Decking for Yurts and Roundhouse
The main group room at Kalikalos is a 7 m reciprocal framed roundhouse first constructed by Nigel Hilton in 2002 and rebuilt in 2010 by Ivor Fletcher.
The photo to the right shows workcampers erecting the plastic roof sheeting of this unusual structure. The roundhouse floor is earth carpeted with pieces acquired during the Olympic Games in 2008 when many hotels upgraded their carpeting.
This floor is fine for workshops and community meetings, but less than satisfactory for yoga and dance, where a degree of spring is desirable. And despite a drainage ditch around the roundhouse the occasional thunderstorm does overwhelm it, soaking the carpets.
This May we are going to construct decking from local Chestnut to raise the floor of the roundhouse providing a better surface for dance and yoga. We'll also do similar deckings for two yurt spaces ensuring that they also will be fully waterproof no matter what the weather.
There is always plenty of maintenance to be done during the Spring workcamp. This year we will pick up the work on the forecourt paving which has seen years of neglect, with grass growing in between the stones, many of which are broken.
Kissos, like all the villages in N. E. Pelion is built on a mountainside. For centuries here people have used stones dug from the ground as terracing for their gardens. Our property has a number of subsiding dry walls which need rebuilding, so we'll make a start on shoring up these walls this Spring work camp.
Additional Spring Work
In addition to the main building projects, there will be a number of minor building and maintenance jobs.
We will be setting up our 5m yurt on the south terrace under the mulberry tree, which provides an excellent chance for anyone wishing to learn the basics of yurt construction and maintenance.
We plan to acquire a second used yurt which will require some fabric stitching and reworking of broken spars, again excellent training for anyone interested in yurt construction.
We'll continue to upgrade the kitchen, installing more shelving and cabinets and improving lighting. The 200L solar tank that heats the hot water for the showers remains inadequate and needs supplementing with a second 400L solar thermal system on the roof of the main building. We will be looking for a solar engineer to take on this job.
There’ll be loads of gardening work as we extend our drip irrigation system to all the hydrangeas and roses and expand the organic vegetable garden on the upper terrace near the new sanctuary building.
In addition to the main building and renovation projects there is spring house cleaning, our ground floor rooms need beautifying with fabrics and paintings, the organic veggie patch gets turned and planted, and of course there is the support team to help with cooking, cleaning, gardening etc.
We will be constructing beautiful steps between our terraces like these from Finca Tiera in La Palma island shown in the photo below.
Autumn in Greece
In the autumn we convene a second workcamp (21 Sept - 5 Oct) to carry on unfinished work from the May camp and to pack up the Centre. We mulch the gardens for the winter, knock down and store the temporary workshop spaces, and do maintenance on the buildings: painting and wood preserving. There is some pruning, re-planting and tree work.
The autumn camp is a very mellow time as the shadows lengthen, and a strong sense of community emerges in the group. The beaches are warm from about 11:30 am to 3:30 and we go every day for a few hours, often taking a picnic lunch with us.
As October progresses the nights become cool, warm pullovers are useful and we sleep under blankets. The month is usually a dry one, with the days being clear and crisp yet still warm till late afternoon.
In both spring and autumn camps we have a community sharing every morning after breakfast and work a few hours in the morning, go to the beach after lunch and then come back and work a few more hours before dinner in the evening. Participants work about 34 hours/week with one full day off, completely free time.
As always, working and sharing together as a team engenders a strong community feeling and the feedback on the workcamps over the years has been consistently positive. As opposed to the excitement and strong energy of the May workcamp when we ready ourselves for the new season, the autumn camp is softer and quieter, in keeping for the onset of winter. It's a time to go inward and reflect on our accomplishments over the summer season and to give ourselves feedback and to envisage next year's season.
Both workcamps provide an opportunity to join the work rhythms of the Centre, to learn natural building methods, organic gardening and to participate in authentic community building. People often elect to stay on after the May workcamp and join our summer staff and there are often opportunities for extending your stay in this way.
All of our workcamp projects give excellent opportunities for gender role reversal as you can see from the photos on this page depicting workers from our previous camps.