Category Archives: Bio garden

The Art of Education

the art of education - what  it is and what should it be?
the art of education – what it is and what should it be?

In early 2020 we had a lot of talks about living in communities, values and goals and further activities and upcoming projects.

It was also a time to reflext about the last years. The following collection gives an overview about social educative artistic activities of our community and address one Always re-emerging question: “What is this all about?”

the art of education - exploring yourself
the art of education – exploring yourself

In spain we are runing an artist residence, the house of the dragon (CASAdelDRAGON). One key to deliver informal education is a huge garden area called the color garden. It is our campus and space for a lot of social activities like camps in nature for families with kids (left photo).

Also we are involved in the summer school activities of APEAL, which is a NGO in Bucharest (Romania).

the art of education - it stuff for informal education purpose
the art of education – it stuff for informal education purpose

For the community project of ApEAL in Chiocanesti near Bucharest we collected some IT stuff to enable the association for computerbased workshops.

the art of education - students from a german university are building bridges
the art of education – students from a german university are building bridges

A group of biology students was building a bridge over one old water channel, designed by roman and arabic conquerors. This project was not part of the original workshop but the realisation of a common wish of the students to contribute in some way to the social project of our color garden.

the art of education - participative art installation in a gallery
the art of education – participative art installation in a gallery

The CASAdelDRAGON is an artist residence, guest house and a think tank for innovative social art projects. In the basement of the house we run a gallery since more than 10 years and we use the space also for partizipative art installations like the regalo bar, a shop, in which you can not buy anything, you just can receive a donation or you can donate something to others. It was quite a challenge for latin souls to use this opportunity.

the art of education - alternative bee keeping in Castellon
the art of education – alternative bee keeping in Castellon

Part of the color garden is a vegetable garden with a lot of young fruit trees. As an addition we are involved in beekeeping in the province of Castellon. This project address the actual situation of bees between industrial agriculture, micro-economical views on nature and sustainable needs for human habitats.

the art of education - aquaponic as contemporary art
the art of education – aquaponic as contemporary art

In a relation to the MLU Halle (Martin Luther University) we hosted from time to time biology students in the guesthouse. As part of one exhibition about social art we showed an smal scale aquaponic installation.

the art of education - latin roots and european identity
the art of education – latin roots and european identity

Magda from a little village near Bucharest was sitting on the terrasse of CASAdelDRAGON and said with tears in her eyes: “I want that my Children will see what i see now!” We where thinking the same 3 years before and we invited the first kids from Romania to visit the region of Maestrazgo, the land of the templer and deeply connected to the european history. In the following years we had several groups visiting and partizipating in our social art projects and we will continue this in 2020 and further on.

the art of education - everything about love
the art of education – everything about love

In our german home unit we established the “room for art” in the basement of one house. We invited people with interest in social art and contemporary education for a one day workshop to paint together. By transforming passive visitors to active creators of their environment we sculptured their brains, following Beuys and his idea of social sculpturing.

the art of education - discovering arabic roots in spanish ground
the art of education – discovering arabic roots in spanish ground

This Hand belongs to a great person. Her name is Fadella. She was coming from Bahrein to study our community life and she gave us a very deep impact in the arabic spanish european history. Her finger points on a handmade ancient nail, laying on a stone which is part of a roman trade path (which is part of our color garden).

the art of education - lunch time
the art of education – lunch time

The hosue of the dragon is an open house. A lot of times we are sitting together and share the Food whioch guests and Friends and visitors. These events are not intensivly organised and prepared and they appear more spontaniosly – but exactly this delives a flair, with is great and special.

the art of education - a christmas market in south France
the art of education – a christmas market in south France

Our close friend Anne is runing a severgardens project in south France. Part of this UNESCO featured project is to explore, develop and share knowledge about natural pigments and dye techniques and ways to produce natural colors for artistic purpose (which is also part of our activities in the color garden in spain). We spend a very cold and long day in France to connect locals with organic products and techniques and developed some connections for the project of Anne.

the art of education - a lecture about social science
the art of education – a lecture about social science

Following an invitation we gave some lectures in Germany for students of Biology. Partizipative strategies and methods of social art projects for science and classical education might re-design the thinking of former education.

the art of education - AMAL - and a happy new year
the art of education – AMAL – and a happy new year

In the educative space of Cecile – permaculture Penyaflor – near Tortosa we invited the guests to paint with us, reflecting the theme L.O.V.E. Later these art works became part of an exhibition under the title AMAL.

the art of education - workshop for leader
the art of education – workshop for leader

In Romania we organised a workshop about leadership. A group of children, teachers, government officials and social workers was involved to create a game about leading a summercamp for youth. The game will be published as part of another social art project ARTSURPRISE. It will be a tool to train youth in social leadership.

the art of education - where we go Cecile?
the art of education – where we go Cecile?

The missing link is another social art project in which we connect social spaces like Ceciles Permaculture Penyaflor, EcoTros or others. Quo vadis – the question for all of us and especially for social entrepreneurs like Cecile.

the art of education - a rocket stove for lunch time
the art of education – a rocket stove for lunch time

German students are buildung a rocket stove in the color garden. They are highly motivated by creating the foundation of something useful for the lunch of the next day (and the next day was really the next day!).

the art of education - light sculptures in Girona
the art of education – light sculptures in Gerona

In another open social space, the masia from Francesc, a friend living close to Gerona, was th stage for one art performance in the night. We created some light sculptures in the dark and enjoyed a conversation about art and relevance and sustainability of contemporary art.

the art of education - self organised cooking event as informal learning session
the art of education – self organised cooking event as informal learning session

To transform a passive event of a lunch into an active partizipation of the guests we invited some creatives in the color garden to prepare and enjoy local food and experimental cooking.

the art of education - learning as a personal process
the art of education – learning as a personal process

Learning something is in our opinion a personal process embedded into a social environment in which the person is free to discover and receive what (s)he is Looking for. Therefor the job of a contemporary living community with the goal of establishing a social space for informal learning and personal happiness is to create this space, to maintain it and to protect it.

the art of education - the free university of informal education
the art of education – the free university of informal education

Tine gave a workshop about awareness and meditation. The workshop was part of the educative activities of our free University (UNIIE). This underline, that we see our task more in enableling the space for informal learning than to just offer workshops.

A lot of people have a lot to tell. We want to enable them to do this… and to enjoy it at the same time.

the art of education - sense and meaning in life
the art of education – sense and meaning in life

Life brings people to the house of the dragon and they continue their way through their lifes. Some of them, as the nordic nod mosaic in the kitchen of the CASAdelDRAGON reflects, find back later and enjoy another time what they created and what others created in between.

If you have been reading this article till now – something we appreaciate a lot – you might belong to a group of people who really want to go deep into something. If you cross all These pieces of Information and ask yourself where is the red line in all of this, it is the power and success of partizipative art and ist influence on contemporary education. We are not aware about the outcome but we feel to be part of a wider movement of a lot of creative people all over the world. And even if we do not know if we will reach the goal, we are happy on the way.

Cleaning up in the garden of Priapus

Cleaning up in the garden of Martas Home
Cleaning up in the garden of Martas Home

In greek mythology Priapus was was a minor rustic fertility god, protector of livestock, fruit plants, gardens … and more… We enjoyed the warm summer days in 2019 to clean up the garden of Martas home, our german home unit. Again powerful family members where helping Antje and Corinna to clean the area around the compost pile and the chicken area.

refurbished compost pile
refurbished compost pile

In the history of Familiafeliz the house of the dragon was the first property and project, but the big plot in Germany hosted the first of our gardens. Here we planted the first fruit trees, prepared beds and havested salads and vegetables. Also it was the place to develop the chicken population based on Araucana , Amrock, Brahma, Sussex, Wyanddotte and others.

We developed a brave and healthy population by mixing these variations and preselect new generations of high productive females and strong males.

Martas Home - Fruits of the work
Martas Home – Fruits of the work

Even if nowadays most off the garden activity is happening in east spain in the colorgarden, the source of knowledge and joy was coming out of this garden in Germany.

And still the chicken unit in Germany is the oldest social community activity and involve several families (customers of fresh eggs) from the village and around.

If you want to visit Martas Home check out the next german information day on the front page or apply for volunteering here.

new compost management in our homeunit in Germany

It is not a big deal to report on the implementation of a compost pile. I becomes bigger if we focus the stories behind.

In our case in Germany we “share” the space with another family living on our property and over the years we collected a reallly big pile of compost. Beside of the effect, that we reused biomass for our own vegetablle garden we gave sometimes our population of chicken access to the pile. They contributed with a lot of tasty eggs and cleaned the pille from nearly all snaill eggs.

One problem of acceptance in Germany – even in little villages – is to have chicken at all. The sound of the cock, the always escaping “gang” of bantams (little chicken) and daily little troubles with animals expanding the challenge to host them beside close neighbours.

The combination of vegetable garden, chicken and compost is an advantage and we like to establish a similar circle in our spanish homeunit.

First of all we need beside our compost doctor David more people willing to move biomass to a compost pile. Second we need a group of people interested in gardening and using this bio mass. Third we need people interested in having chicken and hosting them in a common task.

first raised bed in the german garden

After mounting more than 25 raised beds in the spanish color garden we started to create a first prototype in our german home unit garden.

Corinna started to collect some old natural stones. They are part of the local history. During World War II, our village was shelled and a grenade destroyed a barn made of natural stone. The stones are scattered everywhere in our garden and therefor they are a relic of this war.

We filled the lower part of an ibc tank with this stones.

And we charged the box with soil from the garden.

Finally we used some special soil for planting vegetables.

And we planted some salads.

And we are happy about the result after 2 month…

harvesting the sweet

In 2018, 2017 and 2016 we planted more than 300 fruit trees in the spanish home unit. 20 years before we planted around 20 fruit trees on a small plot in our home unit in Germany.

Planting a tree is a magical work. It opens doors for a sweet future and connect people with their future.

It gives future generations food and shadow and wood. These trees are older than the young strong workers on the fotos. For us it is amazing to see new generations taking the fruits of these trees.

Together they harvested the fruits from a cherry tree.

And prepared a lot of jars of sweet delicious marmelade.

Like tobacco brown tells in her TED talk, creating a garden is creating a social space for happiness.

Felling trees in the german home unit

Winter time in Germany is a chance to develop the garden area. Even “bigger” works are useful. After 22 years and some damage due to winter storms it was time to fell some trees.

 

With the help of friends and neighbors we decided tofell a large fir and two birches.

 

Now we have a lot of wood for winter evenings.

Windecks new chicken runway

windeck-chicken-runway-0
Jens and Corinna preparing a new way

In the home unit Windeck we have around 50 chicken. They have to pass a small – and often wed – area in winter to reach the green grass area near the bio garden.

 

windeck-chicken-runway-1
stones and ceramic rests for foundation, in top concrete steps

Now it was time to fix that. It was not comfortable to walk in this muddy ground.

 

windeck-chicken-runway-2
In balance, finishing a step…

Jens and Corinna used old concrete pieces to form a stable way from the poultry stable to the garden. Nice to have this activities of making the right way in both home units at the same time. In the spanish home unit it was the first step to the entrance of the sculpture garden.