Growing Food at Home Survey

I have a local friend who wants to market a product to assist in growing your own food at home.  Do you grow your own food, or are you interested in getting started growing your own food?  He would appreciate hearing what you think!  You can do the survey anonymously if you like, or leave your email at the end for further contact.

You can find the survey here.

Review of EU Seed Legislation

Sorry for not posting recently.  More to come soon.

For those of you who filled in or are interested in the online questionnaire concerning the review of EU seed legislation I posted about here, you can read everyone’s answers here.

I think it makes quite interesting reading, and it shows how your voice can really be heard if you take the time to participate in something like this.

Foundation Cement

We had no fewer than three cement mixers in front of our house today.  Strangely enough, two were full of cement, and the other had the pump attached to it they used to pump the cement into our house.  Why they couldn’t just fill the truck with the pump full of cement too, and save the trouble of bringing an extra vehicle, I’m not sure.

The other thing I find curious is why, all over the world apparently, cement trucks always have to have silly slogans on them.  Translated, this one says something along the lines of ‘Concretely into cement’.  When I lived in the area around San Francisco some of the cement trucks used to say things like ‘Get a load of this!’  or ‘Find a need and fill it!’.  Is it just that working with cement means you have to have the sense of humor that goes along with it?

The tool above they used to pull large amounts of cement around the room, in order to get it level.  It was powered and vibrated, and could move a lot in one go.

Here it was coming in.

This tool had a flexible pipe on the end, was also powered and vibrated.  They used it to insert into places the concrete might not have flowed on it’s own, like the inkassing or the odd corner, in order to encourage the concrete to flow.

Finally, when they finished with everything else, they smoothed out the floor.  The picture above was taken from the same place the distance shots in this post were made.

House Foundation: The Braid

This is what the contractor calls ‘The Braid’.  It’s concrete reinforcement steel or rebar as it’s often called, at least in the US.  It took five men nearly two days to complete the structure, and the picture above is after the first day.  You can see the special pieces here designed to fit into the inkassing.  You can also see the piles have been filled with concrete and also have steel reinforcements coming out of the tops.

Below is a picture of the same part of the wall, but from more of a distance.  This picture was also taken the second day after they finished.  You can see it’s been built up in layers and in many places, especially connecting the rows of piles, you can see extra reinforcing material was added to give strength in specific places.  This was all very carefully and mathematically planned by the construction engineer.

This last picture is almost the same as the previous, but you can see the extra lines of reinforcement a little better.

Tomorrow the concrete will be poured, and what’s called the construction floor will be made.  After this happens our house will have it’s new foundation and will finally be stabilized!  In total the construction floor will be about a foot or 30cm thick, and on top of that we’ll put a layer of insulation, floor heating and finally a finished tile floor.

Until now we’ve been enjoying walking around in the space with it’s high ceilings, and it’ll be a shame to lose the extra height to the thick floor.  We will actually gain about a foot (30cm) of height compared with what was there before, but to put the new floor in deeper than that would have been too expensive, because it would have meant working under the water table.

The other thing that’s critical about this stage of the project is that once the concrete is poured into the inkassing it can never be undone, so tomorrow when they pour the concrete it will be an irreversible step.