Culvert / Permits / Land Clearing

Its been an amazing week at Nemeton.
Monday: I discovered that NYSEG requires that building permit and septic be in place prior to electrical line hook up. This is a bit of a bummer… may have to petition this. I’d rather not have to purchase a generator at the moment, nor is working strictly with hand tools a wise way to spend the little time I have.
Wed: My lovely “upstairs” neighbor, brush hogged the 175×200 clearing and the 30 foot of double walled culvert piping that I had ordered, arrived and is now in place. This coming Tuesday a load of gravel will be dumped on it, beginning the first stages of creating a driveway in order to get equipment on to the property. That is also when the slice cut test that is needed for septic plans to be drawn up will be done.

Thur & Fri: Obtained the building permit for the sheds from Tioga County Code Enforcement, scavenged for building materials and tools*… and more truck repairs just to balance it out.

Most days throughout the week were sprinkled with working on the streams, protecting the side walls from further soil erosion, removing debris and clearing the lovely rose hip thorns from the beautiful views. Certain species of willow (Salix) will be planted along the stream banks this summer, to help prevent further soil erosion as well as to help to dry out some serious wet spots in the cleared area.

*Scavenging for materials and tools, both recycled and / or considered trash. (One man’s trash can be another’s treasure, when looked at in a different light) So far I have found and put on the land:

Various small tools
Rubber roofing materials (rubber, wash/adhesive, disks/screws) – for sod roofing
Wheel barrow
Wide saw horse
Buckets of nails and screws – various lengths, threads and composition
Metal post pounder
Pick axe and handheld stone pick
Lumber of various dimensions
4×8 new wood pallet (beginnings of pallet wood shed for tools and materials during building)
4 3×3 rubber floor mats (slated to be the liner for the creek supplied and fire fed hot tub)

Rainy But Productive Day

The rain just kept coming today… My best friend has been a wool brimmed hat and leather – to stay warm and keep the rain off. The best news today is that my truck is finally alive again! A bad ground wire that needed a good deal of tracing in order to locate, has been repaired and He now lives! =) Working on making / finding a truck rack, as this will come in handy when trying to move long things – for instance – a 20 foot plastic culvert pipe… for my driveway. I should be able to make one fairly easy out of scrap wood – the durability is much less then metal of course, but it would be free for me, minus the time invested. Looking for a 15” diameter, 20’ long, plastic, double wall (smooth inside, corrugated outside) to lay in the existing ditch that runs along side the private driveway leading up to the land, so I can lay in stone to create a driveway that leads to the house – so excavators, dump trucks, ect can get in. This is the first thing that has to be done – the only access is my own 2 feet.

I have decided that with every trip I make with my truck to remove something from my current residence, I will be lining up pick-ups of “useful materials” (aka scavenging) for use with building. This way I can make the most use of the gas that my truck likes to guzzle.
Tonight I am trying to design a pallet wood barn/shed 12×12 (less then 144 sq ft and no building permit is needed – I’m sure I can shave off an inch somewhere 😉
My goal is create a place for storing equipment and supplies during construction. There will be no room in my “little house” for all of that stuff and me. Under cover is all I am really concerned about at this point… though I’d really like to have it last more than just during construction. Sooo… I’m off to the planning board.

First Glorious Day in March!

Today was simply amazing.  It was a balmy 64 degrees with full sun; I even got a hint of sunburn.  I spent the day dismantling the gardens and chicken run at my current residence, in preparation for the move to Nemeton – in about 7 weeks… if all goes according to plan.  Driveway, Septic, Well, Electric and Sheds.

I spoke with an Architect who specializes in green building, by the name of Laura Lee Intscher of Secret Base Design.  http://www.secretbasedesign.com , She will be working with me to design a house that will be energy efficient and composed of natural and recycled materials where possible.  She draws the plans  to meet both my needs and building code requirements.  Takes a lot of the guess work and headache out of the equation.

Today I visited with a knowledgeable, down to earth, friendly gentleman by the name of Glenn Wanck, on site, who does excavating and septic install.   I will be getting a slice cut test done in the middle of next week to determine soil composition, and bedrock depth so a septic design and permit can be drawn up by the Tioga County Sanitation Department.

Tomorrow I meet with Dick Swartz and company, to determine location and needs for placing the sheds on the land.  As well as getting my truck fixed so I can start doing scavenging for recycled/reclaimed building supplies.

My goal this week is to locate and have onsite a culvert pipe, 20 foot in length, 12-15 in diameter, double wall (smooth inside, corrugated outside) for beneath the driveway, which will be ‘installed’ by companies looking to get rid of clean fill from various excavation projects.

After a long day of physical work, mental planning and verbal communication / planning I’m rather knackered.  But a long HOT bath with sea salts and herbs took care of most my aches and pains.  Now I’m off for an early night of sleep to begin again bright and early on the morrow.

Project plan – So far…

So here is where I am so far in this project…

The land is in my name as of the Dec 1st 2011.
This land is henceforth called Nemeton  ((NEM/e/ton)
In Celtic / Gaelic  this mean Sacred place or Sanctuary)

To-date: I have spoken with code enforcers, tax assessors, health department officials and architects concerning this project, so far nothing has presented that would stand in the way of seeing this through to completion or jeopardize its sustainability.

The land site has been deemed by Tioga County Health Department Sanitation Division  acceptable for a septic – waiting to do a slice cut and get the plans drawn up/approved and septic dug and dropped in come  spring.

-Well will be drilled during the same time frame.
-Temporary Electric pole – later will look to converting to solar or wind energy.
-Streams need to be channeled to condense water flowing (this will change the wet
land scape on the down slope of the mountain)
-Steps are being taken to decrease soil erosion and protect the
large volume of tree growth from over population and water/soil erosion of
their root systems)

As of May 2011 I purchased 2 Amish buildings that fit together and have already been converted into small living quarters (12/10 bed bath and 12/20 living room kitchen)  that will accommodate me while I am building the main house – these later will be converted to attached workshops.  I will have an 18 month temporary permit for usage issued by the Town of Owego Building Code Enforcers.

Currently I am working on drawing up plans for building construction, where once I am near completion on my own will then consult with an engineer/architect for the final analysis and stamp of approval – to be issued my building permits.  I am considering several options…

Looking at creating a round adobe style house with a tin roof.

Foundation options I am considering right now are:  No basement
– Stone foundation (from the creek beds)
-Sand bag foundation
-Peer foundation

Wall consideration thus far are:
-Straw bale  – http://www.strawbale.com/
-Cordwood structure – http://www.cordwoodmasonry.com/
-Cordwood and straw bale – half and half with cord wood on bottom to protect
the straw from dampness, and straw bale up on the other half for higher
insulation.

The Nemeton Project

Come, walk with me on this facinating jouney through life where holistic living is at its center.  Watch and read about straw bale building construction as it begins from the ground up.  Read about local herbs and their uses in health and wellness.  This is the Nemeton – the Place of Beginning.