What’s happening in the forest?

If, Gentle Surfer, you have been following our blog from the beginning, then you will be wondering what happened to our off-grid house in the forest.

Once the COVID-19 pandemic shut down all the State borders, it played merry hell with our logistics and we had to temporarily abandon our plans. I had paid off the landscaping and road-building contractors without ever seeing how far they had got with their work. This was my first opportunity in almost a year to see what the site looks like today.

My first priority was the state of the new road into our property. I had arranged, over the phone, for dozens of tonnes of rock to be spread up the lower reaches of the road after it had been levelled, but had no real idea how far the contractors had got or what it was going to look like.

In the event, too much loose rock had been laid over the load that had previously been compacted, making it hard going even for our rented 4WD, and the top part of the road had no aggregate at all, and was starting to grow ferns.

Evidently I’ve got a bit of work to do on the road, over the Summer!

My second priority was to see just how much levelling had been achieved on the actual building site. The contractor had been working on a cut in which we were to build our 6×12 metre shed-cum-solar-farm, and all I knew was that he had made some progress and then had had to stop when the track motor burned out on his digger, for which he was unable to source spare parts due to lockdown in China.

Now that we’ve shifted our primary residence to our other project, we don’t need so many solar panels in the forest and thus such a big shed, but I wanted to know how much levelling had already been done and whether we could build a smaller structure there. At the very least, perhaps we’d have somewhere flat to camp when we visit…

In the event, Dan had done most of the digging-out and about a third of the levelling. It’s not ideal, but is a good start to work with once we finally get down there.

As for the building site itself, well, it’s still liberally scattered with the timber that I felled on my last visit, now nicely overgrown with ferns. My immediate plan is to clear the timber, split it into firewood, build a solar irrigation system, and plant vegetables.

Once the current house build project has finished and we’ve settled in to our new home, the forest will be waiting just down the road. We certainly haven’t given up on that project and have already started thinking ahead and making plans.

As they used to say in the newspaper trade, watch this space!

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