Planning to burst

Barn conversion: we’ve given this a modest budget and a three-year schedule but we’ve been approached by a group that want to build an Earthship home on our land as a demonstrator and to learn the skills. We get to keep the building as long as we allow visitors. This has happened while Monica is away and has got me very excited. If we all agree, they could provide the cash and effort for many of our projects—guest accommodation, wood oven (in the Earthship kitchen), hydro and wind power, even installing a few access roads. Plus, we could keep the barn pretty much as a barn, using it for such things as Monica’s donkey, extra storage and workshop, a performance space, a studio and gallery, though not all at once. I hope Monica sees what I can see and that my vision for this can be made real. An earth-covered, super-eco dwelling in the field behind the barn, surrounded by the forest garden and firewood coppices seems an ideal set-up. I’d encourage them to include accessibility in the design brief so that I can retire there when I lose my mobility.

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