Șomartin Permaculture Update September 2018

September 30, 2018 Kevin Jarvis

We did LOTS of things in our three weeks visiting Somartin Earthway Experience….

One of the first things we did upon arrival was to hire two local villagers to dig out the ditch in front of the house(s) …almost 100 meters were eventually done!!! The neighbor up the street had started on his property and we finished digging out the rest the street. Now the water flows freely all the way down the street. In some places the dirt was over 40 cm/ 2 feet thick!!!!

Harvesting apples from our orchard to make Apple Brandy.

We had started cutting them up but we had over 500kg!!!!!

We realized it may take us the whole time of our visit there to cut them up by hand with knives…

The apples are an old Saxon type. They look mottled or a bit moldy from the outside but looks are deceiving. They are delicious and beautiful on the inside and actually quite beautiful on the outside at closer look!!!!

 We talked to our neighbor and he told us to bring them over as he had a machine to grind them up. Ben, Adina and I brought the apples over to his house, helped grind them and we left them to ferment. Behind us is Dorin’s 120 liter still. It is in the traditional Transylvanian style. He will distill the “must” just before Christmas.

Hanging outside with a friend Horace – notice the “jungle of weeds…they are soon gone…keep watching 🙂

Cristie cutting firewood with the new chain saw.

Slate for the bathroom floor. We even plan on taking away the tile from the entry way and putting this slate in there as well. Much more resistant and will be very beautiful too!
Next step though….in a process with MANY steps 🙂

Nicusor, a local man we have hired to do work around the place.
Started by filling in all the holes in the floor and eventually he will put down the slate “tiles” in the bathroom.
Here he is in one of the very early steps of finishing the bathroom.

A shepherd from the village was cutting grass on our property. 

The barn is on the adjoining property.  In wintertime, he brings the sheep to the back of the barn and feeds them outside.

What beautiful light in the barn!!!!!

We bought 1000kg / 2200lbs of plums to make Plum Brandy !!!! 🙂

Some relatives will be watching it for us over the winter and will get it distilled for us in the spring!!!! Yum Yum!!!!

We lived in the guest bedroom and will do that until the inside of the house is finished. We think we will work on the roof and put new tiles in the next step of the process though……

Before and after with some new curtains in the guest bedroom.

We were invited to a gypsy horse-trading in a neighboring village. Our neighbors Nelo and Marius (who dug our the ditch for us) asked for a ride to a neighbor village. Nelo loves horses and wanted to look at one to buy.

 Ben inside a horse stall.

 After the trading Nelo (in pink) offered us a beer and a bag of black olives to say thanks for the drive there and back. Marius is our neighbor across the street in a white shirt and mustache. Our friend Ben Smits from Melbourne Australia was visiting and able to join us.

Lots of new firewood and view outside the “garage”.

We hired two very talented excavators – Alin and Cristi from a nearby village. Their machine is seen working by the “ruin”.

Ben working with iron spike and hand made “Gypsy” broom to clean out the newly exposed cobblestones.
Talking about archeology!!!!

 Beautiful Stones and Pattern…
Thanks for letting us see them, Benny!!!!!

A few inside shots to show “before” flooring. We don’t know when it will be installed…


Bathroom with the door removed as we will be putting in a traditional Saxon Door. Next step is a waterproofing sealer over the cement and then the slate tiles!!!

Planting garlic in our new growing area…from seed as well as some of our largest cloves from Sweden

An old “ruin” that was fully uncovered by the digging. In the winter we were able to access it but the weeds and bushes had overgrown it this summer and now we can see it!!!!! Here we eventually plan on covering it with a roof and having a barbeque area…perhaps a restaurant…….
There are perhaps two rooms on the other side. We all ran out of time and Cristi and Alin will come back in the spring when we return to help with more excavation.

The courtyard is HUGE!!!!!

LOTS left to fully expose the cobblestones as Ben did around the well.
But how beautiful and practical it will become!!!!
Thanks again, Benny!!!!! We will save the rest for next visit 😉

Saxon stone bench out in front of the house for relaxing and watching the world go by!!!! 🙂

The septic/holding tank was installed in this area just prior to our arrival. We planted lots of wildflower seeds in the disturbed soil.

Newly and fully exposed cobblestone ditch working as it should. There were many small butterflies flying and enjoying the water there for the first time in many many years!!!! 

Now with the courtyard cobblestones exposed and draining properly and the front ditch open, the house will sit high and dry for many many years to come.

Thank you Alin and Cristie (excavators) for all your wonderful help!!!!!

If you are interested in visiting Earthway Somartin please contact us for details at – info@earthwayexperience.com

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