, as soon as he saw me (I think it was male) he charged off into the distance.

So what do they live on here I wondered? We have loads of esparto grass but not much classic field grass, which is what I thought they would prefer as the esparto is pretty tough stuff.

Anyhoo, a little later we went out to do some terrace repairs and found these funny munched up ends of esparto littered in the mounds of grass. We had to try it ourselves of course and surprisingly, when you pull young blades of esparto out, the root end is very tender and refreshing. We're guessing the hare's know all about this!

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Is this what the hare eats?
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Terrace repairs

As part of the permaculture plan for the land, the first job is to repair any damaged terraces. We have about 26 terraces, most in need of some tlc.

We did 3 this month, add on the 1 we did a few weeks ago and that leaves 22 to go. Oh well, if nothing else it's bloomin' good exercise.

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Before
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and after




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