Sunday, November 14, 2010

Some Beginnings Of Projects...

A while back, we joined freecycle. We have found our local group so helpful, and been able to source 'just the right thing' for a number of different projects we are working on. We have been gifted an old fridge that was converted to a worm farm and a battered old kitchen sink to be put into a stand for a garden sink, and have been able to offload a couple of things that would have otherwise been destined for landfill.

Weekends are great for freecycling. I love logging on to see what treasures have been listed for offer, or to see if I am able to convert some of my own junk into someone else's treasure.

This week was no different, and Nath has had a hankering to try his hand at building a solar oven/food dryer. This is mostly because the electric food dehydrator we have on loan drives him to distraction with the constant whir of its fan, and the thought of all those kW being drained over long periods of time. (Drying fruit takes anywhere between six and fourteen hours)

After some research, he decided an old oven and some mirrors were exactly what he needed to create a fabulous solar oven. We have some old mirrors lying around waiting for a new purpose in life, so it was onto freecycle to try our luck at finding an old oven.

Success! Within an hour, not one, but two locals had offered us old ovens. They sounded quite different, so we decided to grab both, and spent most of Sunday with the trailer hitched up lugging heavy old ovens around and sweeping away fat redback spiders, disgruntled at the sudden disruption to their home.

Here is a picture of Nath hard at work stripping back an oven ready to build a solar oven. It will take some time to make it look (and perform) as we need it to, and I have quite firmly reminded Nath a couple of times that there is a fine line between 'rustic' and 'junkyard'.

One of the girls who responded is a dear friend who lives on a farm, so we drove out there to have a look and raided her 'junk' pile while we were there. It makes me wonder how many farms around the country have similar junk piles that are hiding some real gems. We picked up an old wooden crate that is definitely 'rustic' as opposed to 'junk' - this will form the outside of our solar oven once Nath finishes dismantling the oven.

Also hidden on my friend's farm, and the reason we went out there with the trailer, is replacing my preserving pan as my 'secondhand score of the century'. This will be stored until we are in our own home, where it will be lovingly restored and take pride of place in our kitchen.

An old Settlers wood stove, in beautiful condition with only some surface rust, and all pieces intact. This is such a generous freecycle gift from my dear friend, and it will become a much valued addition to our future new home, as in winter it will heat the house, heat our water (you can plumb water through it to act as a water heater) and provide heat for cooking. I have visions of a lovely warm kitchen, sitting around the table eating fresh bread and jam that have been cooked on the gorgeous old woodfired oven.

Joining freecycle, as well as our local buy and sell facebook page, has given us so much more of a sense of community, being able to offer other people what they need, and gaining resources for our own projects in return.

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