Important notice: Earthwise Valley closed in 2010 due to the unexpected passing of one of its founders. This site is maintained as-is in tribute to the many volunteers who lent their time and energy to the Valley.

Archive for February, 2009

New Composting Toilet

It is perhaps not surprising that this year’s first building project should be a Composting Toliet.

This lovely little structure is situated on the edge of our wetland, close to the work-in-progress bathhouse.

The composting method uses worms from our little wormfarm and breaks the waste down to neutralised soil – great for the avocados!

Clockwise from left: the ‘toilet gang’ includes Annika (Switzerland), Matilda (Sweden), Rachael (UK) and Rachel (Minnesota, USA).

World’s Smallest Skink

Well, actually there are no doubt smaller guys out there – but this is the smallest skink in ‘our world’ anyhow!

Here Matilda from Sweden tries to get an upclose macro shot of a truly tiny skink, which has been living in a volunteer tent.

(Click this photo for a bigger version…)

Our Valley has a New Dam & Pond

Today we completed the earthworks of our new dam!

The large clay dam is built across an existing natural narrow point between two low ridges.

The purpose is to create a large pond in an existing wet area, which will attract and support water birds like ducks, herons, kingfishers, pukekos, and provide habitat for aquatic species like fish, eels and crayfish.

These photos show the digger in action and a view of the dam from uphill on the Southern side of the land. Click on each photo to expand and you’ll see Rachael + Nassy standing on the new Dam road!

Although it may look small there are more than 10 truckloads of clay and soil in the dam already and we may increase the height over time.

The outflow is solid stainless steel and will hopefully support a minimum depth of one metre.  In time some sludge and nutrients from the pond can be extracted to the adjacent garden. We plan to surround the pond with a mix of water-loving plants – both productive and native.

New Video Page added to our Website

New Video Page added to our Website

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