As I said in the last post, we are using polystyrene blocks to build our new Black Isle Berries Bunkhouse. It was interesting watching the process as one person can essentially construct the walls very quickly – it resembled a child building a lego house in some ways! Of course, it was more complex than that….. The first blocks were laid and the plumber had to lay out the various pipes that are needed for water and waste as a solid concrete floor was to be the next stage.
The guys all look very calm in the photo but the concrete pouring almost had a farcical element to it – at least five of them had to hold pipe pouring the concrete as it was so heavy and a lot of shouting ensued as they tried to manoeuvre the pipe to give even coverage across the floor area.
The shouting was worth it because they had a beautifully level floor by the end of the day! And the following day the wall building began in earnest. Within a few hours the base of the walls were up and progress was pretty rapid from then on. Once the blocks rose to above head height Arthur, who was doing the building, had his own ingenious method of gaining some height of his own and still being able to move around – stilts!
Once the rubble had been cleared away from the demolition of the old shed, the foundations for the bunkhouse were marked out using good old-fashioned tape measures and spray paint. The process did seem to generate a certain amount of stress, but then if this stage was done incorrectly the whole build would be wrong! These heightened stress levels continued as the foundation trenches were dug.
It wasn’t long before the concrete had been poured for the foundations and the building blocks had arrived. The bunkhouse is being built using polystyrene blocks, which will give us a highly insulated building. Hopefully this will reduce the heating costs!
We’ve had a farm shed not doing very much and decided to maximise its potential – a fancy way of saying we’re going to do something else with it! It has been demolished and a bunkhouse is going to be built, which will be an ideal place for outdoor enthusiasts to stay. The Black Isle is well situated to access various parts of the Highlands whether is it is for walking, cycling, climbing, kayaking or whatever else takes your fancy!
Over the next few weeks we will be sharing the new building’s progress.
Well, it’s the start of a new year and a start of a new approach to our business! For those of you who don’t know us, we are a small family-run business based at Tore on the Black Isle in Ross-shire. We have a fruit farm growing both soft fruit and some of the more traditional vegetables. In the summer we do PYO fruit; we are near to both Inverness and Dingwall so it is a great way to fill in an hour or two with the children during the school holidays.
Over the last few years we have planted a considerable number of apple trees and have been producing our own apple juice for three years. It’s absolutely delicious!