Wongari Eco Retreat

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Halfway

110psi Free Flowing

We are happy to announce the arrival of water at Kumbartcho. Removing all air from the pipe ensured that we achieved the expected 115psi. When connected to our soon-to-arrive Powerspout generator we hope to produce upwards of one kilowatt per hour, every hour of the day, week, year, decade ……. Then the sad news. It will only produce 2/3rds of what I was hoping. 650 watts per hour. It’s possible that the volume flow is too small but none of this was anticipated. Nevertheless, because the power is generated 24/7 every week of the year, regardless of weather conditions, then we will still be producing, over the day, more than we will need, nearly 15.6Kw. I think we can live with that. We can for the fact that we have a battery bank, and still only four in number, to even out the highs and the lows – and some other clever electrical equipment that will help send power to where it is needed, and when it is not.

The build is taking a little longer than anticipated but for good reasons we hope. The first: it is a quality build and we are not taking any shortcuts. And because we have two very good builders, father and son team, Kev and Chris, we are also adding features that could not have been anticipated from the original drawings we got. We are very relaxed and comfortable with the build and hope that our guests there will be too.

The other reason is how one decision causes a flow through – and the consequences are in time, labour and costs. Like adding the carport to the cabin. A great idea from our builders but how to get a road down there? And what about the over-the-surface water on a relatively steep slope? And who ever thought the septic was going to end up under it all? And did we ever tell you how slippery and dangerous wet, reactive clay soils are?

One aspect that needs attention is the landscaping. While the country that hosts our cabin is magic and imposing, the paddock it sits in was also used for dairy farming. Just as well really as the small access road, the two septic trenches required and the mountain of rocks dug up have not resulted in the destruction of one tree. On the other side of the equation we have planted upwards of 250 trees with plans to double this number.

We are trying to plant only those trees that are indigenous to this area like the giant water gum and river creek fig. We aren’t planting any Silky Oaks, native hibiscus or Red Ceders as these are self-seeding at an astonishing rate. We’re estimating that for every one of our plantings, another six are regrowth. And whereas we only plant occassionally, regrowth is a continual event. The rainforest is advancing faster than we can make way for it. One exception to the above rule is the Hoop Pine. We can’t get enough of these big fellas. They self-seed where they can but we’re impatiently planting in the gaps. When you see the grove of Hoop Pines that Kumbartcho sits in you will understand why.

But we have more rock walls to build, a driveway to construct, painting, oiling, fire pit, electricity and fit-out, tiles, fences, weed control, creek restoration, rails, stairs and, did I forget, finishing touches. So I may have to come back to this blog in a short while.

 

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