Welcome to the Boot Up! Project

Welcome to Boot Up! Outdoor Learning with Falmouth Forest School

Saturday, 27 February 2010

A spot of gardening

Windmills and Rotation Planting

Thurs 25th Feb

As it was raining today we did some activities in the yurt :)

The first group made scarecrow windmills out of holographic paper and recycled materials, including bottletops, cellophane and bamboo sticks. They were just fantastic - it could be the birds stand and admire the windmills rather than be scared of them!

The second group learnt all about families of vegetables, Root, Bean, Brassicas etc. When they had drawn them and cut them out we put them on string and hung them up in the yurt. We ethen learnt about how some plants compliment each other and so we acted out which vegetable went well with another by moving our cut outs into groups.

With the woodburning stove blazing away and our pasties warming up nicely we were cosy and snug in the yurt. Nice activities for a wet day :)

Straw Day!

Today the lovely warm dry sweet smelling straw arrived from the local farm. The farmer bought it on a trailer behind a tractor across the fields at the back of the garden site. We were there to greet him and unload the dry straw bales onto a massive tarpaulin.

It looked like rain was on its way so we found every way we could to move the bales... we carried them, pulled them, wheel-barrowed them, dragged them, and hoisted them until they were all home and dry in the polytunnel. There were 60 bales and 6 of us on the job so we all had to move 10 each! Easier said than done!

The stack of bales changed the feel of the polytunnel - it was suddenly very warm in there as the bales created a windbreak at the back of the tunnel.

We all had our lunch sat on the bales :)

You've been framed!

Tues 23rd Feb
Making the frame for the Straw Bale shelter. After wood working party hauled the delivery up the hill, the wood was stored neatly in the dry polytunnel.

The Build Project Manager gave everyone instruction on the how the plans are being interpeted and how important it is to follow the measurements etc

Then the wood was cut to the right size and a ladder-shaped frame for the ends of the building were made first. It was amazing to see how fast the frame was created and the building began to take shape.

Such care was taken with the precision and some wood working skills were taught and learnt.

The frame was then wrapped up in waterproof tarpaulin until the rest of the frame is built.

Forging Ahead

Today we made a giant needle on the forge, needed to sew the straw bales together.

First a fire was made in the fire pit, then some embers were placed gently on a dug out platform on the spoil heap. The make-shift bellows were put into action to keep the embers aglow. The fire was fueled by some home-made charcoal that a team member had made.

An iron rod was heated until it was red hot and then hammered in to a sharp long flat needle with an eye for the twine to go through.

So great to make something from scratch that is going to be an essential tool in the straw bale build.

Everyone was very pleased with the final product and happy with their efforts!

What an achievement!

Fire Pit

Mon 22nd Feb

Today the student ambassadors and Booters made a fire pit for burning garden waste and for creating hot embers to feed the forge.

Great fun was had improvising a set of pump-bellows - an air-bed pump, a length of tube and an old drain pipe worked wonders!

As the saying goes - no smoke without fire!

Hazel Gathering

Tues 23rd Feb

Today we went to the woods to gather the hazel to make the stakes that hold the straw bales together.

Everyone had a go at going into the woods and cutting the straight shoots from the hazel trees. It was so pretty with the catkins blowing in the breeze.

The wood needed to be stripped at the ends and shaved.

A makeshift shaving horse was created and instruction on how to use a draw-knife given.

Booters and Student ambassadors all managed to make a massive pile of stakes ready to spear the bales together.

There is something very theraputic about shaving wood, a very worthwhile activity that has created some new materials for the build. Even the shavings were dried and used to light the woodburning stove - nothing is wasted.

Great work.

Dig Up at Boot Up!

Mon 22nd Feb

First real day of the Straw Bale Shelter Build Project. The foundations that were marked out and started on the initial visit are starting to take shape. The earth is good quality topsoil so we are saving it to ship up to the allotments.

The Student Ambassadors get on the case......and the foundatiosn are on their way!