So-called eco people and their compost

(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.

the missing link

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.

stages of oyster mushrooms in bottle-culture (Foto: J.Rivera)

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“.

pink oyster mushroom (Foto: J. Rivera)

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.


primordial stage of oyster mushrooms in bag culture (Foto: J. Rivera)
(Foto: J.Rivera)

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 with informations and fotos of the milestones of this project.

Experimental beekeeping on a new plot in Cervera del Maestre

As one of our new working units in spain we develop alternative experimental beekeeping. Our focus is on exploring best environments for bees in the province of Castellon.

We call this project  Abejas de amor.

To maximize tolerance against varroa and other bee deseases we mount specially prepared bee hives based on layens sized boxes and frames.

In early march 2018 we started to mount the first hives on our new plot.

This is only possible with support from family and friends. And therefore we use the project also to say Thank you! to these lovely and social people.

Only with YOU it is possible to develop and maintain such a big project.

Familiafeliz develops a social space for personal happiness.  Abejas de amor explores and develops a social space for happy bees.

Thank you and enjoy!

Garden Eden – fruit for the future

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.

New planting session 2018 – trees in the color garden

In February 2018 we will be planting a couple of new fruit trees in the color garden.

We will meet at 10.00 a.m. in front of CASAdelDRAGON, Cervera del Maestre, Castellon and we go to the garden area. People with interest in gardening, permaculture and sustainable life are welcome.

the list of trees (spanish names and variaties):

acerolos                      blanco
acerolos                      rojos
albaricoqueros        bulida
albaricoqueros        Canino
albaricoqueros        Moniqui
albaricoqueros        Precoz P.
albaricoqueros        Rojo Palabras
albaricoqueros        Tadeo
albaricoqueros        Galta Roja
Almendros         Desmayo Largueta
Almendros         Desmayo Rojo
Almendros         Ferraduel
Almendros         Ferragnes
Avellanos             Negreta de Tarragona
Avellanos             Pevotet
Cerezos             Bing
Cerezos             Burlat
Cerezos            Ruby
Cerezos            Summit
Cerezos             Sunburst
Cerezos             4-84
Ciruelos            Formosa
Ciruelos             R.Claudia Dor.
Ciruelos            R.Claudia Tol.
Ciruelos             Temprana de Mayo
Ciruelos            Stanley
Ciruelos             Black Diamond
Granados             Mollar de Valencia
Granados             Tendral de Játiva

Thomas and Jitka had already prepared some blue stones with numbers for our plant database.

We will have lunch in the garden and later we celebrate the planting session in the house of the dragon. If you like to join us, please contact us before!


Work of art – the taste of life

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.

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.

Reference and comparison for aquaponic systems

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).

Soil and olive harvesting waste mixed with local soil

We mixed soil waste and olive tree leaves from the local agriculture cooperative with our own soil from the garden.

planting lettuce on new raised beds

We planted salad (lettuce) and onions and spinach in a first trial.

new raised beds in the UNIIE campus

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.

We will harvest and mesure in march 2018.