(This interview will be pubished soon, please return to this page in a few days to enjoy the answers!)
FamiliaFeliz: Hello David! Still working on the compost section in the color garden, how it goes?
FamiliaFeliz: Whats wrong with the compost?
FamiliaFeliz: What kind of problem it is (understanding, communication, handling)?
FamiliaFeliz: What should be changed to make it more easy for the friends of FamiliaFeliz to bring the compost to this place and to handle it correct?
FamiliaFeliz: We where talking a lot in the last years about this open space for personel happiness. What do you think is the challenge for somebody like you, who take care of a specific aspect of this big social project FamiliaFeliz?
FamiliaFeliz: What do you think about the terms responsability, communication and expectation according to this project having useful organic compost for garden and farm?
FamiliaFeliz: Thank You. For your work, and for this interview.
In 2016 I started to test the cultivation of mushrooms on used coffee grounds, based on a documentation I saw about a start-up business in Berlin, which was doing this in a big commercial scale.
During this testing and searching for the right parameters and components for a successfull mushroom cultivation, I read a lot about the biology of mushrooms, the ecology of the fungi kingdom and their key-role in ecosystems.
It became clear, that the greater goal in cultivating mushrooms should be the recycling of waste materials. Refining the waste and by-products of agriculture and our wasteful food-infrastructure, by cultivating gourmet mushrooms on, would improve productivity and help to reach the aim of a sustainable food production. As the famous mushroom pioneer and cultivator Paul Stamets says, mushrooms are „the missing link in the permaculture model“.
For the start-up business in Berlin, coffee grounds were perfect as a substrate to grow mushrooms on. Its a by-product which is not suitable for composting (because of the caffeine), but still rich in nutritions. And you can basically find it at every corner. But back in 2016 I was not living in a big city, where used coffee grounds were easy to find and gather. I had to drive 20 minutes to the next city where I convinced a bio-cafe to gather and store their used coffee grounds for me, so I could take them with me twice a week. To gain experience in cultivating mushrooms and to statisfy my curiosity about how the idea of growing them on coffee would work out, I spent a lot of time and money on it. But it was neither sustainable nor affordable so I had to stop.
Beeing in this little village now, Cervera del maestre, sourrounded by farmers and having a very close look on their work and the infrastructure they are using, the idea of ‘the missing link’ flashed up in my thoughts again. Could almond-nutshells, carobtree-fruits, and olive leaves be a growing substrate for gourmet mushrooms? Would it be possible to gain a delicous food source while accelerating decomposting of these materials and creating rich soil at the same time?
In the next month I will blog about the process and provide interested readers and visitors of www.familiafeliz.eu with informations and fotos of the milestones of this project.
On 9 February 2018 we planted 50 fruit trees in the color garden of the CASAdelDRAGON in Cervera del Maestre.
We were supported by Tatiana from Avilla, Susana from Madrid and Arlo from Barcelona, David from Brighton, Jitka and Thomas from Berlin, Jens from Naumburg, Antje from Cologne and Isa from Sao Paulo and Clara from Valencia.
After a break we started to plant the trees.
Like the year before we chose a selection of different varieties of fruit trees. We planted them in different levels of the colorgarden. We also tried same varieties in different levels and areas of the garden.
The decision making for the location of a single tree was based on: fruit type, possible tree dimension, harvesting needs, soil quality, wind, sun, humidity and other local factors.
We will monitor and document the project of planting fruit trees in our database and record further milestones.
In most cases “art” is something special, extraordinary, something beyond the “normal” context. Even contemporary art focusing on high benefit is usually not part of daily life. Familiafeliz is a contemporary living community and art and culture are very important for us, like health, happiness and tasty food.
After 22 years in a pinky bathroom it was time to renovate the installation and to think about a new design.
First of all we unmounted the old installations and replaced old fittings and tubes.
A new bathtub and a new toilette was installed.
White was selected as basic new color.
Instead of a shower tray we have now a flat floor. The little carrot is a very special detail and a reminiscence to our old friend Edgar Brons, artist, graphic designer and cartoonist.
As contrast to the strong geometric wall tiles Antje and Corinna started a mosaic inspired by “water”.
The spiral was Corinna’s favorite in the new shower.
The white wall tile pieces are combined with spanish colorful ceramic pieces from Pais Valenciano (the region of our second home unit).
Finally the mosaic was grouted with white mass.
The new bathroom is part of the old house in Windeck and a hint to the transition of this place.
The web is full of successful stories about aquaponics. But we are not sure about the economics around aquaponics. We are on the way to establish different system layouts in the color garden and campus of UNIIE. As part of this project we want to know, how to build a system in smaller and medium size, how to make it profitable and what are daily needs of a running system.
As reference and for a possibility to compare the aquaponics system we created in the same space and location a “classical layout” (raised bed).
We mixed soil waste and olive tree leaves from the local agriculture cooperative with our own soil from the garden.
We planted salad (lettuce) and onions and spinach in a first trial.
We set up four raised beds in early january 2018.
In each bed we placed 16 – 32 plants (one square meter). We are pouring two times per week with 10 liters of water per bed.