Category Archives: CASAdelDRAGON

From Chaos to Cosmos

familiafeliz Information Day september 2019

Information day – Familiafeliz | 2019-10-26 | 12578 Cervera del Maestre | Castellon | Spain

Obviously this greek mythology based title might irritate some guests of our upcoming information day but by looking closer to the ancient creation myths we find evidence for a neverending challenge of human mankind to substitute chaos and darkness with cosmos and light. Familiafeliz explore and develop a social space for personal happiness.

You should know in which type of game you are in – we are part of an infinite game.

Juan Petry

If you are interested in exploring an alternative way of living together in peace and harmony, embedded in social activities and a healthy environment and in friendly neighbourhood to classical societies, you are welcome.

We don’t share, we donate – and it’s important to understand the difference.

In most of the given economical systems you find always these clever people accumulating most of the ressources after a short time of grows and stability. If you organise people based on deals there are always some of them, being able to make the better deals. In Darwins competition modell this was an advantage in a growing market economy (last 5000 years) and it leads to an agony in competive market economies (next 5000 years).

If you sell and buy you organise your life in a classical economy. You divide societies in winner and looser. If you share you are focused more on social points than on money. Nevertheless you want to deal with you altruistic habit.. And a lot of times these commmunity designs leads to political, religious or environmental activism (and dogmatism).

We do not want to guide you in organising your daily life, we do not define what you should eat, should vote for or should believe, nor where you should want to live on this planet.

We host between 50 and 100 guests per year and a lot of times the visitors are wondering where this community showes up, and what are the binding features and advantages of being member of such an open minded weak community.

Redesign your idea of community! – Communities are created sometimes by locations (farmhouse), by terretories (country) or by skills (language), other are created by actions (platoon) or by believes (religion).

Familiafeliz is a communitiy based on a simple idea: well-beeing by donation without expectation.

Most societies are guiding their members by fear. Some of these members get tired and they like to leave these places of indoctrination. We might attract some of them but we are not a safe harbour being able to protect them from their fear: not, because we don’t want, because we can’t.

Leaving your comfort zone is a very personal journey and Familiafeliz try to establish a possible destination for those, who are looking for an alternative way of being by recommending their own responsability for their actions.

A lot of single mothers are asking us: how many kids are in place? A lot of environmental activists are asking us: do you reject to take airplanes and do you work on permaculture? A lot of spiritual people are asking us about gathering, ceremonies and meditation practice on a daily basis.

We try to be honest at all time and we give our answers based on the actual situation. But the real answer behind all this is: all this is up to you! Familiafeliz is not a ruleset and a new member has to fit in, it is a stage for personel development embedded in a trib of people gathered by the idea of respect and attention for the other and her / his well-being.

If you are curious to explore an alternative way of living for yourself, if you have time and ressources to meet us, we are happy to welcome you and to enjoy our information day with you. We can learn from you.

Check in here and announce your visit.

Klangprobe – sound sculptures by Andreu Ubach

experimental sound performance by Andreu Ubach

Monday, 2019-08-12 – 7pm – CASAdelDRAGON – sound performance and social sculpture featured by Andreu Ubach – admission free

As a homage to the sound sculpture pioneers, the Baschet Brothers, the Catalan artist Andreu Ubach performs in the gallery of the artist residence CASAdelDRAGON with self invented sound instruments.

In the special environment of the exhibition space, Ubach invites guests to create an experimental sound collage and thus to contribute to a social accustic sculpture.

Location: CASAdelDRAGON, Las Parras, 19, 12578 Cervera del Maestre, Castellon

Encoding realities – the journey of Arlo Laibowitz

CASAdelDRAGON – the spanish location of familiafeliz – is a artist residence since more than 30 years. We hostet artists from all over the world. The visual artist Arlo Laibowitz visited us several times in 2018 and 2019. He partizipated in exhibitions, art performances and in the daily life in the familiafeliz community.

The burning heart sculpture - artwork of Arlo Laibowitz in the sculpture garden of CASAdelDRAGON
The burning heart sculpture – artwork of Arlo Laibowitz in the sculpture garden of CASAdelDRAGON

Artists are coming and going all the time. Arlo gave us a strong impact and high motivation to continue the project of hosting artists and give them space to develop their art projects. In a microeconomy driven world it might be not easy for a non profit orientated project without any public or private funding to organise accommodation, catering, hosting and social art activities but artists are also creative in finding solutions for that.

Arlo is working worldwide (Las Vegas, Shanghai, Barcelona, Valencia) and part of the burning community and engaged in figuring out new art performances based on temporal installations all the time.

Uncertanty is the space for evolution and the emergent feature of Love. Happy birthday, Arlo!

Juan Petry

Arlo is a storyteller and he tells his stories by using the wide range of media which is available for contemporary artists of this century.

In his new project he will create a tree of love for the upcoming burning event NOWHERE 2019. He used crowdfunding to succeed (deadline beginning of june 2019). CASAdelDRAGON offer the space for premanufacturing the segments. Arlo will gather a group of supporters to prepare and move the parts to the festival in summer 2019.

Virtual worlds and media are playgrounds to discover and simulate reality in a laboratorial environment, but we should bring into account that we do this to face a glimp of reality and to get closer to the brain of others.

Arlo is passionated in cooking as well as in using all media to deliver the story, to reach the other, to get in touch with the audience and to get in touch with himself.

Nowhere is a good sample for his journey. It is a project to gather people, to enjoy the moment and to share happiness. The temporary momentum of the Tree of Love will remind us, to enjoy this moment.

Luftmensch - Arlo Laibowitz art work 2018
Luftmensch – Arlo Laibowitz art work 2018

In times of waste – part 1

the abbandoned compost area in the color garden
the abbandoned compost area in the color garden

The compost stack location we are calling Camp David as an homenage to our friend David from UK who was initiating the structure years ago. In May 2019 we started to repair and expand the space.

We can not control what happen, we have to control what it means.

Gerhard Schröder, former Prime Minister (1998-2005) of Germany
repairing stack number 3 and tidy up the dry stone walls
repairing stack number 3 and tidy up the dry stone walls

First we unmounted the rotten pallet wood and cutted wild herbs around the corner of the dry stone wall.

excavation for a new stone wall foundation
excavation for a new stone wall foundation

Later we prepared the foundation. We cutted the roots of the wild herbs as deep as possible and we separeted soil, little stones and roots.

left over of natural stones from the pizza oven location
left over of natural stones from the pizza oven location

We moved some natural stones from the Art Camp to Camp David. These stones where part of the dry wall where we have now the pizza oven. Have a closer look to the weel – the tire was a bit damaged after this tour…

waste or value - pieces of bricks form local construction companies in Cervera del Maestre
waste or value – pieces of bricks form local construction companies in Cervera del Maestre

As part of our strategy to minimise costs and entropy we used some bricks from local construction companies. The bricks came out of a old house in the village of Cervera del Maestre. The advantage for the construction company is easy to understand: less costs for garbage disposal.

building the new dry stone wall by refurbishing ressources
building the new dry stone wall by refurbishing ressources

In the frontline we places some of the heavy natural stones. Inbetween we placed some little stones and we added bricks from the backside to level the stone height for a next line of natural stones in the front side. The advantage of the little stones behind the bigger stones is given by the fact, that we expect a lot of water coming out of the bigger dry stone wall behind. In october 2018 we had 300 liter per square meter in less than 5 hours. The little stones behind and the pieces of bricks are holding back the soil.

On the way we used some carton to give lower wild herbs a strong disadvantage to grow.

The finished stone wall for the new bed in Camp David
The finished stone wall for the new bed in Camp David

According to the second law of thermodynamics you might have a closer look to this project. As we identify life in general as a system to lower entropy inside itself by rising the entropy outside in its environment even alternative communities should think about their environments before they judge to fast.

Rejecting the waste of the classical society – in this case the old construction material – would not transform and redisign a unwanted behaviour. The bricks are older than 400 years. They where burned in a time of less polution and smog. In the world of cosmetics these bricks are valued like gold for this.

If we want to establish another way on looking at the so called waste we have to expand the time frame in which we are acting. If you are just looking on the moment in which somebody dump construction waste into a bio dynamic garden area you will not get the whole picture. The bricks are manufactured in the 15th century. They are a very good storage of water. In storing the water they grow and get pulverized.

If you are looking the time frame of 1000 years you will start with a mineral material used 500 years to support life in a ancient house in Spain and you will continue with a water storage for the next couple of centuries. Finally you will end with a mineral material.

Less entropy equals more social behavior.

Juan Petry

Camp David get famous in a historical view in being part of the peace process in middle east (1978). Whatever we do, we will meet a political implication. In this little project we try to make peace with the waste by using them in a best possible way, equal if it is the organic part inside of the compost stacks or the old bricks from a ruin in the mountains of Spain.

Permacultura Penyaflor Addendum

strong workers are testing the stability and are proud of their work
strong workers are testing the stability and are proud of their work

Permacultura Penyaflor is a hotspot of Permaculture activities and informal education near Tortosa in Catalunya. The space is founded by Cecile Thevenot and she invited a group of youth from Barcelona in 2019 to have a closer look to alternative living in the countryside.

Count by yourself: you can enjoy the illusion of a result once or you can enjoy every moment of the process.

Juan Petry

One of the informal educative activities was to build a shelter for young plants. The challenge was to use as much as possible organic material from the location (0km).

The workshop (2 days, each time 4 hours) ended with success. The youth where able to test the stability of their work.

… but it was not the end of the story…

permacultura penyaflor - finishing the non-terminable
permacultura penyaflor – finishing the non-terminable – the roof

To protect the young plants form too much sunlight we added a roof with canyas. This amazing invasive plant is growing everywhere around rivers and creeks in Spain and was since ancient time a useful material for construction. It is flexibel and easy to move and to handle.

permacultura penyaflor - finishing the non-terminable - canya connection
permacultura penyaflor – finishing the non-terminable – canya connection

We connected the canyas with nods in two lines and linked them sometimes to the wood construction below.

permacultura penyaflor - finishing the non-terminable
permacultura penyaflor – finishing the non-terminable – the wall with palm leafs

To protect the plants from direction south west we used palm leafs between canyas. 8 leafs where enough for 3 square meter of wall (an it took us 5 minutes to fix it).

permacultura penyaflor - finishing the non-terminable - refurbished pallet wood
permacultura penyaflor – finishing the non-terminable – refurbished pallet wood

To have space for heavy pots with water and plants we used old wood from pallets.

permacultura penyaflor - finishing the non-terminable - ready to run
permacultura penyaflor – finishing the non-terminable – ready to run

After 6 hours we where ready to move all plants into the new buildung.

Life is a process, and – for us – infinite. The session of the youth was a milestone to reach the goal of having a shelter for the young plants. Cecile, a wwoofer from France and Juan continued the work.

Our world is focused on results, but in a process driven world a final result is an illusion. This shelter will be never finished and it will need attention and care over the next years. But on the way to return to compost and food for new generations of humans this shelter will be useful for the purpose of having shadow for the young plants of Permacultura Penyaflor.

permacultura penyaflor - finishing the non-terminable - happy plants equal happy Cecile
permacultura penyaflor – finishing the non-terminable – happy plants equal happy Cecile

Camp David – on top of the food chain

the compost stack and the developer david
the compost stack and the developer david

The opposite of right for pessimists is wrong, for optimists it is left.

Juan Petry

Compost is wellknown in literature. Homer wrote about it, Aristotle developed a theory of compost / humus. And if you have a closer look at the food chain, compost and all its creatures are the hidden leader in the circle of life.

David established a bigger location for our compost handling early in 2016 and maintained the space later in his short and long visits since 2018. This camp of bacterias and mushrooms is an important factor in our garden design.

Again and again David was unhappy with the situation and status of the stacks and the mixture of indrediences in the three different chambers.

According to Murphy all what might be able to go wrong will go wrong and even what might not be able to go wrong will go wrong equal.

Actually the fourth or fifths generation of supporters and contributers are maintaining the compost. And a lot of times we find new bio waste in the wrong section or useless quantities of gras or hay on top.

the compost stack with the new traffic light
the compost stack with the new traffic light

The compost as a symbol of health and life is also a good sample for the challenge to bind together people coming and going in a very dynamic environment to act for a specific usefull purpose.

We are not able to establish a ruleset, and not, because we can not create a list of rules under which the compost should be used. We have no chance to push through these rules and to keep them alive.

The only thing we can do is to invite people to use it in a propper way. And the minimum of right is here the right stack.

For sure we will not have the best compost, but we have the best possible compost.

the compost stack - a bit left behind
the compost stack – a bit left behind

The location is a bit abandoned in May 2019 and we hope we will add soon the section for terra preta (by using the materiall from the dry toilets).

The compost reminds always to the circle of life. So we are waiting for a new circle in developing this camp of davids compost stacks, as well as we are waiting for a return of its creator.

Informal education in Permacultura Penyaflor

Cecile Thevenot - founder of Permacultura Penyaflor
Cecile Thevenot – founder of Permacultura Penyaflor

In April 2019 Permacultura Penyaflor hosted a group of youth from Barcelona. The group visit was organized by a local NGO from Sant Andreu and the reason for the trip to the south was, to give the youth some experience of alternative living in the countryside.

Cecile Thevenot offered some workshops and a guided tour passing important locations and installations on the plot.

Permacultura Penyaflor, Cecile and all the other helpers are donating their knowledge to a lot of guests per year, neither Cecille charged any money for hosting these 20 people for one week.

Cecile Thevenot - a guided tour through Permacultura Penyaflor
Cecile Thevenot – a guided tour through Permacultura Penyaflor

Cecile is very engaged in the region and abroad about Permaculture and alternative sustainable living in the countryside. She is aware about missleading effects of mass-consumption and together with herr old friend Pep and members of her family and wwoofers and friends and neighbours she try to establish Permacultura Penyaflor as a hotspot of alternative farming, alternative tourism and alternative education.

All this is happen without subvention, without any care or help of the surrounding society and even most of the parents of the youth from Barcelona had never heard anything about this amazing project in the south of Catalunya.

Cecile explain handlung of compost toilet waste and organic waste on Permaculture Penyaflor
Cecile explain handlung of compost toilet waste and organic waste on Permaculture Penyaflor

In ancient societies – and till now in some asian countries – it was a common behaiviour for guests to use the toilet of the host after being invited for lunch or dinner. These grounded people where knowing that organic waste has value (like the food) and is itself part of the natural alimentation of a vegetable garden.

When Cecile cook her hands deep in the waste she was searching for some insects and worms to explain the natural circles around compost. The youth where uncertain about this contact with “mother earth” but they where looking and listening carefully and concentrated. Nobody had to call for order. Nobody had to explain why this might be a pure and important lesson for life. Youth still have a fine sense to realize the importance of a source of knowledge.

building a shelter with organic material and building a team
building a shelter with organic material and building a team

In one other workshop we offered the group to build a shelter, mostly by using local organic material from the plot. The shelter will support shadow for young plants in summer and should be also a stable host against strong winds and to much rain.

By talking about tripods, triangles, nods, dimensions and construction principals we talked about mathematics, physics and chemics. It came along on the way to solve problems (stability of the construction, purpuse, risks) and it was not mentioned as a classical education session. Most important we talked 5 minutes about a technical solution to reach a stable position for a pillar and we worked hours on that.

messuring, calculating, working in a team, organized by the youth by themselves
messuring, calculating, working in a team, organized by the youth by themselves

Can you believe it, no smartphones at all… we as the trainers and teachers of this informal education events are paid with total attention by the youth. Looking in their faces we imagine the concentration in something important, a feeling of ballance between inside and outside.

fixing the roof and realize the main structure
fixing the roof and realize the main structure

Nothing is greater than the experience of realizing a project in a team and feeling the sense of engagement. Beside other positive sideeffects for the individual mental state we have to underline the fundamental advantage of informal learning: it is learning for a purpose, defined by the learner, not by the teacher.

Modern societies seperated the space for learning from the space for doing it. This was mostly initiated from weak members of a society who wanted to escape from the space of doing it, motivated by the advantage not to be in the global competition. The price we all pay for this are less and less well educated youth for complex modern contemorary societies.

Again and again each generation think it might know what is the best for the next generation by treating them with their old fashioned values. Again an again the outcome of people realize by taking their first individual steps in the society that they are not prepared for what they had to be prepared for. And again and again they route their children to the same temples of classical education and they argue, that their is no other way.

To empover the youth in getting the experience they are requesting for, is our first job. To empower them again, when they have their own children, to cultuvate more and more informal education around there kids… is the next.

strong workers are testing the stability and are proud of their work
strong workers are testing the stability and are proud of their work

People from Permacultura Penyflor are showing us the other way. We should take care about Cecile Thevnot and these people. They are facilitator, mentor, trainer, friend and they donate their knowledge and time. They give their best to the new generation, their attention and their love.

Hestias heaven – a new fireplace for the art camp

Hestia is a virgin goddess of the hearth, architecture, and the right ordering of domesticity, the family, the home, and the state. In March 2019 we inaugurated a rocket stove with two different tajine cources.

Hestia is the old name for altar, fireplace and hearth. Familiafelliz is on the way to develop the art camp as a social space for gathering of individuals, families and groups related to our social art projects. Establishing a catering area was and is and will be important. Fireplaces, stoves and ovens are components for these daily gatherings. Setting up the infrastructure for nutrition workshops, for catering and service of group visits and for experimental cooking events was and is still a goal all over the color garden, the art camp and the campus of our free university of informal education.

hestias heaven - agnieszka from poland is preparing a vegetarian tajine
hestias heaven – agnieszka from poland is preparing a vegetarian tajine

Agnieszka from Poland was preparing a vegetarian tajine in march 2019 on a simple fireplace realized by using a wash drum and surrounded by stones. The power of the fire inside a wash drum gave us the motivation to build a secure and nice environment for new visitors. We decided to set up a third fire- and service place nearby the rocket stove and Arne and Isa from Germany on their way from Germany to the atlantic coast of spain joined the project.

hestias heaven - foundation of the stove
hestias heaven – foundation of the stove

In a first step Arne realized a little foundation based on cement and washed stones from the dry river nearby.

hestias-heaven - preparing mortar in a tub - old style
hestias-heaven – preparing mortar in a tub – old style

For little construction works we are using old tools like this tub. Independend of electric power we can realize mortar in all places of the color garden.

hestias-heaven - arne is preparing pillar and socket of the fireplace with little glas bottles
hestias-heaven – arne is preparing pillar and socket of the fireplace with little glas bottles

The mix of soil, cal and cement (6:1:1) is connecting the bricks and give stability for the littlle circle of glass bottles.

hestias-heaven - arne seaving soil and finishing the basement of the fireplace
hestias-heaven – arne seaving soil and finishing the basement of the fireplace

Using local materials is giving us an advantage in logistics, economy and time. Using the glass bottles as a reference to past gatherings and as a design item connect many generations of visitors and guests with this place.

hestias-heaven - the wash drum sourounded by ceramics and bricks and soil based mortar
hestias-heaven – the wash drum surounded by ceramics and bricks and soil based mortar

The wash drum at its final place.

hestias-heaven - ceramic mosaic details and cleaned glass bottles
hestias-heaven – ceramic mosaic details and cleaned glass bottles

In the socket of the fireplace we used leftovers from a mosaic workshop in 2018 and we started with the service bar at the right side (next pillar and first line of vine bottles).

hestias-heaven Isa and Arne behind the new fireplace
hestias-heaven Isa and Arne behind the new fireplace

In 29 of April we inaugurated the new fireplace with a Calçotada and vegetables and seafood.

hestias-heaven - the power of natural wood fire
hestias-heaven – the power of natural wood fire

Hestia is honored by this open kitchen area, as in ancient times in Greece. “Wherever food was cooked, or an offering was burnt, she thus had her share of honour; also, in all the temples of the gods she has a share of honour. ” Among all mortals she was chief of the goddesses.

Even this project is a good sample of the organic development of the art camp and its facilities. Started by Tine and Dirk in January 2019, continued by young students from Halle in March 2019 we are on the way to develop more and more the Crystallization point of community life here in Cervera del Maestre.

If you step in, have a look to that place, linked to many generations of helpers and visitors, all on the tribe to look for alternative community life and personal happiness.

Thanks to Agnieszka, Arne, Isa, Tine and Dirk for their contribution to Hestias heaven, the new fireplace in the garden of Familiafeliz.

Family Constellation

family-constellation-familiafeliz
family-constellation-familiafeliz

In early march 2019 we had some visitors from Germany, a young family with 2 kids. Lea the woman, started the communication with us and finally they arrived, coming from France on their way to Portugal. They parked their Camper Van in the garden area under a big carob tree and joined us in some tasks in the garden.

family-constellation-familiafeliz
family-constellation-lunch under olive trees

In the last four years we had several times families with young kids at our place, and a lot of times we have requests or applications from single-mums with a little child on the way to search for a siutablle community.

In most of the times we are asked if there are other kids in the community. We have to say NO (because we talk the truth), not yet. The normal reply is than: “Ok thanks but i am looking for a bigger community with children because i want that my child is playing with others and i want exchange and sharings with other mums.”

As long as nobody want to be the first, it will not work in our place. We are just in the process to create a community life here in CASAdelDRAGON and we need people willing to start something from scratch.

family-constellation-familiafeliz
family-constellation-space for peace in the garden area

We enjoyed another time the visit of this family with kids and we ask them for a short review on their stay in the color garden.

“Searching for communities and different ways of life, we made our first stop at Familia Feliz in Cervera. We had read about a dyer’s garden. We did not find what we expected, we found what we did not expect 🙂 . For example we found in the garden: Philosophy of life, rooted in simplicity and expectionlessness; very different kind of fruits connected like a mycelium, unclear to the naked eye wheather its one organism, several or plenty; a place where every plant can find its place to grow.  One thing is sure: never expect to find what we found – a garden is constantly changing and there is so much space to grow… Thank you very much! We had a very enriching and inspiring stay enjoying our time together a lot. All the best!”

We have to say thank you. Both adults where very social and helping in construction. We created a place to prepare the food in the open kitchen of the art camp.

Rocket Stove – Part 2

rocket stove - a new skin
rocket stove – a new skin

After building and a first test of the stove we started to finish the outside. A mix of soil, cal and cement (6:2:1) will protect the structure in the future.

rocket stove - burning chamber completed
rocket stove – burning chamber completed

Also we added some last special ceramic stones inside of the burning chamber. And we prepared the top with some old ceramic pieces out of an anchient house in the village of Cervera del Maestre.

rocket stove - final skin
rocket stove – final skin

To protect the structure we added a final skin with soil and cal (6:3).

rocket stove - inauguration
rocket stove – inauguration

On 24 of march 2019 we inaugurated the stove with a gathering around moroccan food out of tajine.

Special thanks to Thomas, Clara, Julien and Agi for helping and contributing to this event.