Tinkers Bubble

Tinker's Bubble community

Tinkers Bubble community

Some of my blogs are more to do with other people and, a few weeks ago now…( there’s always so much to say and not so much time). It takes an hour or so to process the photos (which have to be taken first of course) and then a few hours to write the blog …plus a few other people correcting my horrendous spelling and grammar (when they have a mo 😉 Ed.). Well, after the Somerset scythe festival I stayed over to help clear up as not many can stay and help BUT, then I got invited back to Tinkers Bubble by Pedro. I’ve always wanted to see Tinkers Bubble as I have heard so much about it.

Hobbitland

Hobbit land

Hand made house

Handmade house

Hobbit land was what came to mind when I walked up the steep hill through a good stand of Douglas fir. At the top of the hill (and slightly out of breath), there it was- Hobbit land in all its glory. Now the first interesting thing was the term WWOOF -it is a network for finding sort of unpaid work in the UK and further afield. In Hobbit land there were a few girls from Italy and Spain finding out about fossil free living!

Inside the hobbit house

Inside the hobbit house

Kitchen annex

Kitchen annexe

Wood burning stove

Wood burning stove

Thing is, this community have set their stall out and decided to work the land without fossil fuel- very commendable to say the least. Most of the cooking is done using wood and the houses are made (predominantly) of the same.

Rocket stove kettle

Rocket stove kettle

One of the first house's built

One of the first houses built

However some of the first ones ever built were made of canvas (now relegated to a store shed) while others use some modern technology and new thinking.

The new straw bale house

The new straw bale house

The newest one is made of straw bales and clay rendering while the roof is corrugated iron.

Making an extension

Making an extension

The tarp house

The tarp house

Most houses go through a lifetime of change, some bits removed while others are added. In some cases it’s enforced- this winter they had a few big storms which wrenched a few of the Douglas firs from the ground and, in one case, the occupant went out to see what damage had occurred a few tens of metres away and promptly watched a tree fall straight through his beloved abode. That was a near miss!!!!!

Pedros house

Pedro’s house

Pedro showed me his house- rather man-like it was a haven of curiosities which some might term as junk! I’d like to say a tool chest for living without fossil fuel. Hanging in the rafters were some sheep skins ready to be cured in some oak bark tannin. That’ll keep him warm this coming winter.

The community bathroom

The community bathroom

Solar power

Solar power

Is Tinkers Bubble living in the past? Oh no they are not, they have as many renewable energy sources as possible and the small bank of solar panels keeps them in touch with the rest of the world. Mind you, it’s back to the past when it comes to heating your bath water though!!

One of the allotments

One of the allotments

Of course I was then shown around the veggie patches- very impressive. All this home-grown food feeds the community and, along with the poly tunnels, they have almost everything they need. The tomato section was outstanding; Pedro told me that they germinate the early toms with hot water bottles !!!

Poly tunnel A

Poly tunnel A

Polytunnel B

Poly tunnel B

The chicken run

The chicken run

The chicken run was impressive too; it had to be as, apparently, the local badgers are partial to the organic chickens… Fort Knox came to mind.

The milk run

The milk run

As for diary products they even had a few Jersey cows- the milk is far superior to the supermarkets’ white water.

Of course the cider!

Of course… the cider!

The next industrial centre to visit (and one close to my head heart tail) was the apple press- more reminiscent of a torture chamber. Pedro showed me around with great enthusiasm, man I must have one of these.

Remember this pony?

Remember this pony?

The new  apple trees

The new apple trees

Old and new was next on the list… Pedro’s horse, which he uses to cultivate his rather large veggie patch, (and the horse that provided fossil free power to the scythe festival in Somerset) was merrily grazing the grass under the cider apple trees. The community have recognised that they do indeed need to plant more apple trees.

Acres of building material

Acres of building material

Finally it was time to go ( and I travelled on to the South Downs National Park to see Mr Allery), but not before I had a tour around the Douglas fir woodland. All the timber is cut by hand and extracted using the community’s horses. So, how do they convert the timber without fossil fuel? My, oh my, oh my! A Stenner & Gunn racksaw (always wanted one of these) but, what was this? A Stenner bandsaw that has replaced the racksaw. “Come on Pedro you’ve got to use some fossil fuel to power this?” He promptly lifted a sheet and revealed a portable steam engine. ” Coal fired?” “Not on your life” he retorted… “wood”. I’m rather jealous as this was the setup at the Woodyard at Wimpole… oh how I dream of what could be!… … …

The sawmill

The sawmill

The power

The power

About Sadeik

You may ask why "Sadeik" well it means friend in arabic. Worked in Jordan a lot doing tree surgery you see. I have worked in forestry since I left school with a two years in Telecom. Went back to forestry and tree surgery as it may not have paid as much but was far more interesting and dangerous. Spent a lot of years mountaineering, caving and canoeing too. At 29 I went to Bangor University to study Forestry and soil science then did an MSc in Water engineering all very interesting. By a quirk of fate in 1995 ended up helping sort out the woodland and park at Wimpole, funny thing was then I only intended to stay six months or so, but 18 years later I'm still here learning all the time. That's the best bit, if I wasn't able to learn something new every year I would not have stayed and as you get older you realise that the grass is not so green in the next field after all. In fact my patch is getting greener while much of the rest is getting browner.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized. Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s