It has always been my dream to have extra living spaces on the farm. Our 40sqm tiny house is very jolly and cosy but it quickly becomes cramped and claustrophobic when we try to cram in too many people. There is also the inevitable tension between our home, which is our private space, and the undeniable fact that it also regularly serves as the community centre/dining room/office space/communal kitchen for our volunteers, guests, visitors, neighbours, and very lost cyclists who turn up crying on the doorstep.
So, for a long while I have been searching in vain for a structure we could use as an “over flow”. Somewhere to put all the extra people, somewhere to host parties and events, maybe even somewhere guests could sleep over. Searching in vain because with my budget and lack of DIY skills we’d be lucky if we ended up with a leaky shack made of wobbly pallets!
And then entered our FAIRY GODMOTHER. A very nice lady who was able to make our dreams come true by giving us the yurt AS A GIFT!!! Why would anyone give away such an expensive item? Well, the Fairy Godmother had the beautiful yurt locked away in a storage container with no one to admire it and she ‘wanted it to go to a place where it would get the most use and give the most enjoyment’. The only catch? We had to collect it ourselves.
I’m sure you can imagine I did not waste any time in convincing my amazed partner Nicholas to rent a truck (for the first time in his life), drive to the south of Spain (for the first time in his life), and meet a the Fairy Godmother (a woman he’d never met before) to collect a yurt he had never previously seen nor heard of! Champion! Unfortunately for me someone had to stay home and look after all the animals so I forlornly waved goodbye as Nicholas and his friend Erik sped off for an amazing road trip adventure.
One night in a charming pension and up early to collect the yurt I have been dreaming of.
Late the next evening Nicholas and Erik arrive home triumphant and I am waiting with a handful of friends, neighbours and one very keen volunteer to unload the truck.
The Base Construction
One of the things I liked most about the Fairy Godmother’s offer of a free yurt is that it also included the solid wood custom built base. Whilst yurts themselves are generally durable and water tight, the weakest part is almost always the floor. They need to be tightly anchored and well raised up off the ground in such a way that the water run off is able to drain away from the structure and never ever allowed to pool underneath the floor. Wooden yurt bases can often cost in excess of half the price of the yurt and without them you can expect your precious yurt to suffer damp very badly and eventually need replacing. Nicholas is our resident carpenter and he was very happy to tackle the base construction with the help of our volunteer Violeta. He decided, off course, to spend three days sanding the whole thing and treating it will natural linseed oil.
Finally the yurt goes up!
This yurt came originally from a UK based company called Yurt Specialists and on their website they provide a handy instructional video. In the week before we collected the yurt I watched this video so many times it now feels like an old friend and I have developed quite the taste for Mongolian throat singing.
You can see in the video that they have lots of people helping out, lots of people experienced in yurt building. We did not. We had four adults and a ten year old to supervise us and not a single one of us had ever been inside a yurt. However, I am not the kind of person to be put-off my minor details and we plunged right in.
Once the frame is up we had to take a much needed break for lunch before we tackled the mountain of canvas and felt.
The construction of the yurt took us four adults only seven hours to build. Admittedly we made a few mistakes as we went along but by the time we were finished we had created a fully liveable home. I don’t think any of us realised how big it would end up being, it was much more like building a small house than putting up a big tent!
A few weeks later, once our arms had recovered, we all met up once again to put the finishing touches on the yurt and prepare it for the first ever guests! The day was particularly special, not only because of the satisfaction that comes from finishing something, but also because Fairy Godmother and Fairy Godfather were there to help us having travelled all the way up to see us and the yurt in its new home. Thanks to them we were able to get the roof on much straighter and all the knots and fastenings were retied and made extra tight.
While me and the girls worked on assembling the new furniture and making the inside cosy and welcoming, Nicholas and Fairy Godfather got to work building a 8msq deck on the front of the yurt!
So, if you would like to visit the Freedom Farm the yurt is now ready and waiting for you! Contact us to start your adventure!