Category Archives: UNIIE

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.

Rocket Stove – Part 1

rocket stove – foundation

In March 2019 we had 22 visitors from Germany for one week in Cervera del Maestre in the CASAdelDRAGON. As part of the joint venture between the free University of informal education (UNIIE) and the Martin Luther University Halle (MLU) the students worked on an aquaponics project in the Color garden.

Beside this main activity UNIIE offered some workshops and lectures. To build “a rocket stove in one day” was one of these workshops. First we digged a hole based on the sizes of a “proof-of-concept-model”.

rocket stove – foundation with gravel and stones

Then we filled 60 % of the hole with stones and gravel. Every year we have to consider more heavy rain events. Sometimes the area is flodded for a whole week. The stone gravel mix support later the weight of the construction.

rocket stove – isolation between foundation and basement of the oven

In the next step we isolated the foundation from the later basement of the oven. To level the basement we used left over pieces of ceramic stones and brought them on the same height.

Than we filled the space between and we used some iron pieces to increase the stability.

rocket stove – burn chamber and design principals

In the next step we calculated the position of the burning chamber and prepared first the inside chamber mit “reflectarios” – ceramic which support high temperatures. Later we added the structure with ceramic bricks around.

To connect the stones we mixed soil with cal and cement (6:1:1) and water.

rocket stove – learning by doing

To build such a stove in only one day is a challenging experience for most of the students. Even to find a personal speed in using tools and working out details is part of a personal dialoge.

Everybody in the group rejected other offers to leave the project and we worked till late afternoon.

rocket stove – teamwork

Working together and enjoying the result is main part of the workhops from our free university (UNIIE). In creating something with natural materials, working in nature and learning and practise at the same time is a key of deeper understanding and developing skills for further challenges.

rocket stove – design pattern

The design of a rocket stove is based on physics. The advantage is, to heat up the air with any even less valuable wood in a very efficient process. Air with oxygen pass the wood chamber and burn in the burn chamber. The flame is strong because hot air leaving the stove sucks fresh air into the wood chamber and increase the burrning process.

The rocket stove in the art camp of the color garden is an additional fireplace to cook for friends and guests.

rockte stove – first proof 20 hours later

20 hours after digging the hole for the foundation we already cooked for the 22 students and some friends who joined us for lunch.

If you like to offer workshops as part of the UNIIE or if you like to join our activities use this application.

Free University of informal education – lectures

As part of our activities in education we offer some lectures in March 2019.

Julien Ramon – 2019-03-12 – 21.30 hrs – CASAdelDRAGON – “About being a tree farmer” – plans and struggles of a little family to arrive in the Spanish society and to set up a business in agriculture in east Spain. entrance fee: free

Brigitte Schaider – 2019-03-13 – 14.30 hrs – COLOR GARDEN – “The magic luck” artistic lecture in german language – entrance fee: donation base

Juan Petry – 2019-03-13 – 21.30 hrs – CASAdelDRAGON – “no rules, no dogs” – a short introduction in running a alternative living community and to establish another way of organising people on the way to peace and happiness. entrance fee: free

Please announce your visit today till 8 pm (mail, whatsapp, messenger or call).

Bienvenido a Cervera del Maestre

Cervera del Maestre, Castellon, Spain

Drumul spre acest colt de rai nu este deoc greu, 2 ore cu masina din aeroportul din Valencia. Dar hai sa incepem cu inceputul. Cum si de ce am ajuns in acest loc ? Dintr-o fericita coincidenta l-am intalnit pe Juan, un om exceptional ce vine de fiecare data cand poate in Bucuresti pentru a ajuta un ONG, pentru a conecta oameni, pentru a ne demonstra ca desi suntem romani, tara noastra e atat de frumoasa si are atat de mult potential incat un strain vine periodic sa ne ajute cu orice poate. L-am intalnit pe acest om in Bucuresti. Ochii si zambetul lui iti pot spune multe despre placerea cu care  face tot ceea ce face si cat de mult isi doreste ca toata lumea sa inteleaga ce isi doreste el. Ce face el mai exact? O sa aflati in urmatoarele randuri, doar nu plecati.

Inainte sa il intalnesc pe acest om in varsta cu parul alb si cu multeee povesti de spus , prietena mea Koro l-a intalnit si ne-a facut legatura. Dupa primele 5 minute de vorbit prin mesaje am hotarat sa imi cumpar biletul de avion si sa merg in micul colt de paradis ce chiar exista pe pamant. Suna nebunesc, nu ? Dar veti intelege ca este doar inceputul  a ceva minunat, o usa ce ti se deschide poate de cateva ori in viata, iar interesant este ca usa aceasta a acestei vieti e deschisa pentru toata lumea. Nu va imaginati ca sunt vreun om special, deosebit sau cu anumite calitati fantastice, sunt doar un om a carei caracteristica principala este normalitatea si care a ajuns pe acest drum dintr-o fericita coincidenta.

Si uite-ma peste nici 2 luni in acelasi avion cu acest om minunat mergand spre Valencia, unde un prieten de al lui ne astepta sa ne duca la casadeldragon ( minunata casa pe care Juan a construit-o in 20 de ani cu ajutorul a numerosi prieteni) . Si am pornit pe drumul spre paradis. Eu, impreuna cu o multime de intrebari in minte pentru ca nu intelesesem prea bine ce e acolo si unde sa o ajung. Auzisem ceva despre un sat vechi, o casa construita din ruinele unei cetati, o gradina imensa in care arta si stiinta se imbina.. Oooops.. am uitat sa mentionez ca sunt studenta la facultatea de fizica si principala mea preocupare si curiozitate a fost despre cum foloseste stiinta ca sa creeze mini sere, cuptoare si tot felul de ¨nebunii¨. Prima seara cred ca a avut un impact imens. Am ajuns in fata casei si ma simteam ca o printesa intr-un castel de mult uitat. Am intrat si am inteles ca omul care a construit-o nu a realizat doar o casa frumoasa, ci o casa vie, plina de amintiri pentru ca in fiecare colt de casa o sa gasesti cate ceva special, un desen, o pictura, o constructie din mozaic, o masina de scris sau una de cusut, pentru ca fiecare om care a contribuit la aceasta casa a lasat cate o amintire, ceea ce o face sa para ca are viata, vorbeste de la sine aceasta locuinta, nu ai nevoie de prea multe intrebari. Primul lucru bifat deja, casa, o capodopera, o munca incredibila dar minunata, acum urmau restul intrebarilor. Cine sunt acesti oameni? Ce fac ei aici? De unde vin? De ce acest loc ?

almond trees in the garden

Incet incet am primit toate raspunsurile pe care le cautam si, cu siguranta ceva mai mult de atat, o lectie de viata despre cum se poate trai si altfel.

Asadar, in prima seara am luat cina la una din prietenele lui Juan, ceea ce mi s-a parut foarte dragut din partea ei sa ne primeasca si sa se poarte cu noi ca si cand am fi fost la noi acasa, dar, dupa cateva zile de stat aici am realizat ca nu este doar un mod dragut, ci pur si simplu un mod de a trai, pentru ca ei toti, sunt o mare familie. Care toti? Daca as sta sa ii enumar cred ca m-as incurca in numarat, pentru ca din aceasta superba comunitate fac parte toti oamenii care doresc. Si, dupa cateva zile am realizat cat de saraci suntem noi in comparatie cu ei, cat de lipsit de calitate traim in mare parte a timpului, cum fugim in fiecare zi dintr-o parte in alta fara sa avem timp sa ne oprim sa admiram rasaritul sau sa vorbim pentru cateva minute cu vecinii nostri. Nu stiu daca si voi faceti parte din aceeasi categorie de oameni ca si mine, dar banuiesc ca multi dintre cei ce vor citi acest articol o vor face in timp ce sunt la munca in fata unui calculator sau in pauza de masa pentru ca mereu alergam dintr-o parte in alta si niciodata nu avem timp pentru ceea ce conteaza. Dar pana la urma cine stabileste ceea ce conteaza? Noi! Asa cum acesti oameni au stabilit ca pentru ei e mai important sa aiba o comunitate superba, ca o familie, sa se cunoasca extrem de bine, sa nu fie niciodata singuri cand iau masa si sa primeasca pe oricine doreste sa vada cum traiesc ei cu bratele deschise. Ba chiar, mai mult de atat, sa ii gazduiasca si sa le ofere orice au nevoie fara sa ceara nimic la schimb. Poate in momentul in care vei citi , te vei intrebar daca este posibil sa traiesti asa, dar eu sunt exemplul viu care a fost, a vazut, a inteles si a ales sa scrie acest articol in semn de recunostinta pentru toata munca depusa de acesti oameni si pentru a ridica un steag, pentru a face un semn celor ce s-au saturat sa traiasca intr-un haos total. Daca te sperie ideea ca nu vei avea din ce trai aici, nu iti fa griji. Sunt atat de multe de facut incat nu vei avea timp sa te plictisesti. Frumusetea lucrurilor consta in faptul ca nu trebuie sa faci ceva azi sau maine, ca nu ai o sarcina de indeplinit pana la finalul lunii sau a saptamnaii. Tu esti cel care hotaraste ce face si cand face si cum face. Pentru ca tu esti cel care decide, tu esti intotdeauna cel care decide. Daca te sperie ideea ca poti da gres si ca asta nu e o viata pentru tine, ci doar preferi sa iti spuna altcineva ce ai de facut pentru ca atunci vei spune ca daca nu esti fericit e responsibilitatea altora nu a ta, te inseli. Pentru ca tu ai ales sa ti se spuna ceea ce ai de facut, deci e responsibilitatea ta orice s-ar intampla. Asa ca ce alegi? Ai putea sa decizi dupa ce faci un drum pana aici, in acest colt de rai in care mai mult ca sigur toti se vor bucura sa te primeasca, sa imparta casa cu tine, sa imparta mancarea lor cu tine si timpul lor cu tine. Ei sunt doar oameni pe care viata i-a adus cumva impreuna, intr-o minunata comunitate. Nu sunt doar spanioli sau englezi , sunt pur si simplu oameni de peste tot din jurul lumii, oameni care au ales sa traisca aici si sa faca parte din comunitate, oameni cu diferite povesti de viata, atat de diferiti, dar, totusi, atat de asemanatori, avand aceleasi idei despre viata ideala. Totusi, sa nu va imaginati ca au descoperit perfectiunea si ca sunt niste oameni pentru care totul merge perfect. Asa ceva nu exista. Ei au descoperit doar frumusetea  de a incerca, de a gresi si de a o lua de la capat. Au descoperit ca daca esti fericit si imparti asta cu cineva te face de doua ori mai fericit. Au invatat ca daca mananc ceva delicios si impart cu altcineva, pur si simplu devine si mai bun. Au invatat sa greseasca impreuna, sa progreseze impreuna si sa fie fericiti impreuna. Sa rezolve totul impreuna, pentru ca sunt mai mult decat o comunitate, sunt o familie care e pregatita oricand sa primeasca noi membri. Fie pentru totdeauna, fie pentru o zi, fie pentru o saptamana, nu conteaza, esti binevenit oricand. Au bratele deschise pentru oameni veniti din toate colturile lumii si daca ii intrebi cati oameni le-au trecut pragul casei in ultimii 30 de ani de cand acest loc exista, vor spune putin timid ca au pierdut numaratoarea pe la 1500 de oameni si ca nu conteaza cati, conteaza doar ca ei sa aiba parte de un timp cat mai placut aici.

narrow streets in Cervera del Maestre

Pot spune ca am avut parte de o experienta superba aici, ca am invatat mai multe decat as fi crezut, ca am vazut ca se poate trai intr-un fel atat de frumos si de simplu incat nici nu ti-ar veni sa crezi. Nu ai nevoie de prea multe. doar de o minte deschisa spre orice propunere, de la stiinte exacte, pana la arta, oamenii acestia au imbinat totul intr-o poveste de viata incredibila pe care doresc sa o imparta cu cat mai multa lume, sa nu o tina ascunsa pentru ca si tu, oricine ai fi, de la sofer de taxi la cel mai cunoscut medic, poti intelege ceva minunat din acest loc. Am invatat ca nu poti fi dezamagit daca nu ai asteptari de la nimeni, am invatat ca nu trebuie sa faci ceva daca nu iti doresti. Am invatat ca exista oameni care au timp sa aiba 3 mese pe zi, si sa isi acorde tot timpul din lume pentru a le pregati si a manca impreuna cu alti oameni. Am invatat ca exista liniste chiar si acolo unde viata nu a fost prea frumoasa . Am invatat ca singura problema care nu se poate rezolva e moartea si ca oricum poti muri maine dar singurul lucru important e cum ai trait pana atunci.

Nu cred ca sunt lucruri pe care sa nu fi le auzit inainte, sau sa nu le fi stiut. Frumusetea lor consta in faptul ca le vezi, sunt mai mult sau mai putin palpabile, dar le simti, le auzi, ii vezi pe toti oamenii astia traind asa, si nu, nu a fost pentru niciunul din ei o viata perfecta, nu s-au trezit din intamplare cu averi sau mosteniri imense, doar au ales sa nu faca din viata asta o lupta pentru lucruri lipsite de calitate si valori, au ales sa munceasca din greu pentru altceva, pentru o liniste si o pace pe care noi, in cele mai bune cazuri, reusim sa le avem la pensie si poate nici atunci, pentru ca de cele mai multe ori suntem singuri, si nu, nu e rau sa ai timp pentru tine. Nu va imaginati ca nu poti avea timp doar pentru tine, nu va imaginati ca locul asta e o fuga de realitate, e pur si simplu o alta realitate, una pe care nu o vedem, sau o ignoram sau, pur si simplu pare mult prea riscanta. Bineinteles ca nu sunt singurii oameni care au facut asta, si ca mai sunt multe comunitati care se bazeaza pe aceasta idee, dar este prima comunitate pe care eu am intalnit-o .

jam of pears

O sa va intrebati daca dupa atatea laude am ales sa ramand definitiv aici, intrebare pe care si eu as avea-o in locul vostru. Raspunsul este nu, iar argumentul este simplu. Mi se pare ca asta este doar inceputul unei frumoase calatorii prin viata, ci ca am descoperit un loc, dar mai sunt sute, poate chiar mii de locuri de explorat si de descoperit. Am ales sa imi urmez visul, sa vad mai mult si mai mult si mai mult pana cand pot alege si decide cum vreau sa traiesc. Dar va invit sa vedeti cu ochii vostri, nu prin ochii mei. Sa vedeti o alternativa a vietii haotice, sa vedeti ca pacea vine dinauntru, sa cunoasteti oameni si povesti de viata, sa va cunoasteti pe voi. Va invit sa explorati un loc ce a prins viata doar din intamplare, fara un motiv anume, locul acesta a fost ales de oameni in repetate randuri, vremea este superba, satul este uimitor, oamenii sunt mereu zambitori si, desi pare o populatie putin imbatranita au atat de multe zambete de oferit incat nu vei putea sa nu zambesti in fiecare zi. Va invit sa vedeti si lucrurile pe care voi le-ati face diferit. Evit sa le numesc greseli pentru ca sunt doar parerei de viata diferite. Suntem datori noua sa incercam sa facem mai mult si mai bine, suntem datori celor din jur sa impartasim astfel de experiente . De ce am ales sa scriu acest articol? Pentru ca mi s-ar parea egoist sa pastrez aceasta experienta doar pentru mine cand toata lumea ar putea sa o aiba, pentru ca este posibila, minunata si incantatoare aceasta experienta si pentru ca poti invata atat de multe, de la cum sa ai grija de o gradina, la cum sa iti gasesti linistea si fericirea. Daca va intrebati cati ani am petrecut aici ca sa realizez toate asta o sa va raspund sincer, 9, dar nu ani, zile. Stiu ca pare incredibil dar multumita altor oameni minunati din viata mea aveam deja toate informatiile acestea in minte, precum cred ca mare parte din voi le au, dar in 9 zile, locul asta mi-a dat incredere, speranta, si confirmarea faptului ca informatiile din mintea mea nu sunt doar o lume idilica ci ceva ce se poate construi atat de simplu atata timp cat iti doresti , atata timp cat structura nu e complicata si vointa exista incat va doresc tuturor celor care citesc articol sa treaca macar o data in viata printr-un loc ca acesta si sa se bucure de placerea de a trai cu adevarat si de a vedea ca exista viata dincolo de stres, dincolo de munca. Daca ati citit pana aici, vreau sa va multumesc si sper ca ati simtit macar o parte din ceea ce am simtit eu si ca ati cunoscut o parte dintr-un simplu om, Ana.

romanian cake in the house of the dragon

forn de la vida

broken dry stone wallls in the art camp

Again it was an amazing story of the little and powerful community in Spain. As one of our activities we created in early 2018 the art camp as part of the colour garden and part of the campus of our free university of informal education (UNIIE).

In early spring 2018 we started to add facilities and infrastructure to this space to be able to host students and alumnus of high schools, like showers, sinks, compost toilets.

In early summer 2018 we had a visit of more than 40 visitors from a German college. End of 2018 we hosted a little international initiative of parents with kids to establish a kinder garden in the forest. This project is pending but it was a beautiful experiment for all, and still not common in Spain.

Beginning of 2019 we get some guests from cologne, old friends over years and interested in community life and alternative living concepts and willing to contribute something to our whole project of familiafeliz.

The suggestion to create a special oven for bread, pizza and other delicious food was taken soon and we started to figure out the best place. Finally, we agreed in using the advantage to fix two things at the same time.

One of the most significant and important infrastructure of the area are the large stone walls keeping the soil on the terraces. These Roman and Arabic innovations, maintained and developed till now, are sometimes weak after hundreds of years. In September and October 2018 we had a big rain event (more than 400 litres per square meter) and at some point the stones fall apart.

the broken stone wall

One of this locations was close to the art camp and close to the catering point in this area. So we came to the decision to build the oven just in the wall and fix this area at the same time.

gap for the oven in the dry stone wall

We proofed the dimension of the construction space.

We started to build the basement with cheap ceramic stones and a mix of soil, cal, cement and water.

basement for the oven in the dry stone wall

The idea of this larger oven was from the beginning to support catering for bigger groups up to 50 people. Therefor Dirk started to built a iron construction to handle 6 shells for bread, pizza and other food.

iron from trash recycled

Cutting fixing and welding…

Dirk is fixing the parts

We builded on top of the basement the inner part of the oven, the fire place. To protect the sturcture and to concentrate the heat we used special ceramic stones (spanish reflectarios – in the foto on the left side, waiting for watering).

special ceramic stones to support the heat

We used special cement for high temperatures to place this special ceramic stones and used soil, cal and cement and water mix to build the wall with the ordinary stones.

firepllace inside the oven with reflectarios

To be sure about all dimensions we tested again the placement of the barril and we added some material at both sides to rout the hot air and dust beside the barrel.

test of support of the barril and the dimensions

In the automotive industry its calllled “marriage” if motor and chassis is assambled. We called it marriage too when the barrel arrived in its final position.

marriage of basement and oven

We started to create the roof off the oven by mounting a first layer of bricks. As downside we used the special cement to bring them together.

creating the roof of the oven with a first layer of bricks

We added a second layer of bricks.

a second layer of bricks

We implemented the exit of the dust. By calculating the temperature at this location we used again the special cement for high temperatures.

exit for the dust

After one day off we uncovered the roof and continued the work.

Finally three layers of bricks supporting the roof

To heat up the oven and its parts we started the first fire… slowly up…

the first testing of the oven and the hust management

The iron structure went inside.

the iron structure inside

We started to test the oven and its features to handle different types of food.

the first cake

We tried some pasta….

first pasta

The first pizza…

the first pizza from tina

delicious veggies and fish…

delicious veggies and fish

more fish, salmon, rape and merluza

rape, salmon and merluza

This oven was done in 2 weeks in January 2019 in the art camp of the colour garden of familiafeliz in eastern spain.

It was initiated by a transfer of knowledge from a new friend JuanMA from Ulldecona and suggested by Juan. Huge work was contributed by Dirk and Tina to move hundreds of kilos of stones and to prepare the soil for usage in the construction.

We should never forget the hidden support of two strong and powerful members of our community. Only with their great contribution and management behind the scene all this was possible. And therefore we will dedicate this work to Antje and Corinna and we hope to invite them soon to have a delicious dinner in the art camp of Cervera del Maestre in Castellon.

tasty food

Its all about love and to can be done only with passion and love…

If you like to be part of those stories, apply for a visit and enjoy it with us.

Rainbow scouting – a location in spain

This is a post for YOU. If you are part of the rainbow movement and interested in scouting a location in spain please have a closer look to our living community and our projects here in east spain between Barcelona and Valencia.

We have set up a social space for years and welcome between 50 and 200 visitors per year. Most of them are interested in our social art projects ( alternative living community, agriculture, bioconstruction, education).

If you want to know more about our last events and happenings you find more in our news section here.

If you like to have a closer look to our community principals check out our service section here.

If you are interested in alternative education (informal learning, home schooling, no schooling) or if you like to explore a warmer place for winter in Spain, you are welcome.

We have already an artist camp with some very basic infrastructure and we like to develop this more and more.

IMPORTANT: Please use our form to apply for a visit. We get a lot of requests and we can not welcome a lot of visitors at the same time (beside organised festivals and gatherings 🙂 of course). If you come with your own tend or van and organise your food by yourself the place to stay  is free (limited days, no alcohol, no drugs)!

The missing link – Permacultura Penyaflor Tortosa

In late 2018 we where invited to have a closer look to Permacultura Penyaflor near Tortosa. The location is founded and maintained by Checile. She is a powerful permaculture activist and she is running several workshops and initiatives over the year.

Cecile will mount her own signpost in 01 January of 2019 as part of a local celebration. We will publish here in a short time details of the event and usefull information to arrive.

If you are interested to join this informal network of alternative locations use our application to set up your own post. This social art work is free to join for everyone without any specific permission. Just mount your post and calculate angles and distance to your favorite locations and give your visitors a sign that there is much more out there to discover.

Thanks to Arlo for helping to mount the arrow to the beautiful place from Cecile.

dulce de membrillo – the day of the quince

dulce de membrillo – the day of the quince – we come together to exchange recipies, to explore them and to share the results of the fresh quince fruits from our color garden in Cervera del Maestre.

We meet at 19 hrs in CASAdelDRAGON, Las Parras 19, 12578 Cervera del Maestre, Spain.

Join us for a nice evening with international guests and friends and lets have dinner together. Please apply via email or phone ( +49 160 99131933 incl. whatsapp).