Sustainable House Day 2011 – Wrap Up

Always a great event and fun was had by all!  At 10am when we opened the gates it was 10.5 degrees Celsius, and bucketing down with rain.  I just could not believe how cold it was for Spring, so cold that it hailed the day before.  It stopped raining at 11am and the sun came out of hiding.

Hail, yesterday afternoon

However the cold and wet weather that did not deter people from visiting though.  We had so many people through in the morning it was keeping all the volunteers busy as bees.  It died down in the afternoon, with only dribs and drabs coming through.  The Football finals must have been on?  The grand total for the day was;

54 Guests and 11 Volunteers = 65 Visitors for the day.

The inside of the house was off limits, as our privacy is important to us, but the gardens were open slather with many people going around twice just in case they missed something.  We had so many people that interested in all the low tech stuff we had done, in fact quite a few had visited other sustainable homes and mentioned that they were all too high tech, and just looking for something that they could do to their own homes.  The overwhelming majority of comments based on feedback from the volunteer guides during the day, was that people felt inspired that they could do some of the things around their own homes and reuse things that they also had laying around.

Anyway, here are some photos of the event.

Here is Amy, my daughter and expert with sponsor pencils by the looks of it.  She was the greeter for the day.

Here is one of the displays, with pickles, jams, fruit, and soap.  We printed up an information sheet for each guest to explain a little about each area around the garden and some of the inside features.

Our display board was fully stacked with pictures.  These belong to the Melton Sustainable Living Group, which we use for displaying sustainable living information at events around town.

You may have seen this likely looking character before.  I was waiting to take the next group of guests around, when Kim caught me un-awares!

The main vegetable, herb and citrus garden.  People loved the greenhouse and the recycled poles I used to run the peas up.

Past the Solar PV, the compost bins, and the car into the pool area.  We cordoned this area off, and had a safety number posted.  I will be planting the grape vines soon (in the next few weeks) to grow up the arbor!  Two Merlot, one white table and one red table grape vines.  Looking forward to tracking their progress over summer.

We repotted lots of Yuccas yesterday, and trimmed off any side shoots and repotted them as well.

Kim painted this sign late yesterday, totally exhausted!  Mind your step now.

A quick right turn to Cluckingham palace, which everyone loved,

Then down past the cob oven to the wicking bed,

Still alive and well watered salad greens.  So many loved the simplicity of the wicking bed.

Past the garlic bed to the front yard.

A stroll around the 13 fruit trees, and then a hearty hand shake and thanks for the visit.

 This is the view as the guest walked back to their vehicles.  We are totally whacked, and are now having a well deserved rest.  A big thanks goes out to the 9 helpers from the Melton Sustainable Living group, without who the day would not have gone so smoothly.  Hazaar!

And a special big kiss goes out to Kim, my darling wife, who puts up with all my crazy green projects and ideas but loves showing people around.  xox

Until next year, signing off from Sustainable House Day 2011 in Melton West, Victoria!


  1. photohodge says

    Gav and Kim (and family) – what you are doing (sustainably) with a modern suburban home is incredible. And the garden is an adventure with the nooks and crannies. (or maybe chooks and grannies . . .).

    Gee, if only we could get more people doing this stuff, the big supermarkets would be cacking themselves . . .

    Top job!


  2. says

    Well done to both of you..and all your volunteers…It’s always lovely to have the opportunity of seeing someone else’s garden….Wish I too could have visited. Your garden looks amazing Gav!

  3. says

    Congratulations on a brilliant day – You’ll have to blog ‘sustainable swimming pool’ as I’d be fascinated to know how it’s done. Is it a salt water or rain water pool? I suppose you heat it with solar or don’t in the summer and the sun heats it. Do you leave water in it all year? I am envious as I can’t afford water.

  4. says

    Sustainable house day looks like so much fun! Wish we had something like that here in my area (US). And I agree with folks – one reason I love your blog is because you talk about what you’re doing right where you are. You took the house and property you had and made it sustainable. Too many people think they have to buy a lot of land and build high-tech new to “go green” – which is usually much more wasteful than working with what you’ve already got.

    The other thing I appreciate about your blog is that you leave the photos “big” – enlargeable – so I can really zoom in and look around at what you’ve done. It’s very helpful and is a real inspiration.

  5. says

    Good job! Unfortunately our nearest sustainable house was a 3 1/2 hours away.

    Quick question, when did you do your front yard? And what is on the ground?


  6. says

    Sounds like you all had a good day despite the weather. We would have come to see your set up if we were over that way :)

    There were quite a few on the guest list at the house we went to today and a few more people arrived as we were leaving. The weather was cold here too but the rain stayed away. We went to a sustainable house day at Melrose. The house was a strawbale one and was built about 12 months ago. I loved the layout of the home it looks fantastic inside and out.

    We will be sure to do this again next year, it was very interesting and we have to start somewhere right? Thank you for the inspiration you provide through your blog Gavin. People like you are passing the message along, and are helping people like us to do our bit for our planet, and we are in turn passing it on to others…

    Have a great week :)

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