North Dorset Eco Homes Event

15 - 17 May 2015

Gold Hill Organic Farm, Child Okeford

Energy-saving improvements

  • Low-cost improvements
    Low-cost improvements
  • Lighting systems and electrical appliances
    Lighting systems and electrical appliances
  • Renewables: heat
    Renewables: heat
  • Renewables: electricity
    Renewables: electricity
  • Water management
    Water management
  • Sustainable building materials
    Sustainable building materials
  • Lifestyle change
    Lifestyle change

Location

Gold Hill Organic Farm, Ridgeway Lane
Child Okeford
Blandford Forum
Dorset
DT11 8HB

View on map

Opening times

15 - 17 May 2015
10 visitors at a time roughly.
2 options for viewing: 6pm on Friday or 12pm on Saturday.

Please ring Kathryn on 01258 484372 to book.

This event has now finished.

Book ahead Mrs Cross will provide guided tours and they are 1.5 miles from the North Dorset Trailway.

Mr and Mrs Cross’ enthusiasm for organic and sustainable living principles prompted them to set up one of the first organic farms in Dorset 25 years ago. The property with dates from 1932. The farm enables the couple to apply their values and philosophy, supporting local shops, restaurants and other businesses, using sustainable forms of transport such as cycling and walking, and of course producing and selling organic produce. The couple have planted woodland which provides them with the wood to heat their home. In addition they have solar panels to provide electricity. The site often hosts visiting students of organic practices who stay in traditional shepherd hut type accommodation with a solar powered shower built from recycled components! For those with the technical skills and enthusiasm to build something from scratch, off grid “home-brewed” renewable energy projects still have much to offer.
The more conventional solar thermal system on the house for producing hot water has been in place for 16 years and, although it is now undergoing a refurbishment with up- dated technology, it has run largely problem free throughout that period. At the time of installation the vacuum tube technology used was cutting edge but is now a well-established highly efficient form of water heating. The system provides pretty much all the summer hot water needs of the household which can rise to seven people when organic farming interns and other visitors are staying. To encourage the organic way of living, the farm also has four composting toilets and the Dorset Centre for Rural Skills helped to install sheep’s wool to insulate and soundproof the home and offices.
However, not all experiments by the owners were quite so successful. An attempt to retrofit thermal storage and under-floor heating to this 1930s property was not a success due to design issues. This demonstrates the need to consider all your individual circumstances when deciding on an investment in low carbon technology and to take good advice from someone you trust. Future plans include additional rainwater harvesting; There is currently a 1000 litre container which is enough to water 3 out of the 9 poly tunnels.

Location

Gold Hill Organic Farm, Ridgeway Lane
Child Okeford
Blandford Forum
Dorset
DT11 8HB

View on map

Opening times

15 - 17 May 2015
10 visitors at a time roughly.
2 options for viewing: 6pm on Friday or 12pm on Saturday.

Please ring Kathryn on 01258 484372 to book.

This event has now finished.

Book ahead Mrs Cross will provide guided tours and they are 1.5 miles from the North Dorset Trailway.

Other homes nearby

Part of the Green Open Homes network