Permaculturing in Portugal

One family's attempts to live in a more planet-friendly way

Waste not, want not

Sometimes, when the number of Big Things needing done threatens to become overwhelming, it’s occasionally worthwhile to do a small thing, just for that sense of achievement, satisfaction and progress it can give. Well that’s my excuse at least.

Battery house door faced with chestnut

Small thing in the foreground. Big Thing in the background

Building renovations, renewable energy generation and transforming land into productive food-growing space fall into the Big Thing category. We have rather a lot of those on the go at the moment and some mornings I can get up and spend several hours faffing about wondering just where to bite off a chunk of a Big Thing so it’s reasonably achievable within the course of a day or two.

Or I start flitting about from one thing to another and not getting to grips with any of them in earnest. It’s easily done. Start work on something. Realise you need a tool you don’t have handy. Go off to get it. Spot something else that needs doing en route. Start work on that. Realise you need a tool you don’t have handy. Go off to get it …

While faffing about behind the main building one morning last week, I came across the pile of short chestnut, cherry and pine slats which had formed the supporting structure for the slates on the original roof. We’d sorted them into two main piles: the potentially useful and the fit for firewood. Sorting through the potentially useful, it looked like there were just enough hardwood slats left for the purpose I had in mind. One that was even achievable without falling prey to a bout of multiple sidetracking or getting Big Thinged.

So after a good cleaning with the draw knife, some cutting and shaping, some glueing and screwing, some preserving and oiling, we now have a rustic-style facing on the door to the battery house. Largely cosmetic and unnecessary (well, there’s a bit extra insulation from the extra thickness of wood and some protection for the plywood), but very satisfying. I am feeling ludicrously pleased with myself.

Back to the Big Things now …

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  1. michelle August 10, 2010

    well done you it looks fab.if you run out of big things to do at any point I can point you in the direction of lots and lots of more big things!

  2. sophie August 10, 2010

    you certainly should feel pleased with yourself, it looks fantastic! wanna come do that to our adega door? ;)

  3. Quinta do Vale August 10, 2010

    There’s a Big Thing or two in the way just now, but if you find the slats …

  4. Alice August 11, 2010

    Hi Wendy… looks fabulous! We’ve been keeping up with your news here (although been a bit rubbish at commenting!) and it’s so amazing to see how much you have achieved. I’m sure there are many big things left to do, but from where we’re sitting – you should definitely allow yourself to feel chuffed with the odd small thing, too ;-)

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