BJDW last days

yeah.. 8:00 another grey day today.. guilherme will fly in a couple of hours

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we still have to take apart a exhibition but we already miss beijing and this dream team.. had a great time working this last months with emilson and guilherme.. you guys got a green medal on the virtual wall of fame of refarmthecity :p hope you guys have enjoied your academic practices on a uncommon organization, reach your goals and learn new things. I surely did ;) now that we are on the credits, a special thank you for our curator gerard altaió. his intusiasm and confidence in our work set a higher bar. g, hope that we meet your expectations ;) a special thanks also to meimei our producer and chinese mentor. she run kilometers on her ebike to get the materials we needed and sometimes we were 3 on that bike + packs :) she was the bridge between us and the beijing reality. great work meimei and tks for your food suggestions, with out it we wouldn’t survived this 3 weeks ;)

last but not the least, a special thanks to cristina and eva from llull, lin lin and pei pei from re-up, all the participants in the workshops and of course all dashilar people, you have a amazing neighborhood.

ok, so let’s take all screws out.

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we have separated all the beer cans of last night party and when I was heading the exibition I found this women. she buys cardboard, plastic botles and metal. we’ve got 5¥ ;)

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all the used woods that we used. cleaned and sanded.

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all the screw we used. ready to be used again :p

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all the materials used for the exibition. 99% reusable and renewal materials ;)

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BJDW day#16

last day, last workshop ;( today we’ll make the gram staining test

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yeah.. you can see by gerard’s mask.. a grey day out there.. you feel kind of constantly tierd.. “they” tell you to stay inside.. and we did :)

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our lab conditions hehehe. luckly on this experiment if we have contamination of the samples that’s good ;)

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starting to look for bacterias. we need more distiled water. anyone knows how to ask?

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everyone played a lot with the microscope until was time for the party :)

here our mojitos farm in action.

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and the first goodbye.. here is emilson on mei mei’s moto. she is taking him and his bags to the taxi. in a few hours we’ll cach the airplane to brasil. we’ll miss you emilson ;( see you soon..

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BJDW day#15

today we were supposed to visit beijing agriculture university but everyone forgot that yesterday was china’s national day so yesterday, today and tomorrow no ones work :p

last night was raining but the signs hold quite well

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I used the time to prepare some ceramic sensors.

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we also had many visits

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then it all comes to an end. here we got some volunters to collect the leafes of mint and made a last minute workshop: how to prepare the mojitos secret mix for tomorrow’s party :)

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here is the party :)

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BJDW day#14

third workshop and a fundamental one: make soap. why soap? making your won soap is important if you recycle your bathing water. is very easy to do, gives a solution to the used oil, you control the ingredients and is super cheap to make a amazing good soap. you find dozens of recipes on the web. seach for cold process soap recipe ;)

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uau, this workshop was full, we never thought we had so many people! we made 3 rounds of soap no time for pictures ;)

BJDW day#13

second workshop: low budget automatic watering system.

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then we went to tan’er 23 (were our exhibition is located) to test tomorrow’s workshop. making soap with used oil.

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:D here is our friend niegbour. he lives 2 doors on the left and had came every day to see what’s up. he helped us many times without any common language. it’s amazing how we can learn by looking, gesticulate and drawing. me, emilson and guilherme we had great times together with him. shared smiles, hands, minds ans teas. thank you for sharing your time with us. we have enjoyed a lot ;)

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then after all the important pictures have been taken the press came :p

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BJDW day#12

today is our first workshop during beijing design week. we’ll give a walk arround dashilar and see what biology we find apart from humans :) guilherme will talk about that on “special” post. in the meantime here are some more pictures on a sunny day in beijing.

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i’m with guilherme finding out with a microscope the micro picture of the micro dashilar :) in the meantime emilson is filling the tubes with seeds. this afternoon the kids took all of them but they said that they will take the seeds to their grand parents. yeah right ;)

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BJDW day#8

today morning was time to rest a bit and walking on dashilar. it’s a amazing place, full of life and makers. sorry but no pictures today, made all of them with my eyes only :p

so 20:00, the party starts and here we goooo :) finally our mojitos farm on weels in beijing!!

if you are arround please come and join us ;)

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BJDW day#7

tomorrow is the official opening on bjdw. the exibitions will only open friday but tomorrow on the afternoon we’ll have the press and the openning party at dashilar’s market ;)

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pilar and william came to give a hand.

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23:30 and we are still putting seeds on the tubes but we have all the other parts of the exhibition ready :) tomorrow morning the plants arrive and we are done. what a week.. we worked hard but we made it!!! tomorrow let’s celebrate!!!!

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last note on the building were we have the appartment. our neighbours don’t know what is a trash can and every night we arrive home there is mixed trash all over the hall and corridor. they just open the door and trough away. can be a tv a ipad box or the rest of someone’s dinner, you open the door kick the trash, close the door and by magical it desapears. now imagine a hole city like this ;(

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BJDW day#6

funny no? also important recicling organisms and proteins provider. this is life in dashilar :)

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and today we continue with the table farm.

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william came a gave a help ;)

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ok 22:30 the table is ready and we’ll go have dinner with the rest of the bcn crew at the bcn house.

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BJDW day#5

today we start building the table farm.
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and we also started to prepare the bike. yeah!! the bike for our mojitos farm :)

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mei mei is writing on the floor the list of things that must be fixed and negociating the prices ;) tks mei mei, without your help this would take more time and more money :p

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ingenious bikes.. very robust, electricaly prepeared (see the second gear on the left?) and you can put a ton over it. a perfect veicule for our mojitos farm :D

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BJDW day#3

we are not the only ones building :) this is a typical construction structure of a hutong house. nice to see almost all renewal materials and low impact materials such as the briks they will use to raise the walls.

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great meal pilar! tks ;)

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so after running some errants and draw a bit more, today we’ll start building the table kitchen.

since this is an exhibition all objects will have a lable. here is her’s:

composting kitchen table cc-by-nc-sa design by hernani based on the artwork of agronautas.org, raumlabor.net and mazetas.coop

This table mixes a recovering water system, a pre-composting system (bokashi) and a food preparation table. Bokashi composting is a process in which organic wastes and leftovers can be anaerobically converted on ready-to-use fertilizer, using wood dust, wheat brans, or other mediums containing previously grown bacteria. It is specially suitable for urban farmers since it takes only 2 weeks to have the compost done, besides being safe and convenient, as it does not attract bugs and is odor free. Unlike more conventional composting systems bokashi systems can break down heavier items like meat, fish or cheese. Once the fermentation has completed you can add the scraps to a worm bin or bury them directly in the soil.

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what’s the size of a chinese table and bench? let’s ask a neighbor

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we also start cutting woods for our seedbank

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ps: check barcelona in beijing blog for news ;)

BJDW day#2

pilar join us on this first day of cleaning and building.

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last note on materials. see this screws? we had 1 box (500) of them but the material was so low quality that when we try to screw them they just bend.. tomorrow we need to get better ones.. aparently torx heads is not very common here so let’s see what we can get ;)

BJDW day#1

ok we are in beijing again :)

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next weeks are full of activities: first we’ll start a 2 week workshop to build together our exhibition. the idea is that people can enter inside a house and visualize what tools do they need to sustain urban agriculture on their home. we started to planning this 2 months ago so now we have almost all the materials and tools needed but also a small community of 8 people willing to join this build together workshop. and we’ll start tomorrow with a tour on the neighborhood get screws and reclaiming materials such has wood, containers and home appliances.
we made already a draft of what we need to build and draw.

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we’ll document our process, has always, but posting will be erratic since in china we can not easily access to our blog.. wunther why..
if you are around join us, we’ll have fun, make things together and eat delicious food :) also guilherme and emilson came with me so caipirinhas and good music are guaranteed ;) by the way, we plan to put our mojitos farm on action. check the beijing design week program to see where we are and come and get a free mojito, caipirinha or a delicious chinese tea :p
so let’s get to work we need woods ;)

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mei mei, our producer :) dealing with prices.. here things never have a price, you must always negotiate.

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after we got the woods that were missing we when to visit the neighborhood were we are working and visit a special friend, lin lin. she and her team have a beautiful space just in the middle os dashilar. it’s called re-up and since is so close to our workspace we’ll also make some activities here:) great place tks lin lin ;)

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and now our place. this is how we found it:

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2014 beijing design week

recently the refarm group of barcelona was invited to participate on the beijing design week by the barcelona 2014 BJDW guest city program. we are going to make a showcase of our tools for urban farmers and make several DIY and DIT workshops.

the idea is to implement, on an existing house, the cicles of nutrients, water and energy along with farm structures and electronic tools that allow in-house food production. three of our members (hernani, emilson and guilherme, will fly from 15 september to 5 of octuber.

stay tunned, next week we’ll open a call for colaborators to help us on the building process of this exhibition.

more news soon, but if you are on the area please join us, we need you ;)

集市 / Country Fair

today we (the brand new re:farm beijing group) meet at the 3rd beijing farmers market organized by the Country Fair Team. quite an experience for me since the barrier of the language makes so hard to have a fluid talk. luckily vivian was there and help me (tks vivian;)

despise the great food and strange vegetables my interest on this farmers market is (as always) how can improve re:farm tools to address farmers and consumers concerns. the bridge between food and people is huge and I really think that re:farm tools are here to make this distance shorter and the journey of food to our table a pleasant walk.

the problems that farmers and consumers have in beijing are more or less common to other cities:

on the consumers side we have: the concerning about food safety, the price, the availability of vegetables and the almost inexistent relation with nature.

on the producers side we have: geographic and seasons constrains, sustainability technical support, seeds, connecting with the consumer, transportation, money to begin a season, pests and soil quality.

one of the best systems that I’ve been leaning about since I’ve started this project are the csa systems but there are no hardware or software tools for them. that’s why we are here and we are fully committed to build them ;)

day#5 at TASML

I’m a bit tired now.. been debugging all night and this is still not working..

but, let’s go by parts:

physically the farms are ready to receive our plants. we have chosen 2 chinese dishes from the gigantic asian gastronomy.

the scarecrow looks amazing and all the sensors are in their position.

the bad news comes from the electronics. I’ve found some errors. they are my errors and the pcb factory didn’t saw them also. see the pink lines?

I didn’t saw them… they represent unrouted connections. not a big deal but I had to make some jumpers

dirty job I know. but if only this works I’ll be happy. but it’s still not working and I don’t have a F.. idea what’s wrong.. need more equipment and a electronic engineer ASAP. tian li says that he has a friend that could help us. let’s give this and myself a couple days of rest.

so.. it seems that today is not the last day of this workshop :) more news soon.

day#4 at TASML

building electronics.

everyone made soldering today. we have prepared 2 boards and now comes the hard part: debugging :)

we have also made the watering system for the 2 farms. we didn’t bought tube since we found a big ethernet cable. we are gonna use the wires to connect sensors and the water pumps to the board. we used the external tube to make the watering system. recycling and low budget are our guidelines ;)

we have finished earlier today and we were able to wire one board and made one quick test. but it’s not working.. it never works at the first shot :p I’ll take this home to see if I can see what the problem(s) is. tomorrow is the last day of the workshop.

day#3 at TASML

building farms,

building the scarecrow,

and get soil.

this soil came by the hands of michael and emi (remember the little donkey farm?) yep beijing is a huge city but as always great minds think alike :p and on my 2nd day in beijing I’ve meet emi, michael and elaine from homeshop. emi as been organizing the Beijing Farmers Market. next sunday it’s the 3rd edition, luckily I’m here :)

back to the workshop, tomorrow we start the electronics :D I’m really eager to build this board, not that they are very different from the previous versions but I’ve rearranged the position of all components and now we have a more integrated board.

I’ve added a ICSP connector so no more taking the chip to burn a new bootloader and I’ve also add a connector socket to booth boards, the on vacations and on the sofa so it could be easier to send code to the Atmega without having the xbees and last but not the least the voltage regulators and the tip120 are now flattened and not so exposed to breaking during the manipulation.

day#2 at TASML

in the morning we went to buy some electronics. amazing place this zhongfa market :p

then we spend the day knowing each other, sharing knowledge, speaking about everything green related, building the farms and getting some more materials

we even started a mini composter, a fundamental piece on the urban farm scenario. what would be of us if the worms didn’t give us a hand (or a bite:) on closing the cycle ??

day#1 at TASML

this is always one of the funniest days of the workshops :) the day we scavenge for materials on the surroundings. after spending the morning presenting re:farm and all the sciences involved we went deep in the eco-design principles and question everything that we fond if it could be edible for our farms or not. check out our flickr account. we were very lucky.. despise the general skepticism and the low temperatures (-6ºC) we fond great materials :) check out this baskets

made of bamboo, clean, no paints or strange stuff attached. normally used to throw trash!!

now that we have our farm container (organic and breathable) we still need more stuff.

we need to build a scarecrow, find water pumps, tube, chopsticks, a water reservoir and good soil.

see you tomorrow ;)

flying beijing

ops!! here I am pumping my ecological footprint over mongolia ;(

in 2 days I’ll start the re:farm workshop at Tsinghua University Art and Science Research Center Media Laboratory. the workshop is fully booked but if you are around beijing feel free to come, there is always room for one more at the table ;)

preparing beijing

next january I’ll fly to beijing to give a refarm workshop at tsinghua university. every time we make a new workshop in a new city we make new boards and research that’s place gastronomy, vegetables and the state of urban farming. beijing has a lot to share with us. you can imagine their giant edible biodiversity and since you are here, check also this steep on beijing sustainability. looking forward the meet tsinghua students and let my belly be guided by them :)