Dot & Neil’s dream home

NZ Lifestyle Block - - DIY FOOD -

When she was liv­ing in what she calls a grotty old house in Wark­worth, Dot dreamed of one day build­ing a cas­tle.

“It was a dream, but why not? Every­body loves a cas­tle. I’m cre­at­ing a mil­lion sto­ries!”

Un­like most, Dot re­tained her child­hood dreams and has now re­alised them. When the time came to build their own home, in­stead of down-siz­ing to a “lit­tle cot­tage by the rest home,” says Dot, she and Neil de­cided to build a cas­tle.

One of their cri­te­ria was no shoes and no jer­seys, mean­ing there will be no draughty rooms. The cas­tle is over-in­su­lated and topped up with un­der­floor heating and heated by heat ex­change from the lake.

It took three and a half years to get a per­mit. To­day, Dot says she could write a book about the ob­sta­cles they’ve had to over­come, but she was never go­ing to give up.

“No, I just go to work ev­ery day and let it sort it­self out.”

Many of us have por­ta­ble chicken coops. At home, we have small chicken houses that we mo­bilise around the gar­den, the kind of thing with wheels at one end for ease of shift­ing.

But if you have a lot of land, you can put a much larger flock to work. Paul and Debi have quite a lot of land, and it had the look of hav­ing been farmed for a long time with­out much nur­tur­ing.

You need quite a lot of chick­ens if you’re go­ing to use their poo make a dif­fer­ence on that scale. They were think­ing of run­ning 50-100 birds, more than you’d ever need on an eggs-on­lyre­quired ba­sis. You also need a chicken- the project. Those who’ve read my stuff over the years will know I’ve got a bit of a feel for what might be made into some­thing else and closer in­spec­tion of the old trail­ers showed per­ished tyres, of sizes com­mon 90 years ago. The more un­der­growth we pulled away, the less it

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