The CountrySOLE Project is a green tourism and educational centre. The project aims to create a sustainable living system, utilizing natural, biodegradable, reused, and recycled materials and working with natural cycles.
Thinking always in terms of cycles, on our own Soil Association (G2302) holding;
Using Scandinavian models, built 2 log houses and planted 350 trees before starting to build, to replace the timber used. Protected using home made borax solution.
Insulation using sheeps wool, some of which were our own fleeces, again treated with borax.
Roofing using recycled plastic “slates”.
Electricity from pV cells and wind turbine.
Water from borehole, rain water, and estate supply.
Cooking and water heating using woodfired Rayburn (thrown out in dash for gas and oil!)
Composting toilets and comfrey bed to deal with leachate.
Greywater utilization within polytunnel.
Circular garden constructed using redundant sleepers from our farm.
8 raised beds 20ftx4ftx20” radiate from the octagonal central raised fishpool (20ft dia) in the major compass directions( N;NE;E; etc) leaving 8 raised (12“) triangular beds between. The whole is then surrounded by an unbroken circular bed (with stepping stones) Each bed is separated by a
stone access path.
Though not yet in full production, the aim is to use the central beds for rotational crops with companion planting, and to rotate opposite beds in a clockwise direction, and to use the outside circular bed for soft fruit and semi permanent crops (asparagus,artichokes, etc.,)
There is a further garden area which seeks to grow plants designed to stimulate the senses, with scents, sounds, feel and colour, but also to encourage birds and butterflies to be observed from within and outside the houses.
The garden has both a physical and spiritual dimensions.
The shape lends itself to clock and calendar registering the rising and setting sun, equinox and mid summer/winter, and the cycle of time through the seasons, and the circularity of elements.
Symbolically it represents the spiritual midwinter festivals, Christmas, w.solstice, fire festivals, Easter/equinox, etc., with the centrality of the water and the never ending cycle of life.
Additionally our farm runs alongside a small nature reserve which is wonderful through all seasons.