after loosing a flyght in São Paulo I’m back home now and it’s time to make a balance.
this idea os taking out the water of urine and grey waters makes sense and with the prototype we have made in serrinha we are some steps closer. its clear that the composter is a good source of heat and specially during the night where the delta of temperature gets really big. one design flaw of our prototype has placing the boiler outside the composter. we did this to keep an eye on the boiler but also was easy to build it outside the composter. making it inside would be like making a ship inside of a bottle :p but this meant that after the hot liquid enters the boiler is starts to cold and the efficiency of the model gets compromised.. we where able of distill around 50ml during one night. we still have some problems to solve but we are on a good path to help solving urban farms biggest problem: a local source of water and nutrients.
day 10. yesterday we fond that we need to raise a couple of meters the column.. we need 11m from the condenser to the ground so today we’ll be all day in this.
we reduced the condenser, we went from 6 to 4 pipes the aluminum pipes and we got 1m extra :)
we also started measuring the composter temperature with a regular house thermometer. tomorrow sara will give us a hand on installing one sht21 on the composter and a sht15 near the condenser .
we finish the day making connections and drawing diagrams :)
we started the day with a walk. is shining today and we’ll go with wha-young and her group to find the spring of the river.
we collected samples and measure the river flow.
around 11h we came back to continue working on our project. there are some parts that are not completed designed. here is angelica thinking about the container of liquids that we’ll use inside of the composter.
before lunch we received the visit of professor Caren and her chemistry students. we talked about the projects and they will collaborate with us on making liquids analysis on the input and output of the system. after lunch we made a group meeting about the daily live in the house :p
on the afternoon we started building the inside structure of the composter. we are gonna use the heat generated inside to bring the liquids that we need to boil to a higher temperature.
this is our first approach.. looks good but we still didn’t find a easy way to hold all the bambu pieces together.. any idea?
the usual thing for a first day: personal and work presentations.
there are great projects here! check the interactivos website to learn more about them. we had lunch together and after that we went to see our materials and where we are installing the device. after a visual análisis of the geography we have determined that we’ll use a palm tree to elevate our condenser, install the composter on the house level and use the slope that goes to the river to extend the second vacuum column that has at the end the clean water output. elevate a water column for 10m on the side of a palm tree doesn’t seems a easy task so we went to collect bambú to build a 10m tripod or some other tool to raise the condenser.
tomorrow more ;)
is good to be back in rio. beautiful city, sweet people, good friends and amazing landscape!! I’ll stay a couple of days errand in the city and then take a bus to Resende where I’ll meet the rest of the team and go to Serrinha in the national park of Itatiaia.
this is our last day here.. fase I construction is over and now it’s all in the farmers/nature’s hands hehhe
I’m also leaving to rio de janeiro to participate in the interactivos16 and be there one month trying to make this project. having apparently nothing connecting them, the rio’s project is a research for specific problem that we have in taula amiga farm: water. that simple :)
we enjoined a lot this time we have been working together.. apart from the good work and enriching experience made with the taula amiga and the school of horticulture of reus, working with nicola, gorka and laura was a real pleasure. tks guys ;)
after 43 days and we have 8 farm tables, 1000L liters of water 2m height (enough for gravity watering) and a cccb ready for been feed this farm has the basic tools to start producing their own food. this particular part is all that matters to us on this project: connect a urban farm to a social canteen.
but can not finish this post without saying how much I enjoyed sharing my time with the real players is this story, mr julio that kept care and control of the communs but also put huge effort of making his farm table bright. with juan I’ve learn how to use a jigsaw in the air with one hand. amazing wood worker. oscar, that brought light, music and good mood, eva and juan the first farm neighbors that had adopted a table farm, rosen our anti-commons person hehehe one of the most applied farmers that I ever meet.
see you soon ;)
we did it!! we were selected!!! we have team up with CIMNE nature on this one and made a great proposal :)
you know, this year subject of research is water and water is one of those issues on urban farming.. getting water from the grid is expensive to everyone, the ones that pay, the ones that supply it and to all of us as a planet. at the same time in urban environment we trash a lot of water, in all colors: black, brown, grey and yellow. just by the colors you can figure their content :p but the content that gives color is just a small part of it. in all around 99% is water. on the other and we need nutrients and we are all the time trowing them out of the sink. so on this project we will focus on cleaning water and reduce nutrients to a more concentrated solution that we can apply later on the farm.
this is not nothing new of course, the plants use exactly the same technic to pump nutrients over their body.
we’ll keep you updated on the building process;)
you may have notice that we are huge fans of the interactivos program from medialabmadrid ehhehehe. I’ve enjoyed a lot the past one’s and today the calls are open again. this is not a normal interactivos, this one is in rio de janeiro:) run by the amazing nuvem team, surrounded by nature and having water and autonomy has a line of work, I think we are gonna propose something :p
today we have finished the cccb tool here in tarragona.
we started some weeks ago preparing the materials, having workshops about composting and cartography all the local sources of organic left overs. we are lucky in this project cause we already have a restaurant (taula amiga’s cantine) that prepare meals to around 40 families. we also located 4 vegetable stores near the farm and of course we have the left overs of all the participants of this project. now let’s make compost!! :)
this sunday we’ll give a workshop in collserola national park. we’ll DIT our low budget automatic watering system in the farm of can pujades coop. if you are around barcelona area you are more then welcomed. by the way, it’s free :p
preparing the farm diaries and main board for taula amiga.
this is the diagram of all the main components of taula amiga farm table.
after the wood structure there are 8 layers:
layer 1 – 1000x4000mm – fabric, any soft material, old cotton sheets or old blankets are perfect materials. this layer is for protecting the thin film of PP plastic (layer2) from touching the non pollished wooden floor.
layer 2 – 1240x4240mm – PP plastic fim 0.2 > 1mm. this should be a food grade plastic. this layer is the main drainage membrane. if punched or not well sealed on the draining holes (10 per table) the water will damage the wood structure of the table.
layer 3 – 150L – drainage material can be small rocks, sand, expanded clay or any inert material. this layer can also be used has a water reservoir for capillarity systems.
layer 4 – 1000x4000mm – TNT fabric, used to prevent the roots from entering the layer 3
layer 5 – 1000x4000mm – wood net. this layer is for prevent any damage on the sub layers like working on the soil with big tools so when someone reaches this layer knows that’s the end of the soil :) the wood has also a secondary function. it will rot slowly producing heat and a home for micro life.
layer 6 – 10000L of coco fiber. coco fiber is an excellent soil structure, it retains moisture and nutrients, the roots have no problem on diving in it and is very light.
layer 7 – 4000L of humus. this is a lot of humus and this is just for one table. we already started the composting systems but we need to go fast or find local sources of good humus.
layer 8 – 1000x4000mm – wood net. this layer is to divide the table by family of vegetables, reinforce the side structure and hold the watering system in position.
every year in the spring we have algae arriving to the coast. this year we got posidonia fruits to use in taula amiga farm. this are balls of fibrous material that can be added to the compost, has a water reservoir in the draining system or added to soil has structure material.
we also collect tons of plastics.. ;(
uau!! what a day :) today we had a visit from students of Texas A&M University. we build together our new model B, a structure to store the tools and give shadow to the composters (has other functionalities like bar :), there was also a workshop for kids about farm fauna and build “houses” for them and like always an amazing paella. please, if you are in barcelona don’t miss this picnics ever ;)
see you next month :p
following the plan here we have the first 4 tables ready on their positions.
this is the second, expect one every month from now until the end of the summer :)
the picnic organic gathering organized by m.u.l.a and friends is where everything fits together. a bit like music where all the different instruments contribute to a common track.
in quirhort we have different teams that every 2 days feeds the composters and give a good turn to all. the composters are feed with neighbors organic waste and vegetables that this team gets from local shops. but before this organic waste goes to the composters, we separate what’s suitable to eat/cook/share and just then what’s left goes to hermetia illucens :)
part of this food gets frozen and is with this food that we make this amazing paellas for everyone that comes by this days and eat with us.
today we installed a automatic watering system in one farm container
see you next month ;)
today me and laia meet up early in roba amiga storage center in vila seca to get all the woods to build the 8 farm tables.
today we started the building process. we’ll first prepare the composters and then we’ll start the first farm table :)
all workshops need working tables.. we improvised a bit ;)
here is the first final design of the farm tables.
this is a farm table designed to be build together with the families that are involved in the social cantine of taula amiga foundation. we think is important that people are involved with the design and building process. you know.. you make it and then it becomes part of you :)
we calculate 60 woods of 2000x100x20 per table. but before we came to this number we went to visit a sawmill. sawmills are not common this days.. like josep fontova said ” familiar sawmills are disappearing all bought by big corporations” so in practice you can not get wood from local resources and when you go to a big store you pay 6x more for the same type of wood and you don’t know where it came from. plus when you go to a sawmill you can ask wood with no treatment, that fits better to our goal of building a healthy container for our food to grow.
since we where here we took some woods to start making the prototype ;)
you know, we already started the workshops here :) today we’ll talk about waterings systems.
today our workshop was lead again by nati from the school of horticulture of reus. we talked a little of everything, from soil to seeds :)
today we had nati:) she talked about farm planning according to personal tastes and gastronomy (here everyone if from different corners of the planet:)
today is our first day of a series of workshops.
we plan building this farm together and with so many things to build and many more to learn we setup the goals for this next months: building a urban composting system, build the first 8 tables for the families and 2 more if there are neighbours interested in growing their vegetables :) in between we’ll learn how to grow food. we’ll meet every friday from now until the end of april. come join us if you are around ;)