Sustainable Building South

Sustanible Building South, a non-profit association, held a meeting at Ecotopia på Österlen. The association  outgoing from their project “Ecological LowEnergyHousing”, in Österlen, is to encourage local firms on building sites to develop in an ecological direction, through supporting their members with local competences and network development as well as courses and workshops. Of which, many local firms are represented. There were builders specialized in straw-bale construction, recycled cellulose fibre insulation, sheep-wool insulation, earthen housing, clay building methods, window & door restoration, drainage systems, etc. The group is seen in discussion, on the photo, whilst chairman; Architect Karin Höijer, led the meeting.

We at Ecotopia, are currently preparing our annual “Straw-bale building Workshop” with Austrian specialist, Herbert Gruber for the second year running. This year we are building a stable for the animals in a structural timber frame construction with straw-bale infill and CUT-technic, upon a  stone masonry foundation and earthen floor, from materials found on site.

The beginning of this year was rather cold, and by our own records regarding the planting out of our food crops, the winter held on about two weeks longer than the previous two years. In contrast though, the Spring came suddenly like a whirlwind, and got rather warm rather quickly. As a result our beehives for another successful year, have expanded in size in a very short time, outgrowing the capacity of the two “Warre” hives we have on the farm, to the point that they have each swarmed to divide. In both cases we we’re succesful in recapturing the swarms to try and establish new hives and expand on our growing community of healthy honey bees. On the picture you can see the bees clustered around the queen in our old apple tree. In the effort to recapture them, for the first time we could see the Farm outgoing from their perspective. What a highlight!!

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Österlen –Provence in Southsweden