All posts by juan petry

plant determination


One of the best friends of the home unit in spain is Clara. She has a lot of knowledge in plant determination and gardening.


llanten – plantago media

Cooked seeds serve as emollients and laxatives. Contains mucilages and silicic acid that is used as a pectoral remedy. It is a diuretic, expectorant, emollient and cicatrizant. It is used in syrup or extract to combat colds, bronchitis and asthma. External way in the form of compresses to treat burns and ulcers. In gargle relieves angina. In eye drops is used for conjunctivitis and inflammation of the eyelids.


borraja – borago officinalis

The dye contained in the flowers acts as an indicator. Like litmus, it turns red when it comes into acid solutions. In older flowers slight red coloration is also observed.

The leaves of the Borretin are eaten in salads or cooked in soups. The blue flowers are edible (they contain significantly less alkaloids than the leaves), have a sweetish taste and are often used as a salad decoration.

Borretin flowers (boraginis flos) contain bornesite, allantoin, mucus, potassium salts (up to 17%). In the pediatrics, the drug is used for urinary retention, fever, mucus of the respiratory tracts, diarrhea, inflammation, rheumatism, climacteric symptoms, and blood purification.


guindilla-de-campana – Capsicum baccatum var. pendulum cv. campanilla

Chili peppers have been a part of the human diet in the Americas since at least 7500 BCE. The most recent research shows that chili peppers were domesticated more than 6000 years ago in Mexico.

When consumed, capsaicinoids bind with pain receptors in the mouth and throat that are responsible for sensing heat. Once activated by the capsaicinoids, these receptors send a message to the brain that the person has consumed something hot. The brain responds to the burning sensation by raising the heart rate, increasing perspiration and release of endorphins.

They are very high in potassium, magnesium, and iron. Their very high vitamin C content can also substantially increase the uptake of non-heme iron from other ingredients in a meal, such as beans and grains. A very large study published by the British Medical Journal found some indications that humans who consume spicy foods, especially fresh chili peppers, were less likely to die of cancer or diabetes.


acelga – beta vulgaris subsp. vulgaris

Fresh young chard can be used raw in salads. Mature chard leaves and stalks are typically cooked (like in pizzoccheri) or sauteed; the bitterness fades with cooking, leaving a refined flavor which is more delicate than that of cooked spinach.

Chard having significant content in raw form of vitamin E and the dietary minerals, magnesium, manganese, iron and potassium.

Second step

Moving material to the working area – approx. 500 kg for 4 steps

We created the second step to the entrance of the sculpture garden. First we prepared the cladding, then we supported it with a ring of heavy stones. Inside we places some nice natural stones and mortar.


mortar left – cladding right – stones in the box to support the cladding

The rest of the step we filled with little stones and concrete.


process of unmounting the cladding and doing the finish

After waiting 4 hours we unmounted the cladding and we did the finish of the natural stone wall.


final view after another day of working for the first four steps to the sculpture garden

Next job will be step three…

New waterline and 50 salads and cabbages

watering systems and tube bridges between the beds

Another time we added some channels to the watering system in the garden. Especially for the new refurbished beds we have arranged the tubes.


design of the connection of a bed

Most of the lines where prefabricated with a controlled exit – 1 drop per second – in spain called “gota-gota”. Each bed has a controlled exit and a switch to seperate the watering line infrastructure in different sections.


planting salad and cabbage

The bed in front – left image – is connected to the watering system now. We have to clean it before we will use it later. We planted 50 salads and cabbages in a mix on both long beds.


three types of salad get water

We tested the watering system and started with 30 min intensive watering. Another time Mariellas dream became truth.


Windecks new chicken runway

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.


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.


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.

stairs to heaven – part 1

foundation of the first big step into the sculpture garden area

If you can dream it, you can do it (Walt Disney).

One aspect of the color garden is, to realize a premanent exhibition area for landart and sculptures and installations. To enter the garden, each visitor has to reach the different levels in the garden. We started with a first step. And we imagine, it will be the first of 1.000 steps…

outside natural stones and mortar, inside little natural stones and concrete

Rebecca asked how long it will take to create one step. We calculated 8 hours of working (moving material, mounting, the finish, mosaic on top). So we are in front of 8.000 hours ahead…

Rebecca Metcalf – photo shooting in Cervera del Maestre

Rebeccas photo shooting in Chert

The austrailian photographer and video artist Rebecca Metcalf visited FamilaFeliz in Cervera del Maestre. She did some shootings in the color garden, the CASAdelDRAGON and abroad in some ruins in the mountains near Chert.

Metcalf is on the way to figure out a large documentation about living communities worldwide and she founded FamiliaFeliz on IC.ORG and decides to join us for a short time.

In the last years she was visiting living communities in the U.S., now in Europe and later she will make research in Oceania, Neusealand and her home country Australia.

working with more layers in beds

soil – waste – carton – soil – straw…

After creating the boder of natural stones we filled up the space with 10 cm organic waste of the garden (mostly leavs for carobtree). On top we put a layer of carton, as we did last year several times – with good results – in other beds.


philemon finished the bed

On top of the carton we put 15-20 cm good soil from the old water channel of the garden and some soil we found under trees in the west area of the garden.


organic waste and straw on top, mostly recycled from the garden…

Philemon finished also the second bed stone border and covered the soil with straw and organic waste. In the center the quince tree – still little but alive after a srong and warm summer.

Guided tour in the sculpture garden

the terraces of the sculpture garden in Cervera del Maestre

The sculpture garden is one part of the project of the color garden in Cervera del Maestre in Castellon, Spain. The wild land with a lot of terraces nearby the bio garden will host land art, installations, sculptures. To help the visitors, to find the rght way, we will mount some “Guides”. This will be a work for the next years (a lot of land, a lot of ways to prepare. In October 2016 we started with the first little guide, not so far from the entrance of the sculpture garden.

The first guide in the sculpture garden

He looks to the west. The first little color dot in the wild.