1st step towards a lactobacillus culture

After 12 days in a cool and dark place, my first serum ever made looks like this: 2014-04-22_23-05-28_66 Basically at the bottom some sediment, the serum (dissolved starch) in the middle, and on top a layer of some scum. So this is the result of washing one part of rice with one part of water, and leaving about one part of head-space (with air). After some shaking I drained the (kind of milky) water, kept it in these two jars, and made some nice ‘nasi campur’ of the rice :)

day#4 workshop @ iaac

today some of IaaC students went for some short vacations so we went to visit a place they already know. valldaura.


we went walking from mundet metro station. ~1h climbing collserola park

valldaura walking path

we were welcomed with open harms and dirty hands by nuria ;)

after a short visit to the main building, green fab lab, woodshop, the kitchen and the property we started the preparation of one of the most important tools for a urban farmer. well for every urban , I would say, since you can include here cats and gods :p the bokashi system.

first we need to make a starch base. we used rice and shake it with water. 1 clean jam glass + ⅓ of rice +⅓ of water + ⅓ of air. shake it, take the rice. leave the jam glass lousy closed (must breath) for 15 days in a dark, ventilated and fresh place.

bokashi step1

we were supposed to cook the rice, but since silvia was already cooking for some workers we were invited to join the same table :) a great pasta with ginger!! we here also eating an omolette so we gave our rice to the chicken :p

next week we have holidays. the right time to let the rice milk work for us ;)


day#3 workshop @ iaac

under intensive rain we went visit a old friend, juan carullas.
IMG_9836 - 2014-04-03 at 11-01-38
juan is probably the oldest urban farmer guru in barcelona. he has been digging his terrace for the last 30 years!! his farm is beautiful, super dense, full of mini-water reservoirs (5000L in 5L water bottles!! + 7000L on bigger tanks) with trees and season crops.
Screen Shot 2014-04-03 at 23.59.33
he collects organic material from neighbors and supermarkets, compost everything and doesn’t add anything else. no fertilizers, no poisons, no moon nor biodynamic alignments. old school farming were every season he adapts and transforms to learn and experiment. you don’t tell him about companion planting he found it by doing. amazing how 80m2 can be enough to learn about, your hole life..
tks juan for keep this work without stoping all this years. we know now that this make sense but 30 years ago you were sailing alone. tks juan tks for sharing ;)

after this visit to the oldest urban farm of barcelona we went cooking :) that’s right!! for now on we’ll cook our meals in IaaC :D why? cause it makes sense, cause is expensive to eat good food in barcelona, cause cooking is a tool and has a lot of technology involved, cause we like to eat and share knowledge, cause friends always share the same table.
IMG_9843 - 2014-04-03 at 14-20-22
me and nia opened the menu today. we made pizza from the beginning. 400g of flour, 2 soup spoons of olive oil, water and salt. mix everything until you have a smooth ball that doesn’t stick in your hands. cut onions, tomatoes and garlic and slowly cook everything until you make a dense sauce. if needed improvise a shredder :)
IMG_9847 - 2014-04-03 at 14-35-01
cover with leftovers and cheese. 15mins of oven and you are ready to hear hungry mouths saying it’s the best pizza they have ever tasted :p

pizza pictures not found.. I wunder why..

day#2 workshop @ iaac

ops! sorry about the pic ;) does anyone have a better one?

photo 1

today we had mathew in the workshop. mathew is not a normal agronomist, he practice organic urban agriculture but he is not fundamentalist, he travels a lot, he’s friend of rats and cats albeit everyone has his place in the ecosystem :p mathew has great experience, hands on, urban farming. he saw many different types of farms, structures, systems and he just gave us a amazing lecture!! tks mat ;)
them we prepare the material to start our first watering system.
next week we’ll start cooking for ourselves!! we have a nice kitchen here in IaaC and everyone is from a different part of the planet. what a great opportunity to mix season vegetables, gastronomy, cooking technology and team building. everyone is invited to cook and eat with us. just send me a email and we squeeze you in ;)

day#1 workshop @ iaac

suncalc iaac 2014-03-18

first day of the workshop here in iaac. after a short presentation about me and the refarmthecity project everyone introduce themselfs and we went to the roof top to start feeling the place.


here we will built together a big table than can sustain plant growth 365d/y. there are still many questions unanswered, who is going the use this farm? what use will it have? what maintenance will it need? what materials? where we get them? we are just at the beginning :p then we took a walk and visit some urban farms in barcelona.

first stop: l’hort del furat


there we meet mathew and he told us the big story behind this small farm.

then we went to the public urban farm


of raval (every district has one) where a kind man told us about the rules, the soil, the bugs, the litter and the robberies (tools not vegetables!!) l’hort del chino (was closed) and we went eating together in a classic small restaurant were season food comes from the local market. cheap also, a plus ;)

next week same time same place different talk different gastronomy.

seed knowledge

just got this today on my mail box.

IMG_9376Etienne Delprat last year asked us if we could have a talk. he talked with many great people and here is his work. tks Etienne ;)

winter update

it’s cold out there and the rain hasn’t visit us that much.. my plants are thirsty.. the winter and the wind help on drying the soil. my farm is on the roof and I use recycled water from the bath to watering. hard to synchronize personal hygiene with farm needs:p I feel I’m in the limbo of a mediterranean and an arid mediterranean clima. it’s a feel but I would prefer to sustain this by an observation of data of my farm’s season dataset. this is also why I started this project :p this and the idea that you can build you won tools, built together bigger farms, share seeds, knowledge and good meals. this have been our goals since 2008. we are now taking a bid steep. we have matured the technology, identified needs and problems, research in 14 different cities, 10 different countries, meet farmers, bright people, made friends, share concerns and objectives with different institutions from art and technology centers, to universities and local communities. we think we are now ready to bring this tools to a more wither audience. we got all lines of work have divided in 3 kits and software.

first kit: re:farm kids, the kids board his a work started on laboral, that then was extended to a workshop format with susanna tesconi and loida gil.

second kit: re:farm on mini vacations board has this idea that you can leave you farm alone. no need to watering, the board make than for you and you can check on you mobile if the farm is ok or what was the max/min temp/humd today. the price and the footprint must be mini.

third kit: re:farm@IAAC, a shield that is the beginning of a great partnership between IAAC and the re:farm bcn node.

to have this boards available more people at a lower price we need to produce more than 10-20. we need to go 150-500. so we will go global crowd funding [jump] :) we will start here in europe and brasil and next season if everything goes smooth we go further. it’s a big step but hopefully i’m not alone on this :) Alberto, Jordi and Francesc from CIMNE, Leonardo from UFRRJ, Nuria, Ana, Tomaz from IAAC, Marcos and Laura from Medialab_Prado, Miguel and Alex from Hangar, Andreu and Juan RFTCBCN, Surian RFTHRJ, Olga and Pere L’Hort del Circ and Pedro from Homem Bala, have embraced this project. also welcome Guilherme and Emilson, they recently join the team and are making practices for their master thesis in the university of Nantes. Guilherme will work on the DB of vegetables and care. Emilson on the multilayer guts of our boards and sensors. it’s a growing team and you are more then invited to join us.

we are now preparing the materials for the crowd funding. many things to coordinate and account. we will spend february and march on this and expect to open the funding on 1 of april. funny no? hihihi if we are successful (cross fingers but please spread the word) we plan to start production middle may, first boards middle june, july until september local workshops and boards delivery.

we’ll keep you update ;)

Can Roger + Juan’s Introduction

logo can roger RGB alta horiz


Hello everybody!

My name is Juan, I’m a young architect with knowledge and interests on sustainability, energy efficiency and other ways of practicing and understanding Architecture: light, temporary, community involved and environmentally responsible. I’m currently working on a bunch of different projects around Barcelona, related to Urban Farming, Permaculture and City Resilience, and I’ve been involved with the Can Roger project and ReFarm BCN for a few months already.

Can Roger is an association and a physical space located in Barcelona, at Carrer Roger de Flor 217, three city blocks away from Gaudi’s Sagrada Familia. Right now, we have an empty urban lot of 1776 square meters leased for three years by the municipality of Barcelona, via the Urban Voids program. ReFarm BCN (alongside six other entities from the neighborhood) is going to transform this empty lot into a blooming, dynamic, participatory and open space, with a social diner, an urban farm and art walls. (represented in the wonderful logo designed by Hernani)

Tomorrow we have a meeting and next week we’re going to start bringing materials to the site, we’ll keep you posted.

talk with students about ocean contamination and ecodesign


today I gave a talk to the students of Visual Comunication and Design in the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro. I started with this article and then show pictures of cris jordan. them I moved to ecodesign telling my personal evolution has a designer with stories were I found trash designed by me and how I now approach to design with considerations for the environmental impacts during the lifecycle of a product. Rio de Janeiro, has all the big cities, still make today the worst examples on how our daily live cause huge damage to other species that we share the same round planet.

trash in rio de janeiro




today I when visit UFRRJ. prof Leonardo Medici was there waiting for me and we spend all day together.

instituto de agronomia

We have been in contact by email the last 6 months and today I finally could travel to Seropédica and visit all the work of Leonardo and his team. we visit “lab-farms” exchange knowledge, stories, and experiences. we talked about the refarm technologies and how they could contribute to their studies. will continue to work together so expect news soon from this partnership ;)

estufa02UFRRJ estufa01UFRRJ

interactivos? 2013 resume

you know.. good things always reach a end.. this were 2 amazing weeks were we came to make one thing and finished making 4 :)

mesa trabalho interactivos13

for the ones who never printed on a 3D printer and think it seems so easy, you have no idea.. and the press have talk and talk but rarely puts the hands on a printer. ars has the most honest press cover I’ve saw. so let’s start from the beginning. we came here to make a low power faucet that could be printed. after some initial research we found many models on thingiverse that could be adapted to our needs. we give up the designs that flows water inside cause it’s impossible to have precise measures on a 3D printed object and then impossible to water seal any mechanism so we went to another approach: let’s print a mechanism that can close and open a real faucet. with this approach we could implement the watering system on virtually any faucet. we also saw that printing gears was delicate and that means we need to print big gears to compensate the small errors. in the meantime with so many starts and stops on the 3D printer other projects popped from those 20 amazing brains that eat, work, drink, laugh and slipped together for 16 days. the first that came was the mini hydraulic ram. the idea came from elflin and it’s a recurring problem in our designer’s heads: how to pump water from the bathtub to the toilet on a old bathroom? we produce many hand draws but we didn’t finished a complete 3D model only the mini water valves. magrão documented the process here on the nuvem’s wiki

one day a new 3D printer came. we didn’t had place for her so we built a table :) this was our project #3


we also debate and advanced a bit more on the electronic board “mini vacations” with thiago. in a couple of weeks we’ll send them to the press. 3 packs: one to barcelona, one to san francisco and other to rio de janeiro. surian will get the boards in rio so if you what one ask him :) surian was also involved on the next project the #5: monitoring of the composter built by joaquim. surian documented everything here.

well “galera” (bruno, chintia, julia) I think it was the best and the most immerse interactivos? that I ever have been.. I’m sure that medialab_prado is proud of you and how you worked the open model of interactivos workshops ;) congratulations!!

I will not mention my collaborators mainly because everyone collaborate with all the projects. I made new friends, laugh all the time, spend a great time surrounded with exuberant nature and brilliant humans ;)

we will continue our development on the 3D printed e-faucet and the other projects. expect more news soon.

stay happy, people in RJ can teach you that ;)

interactivos update

do no were to start :) maybe for the morning face washing on the river that flows on nuvem..


then the breakfast

morning-breakfast morning meeting


and here a visual resume of the last days.

this is the faucet that we need to control:


we have started from designing valves that can be made in 3D print



then we design a mechanism that can be adapted to the faucet. this one is moved by a servo motor.


and then we printed :)


we will continue this development for the next 9 days. you can check the wiki of nuvem for a day by day report. more news soon ;)


landing on rio

this is my bag content :) some electronic materials and tools and also some materials for watering systems.


today I went shopping to get some materials to have the full kit of the UFRRG watering system. we will build this setup on the nuvem to test the e-faucet that we will draw and test.



36R. pressure switch 30R and the ceramic filter 6R.

then I went with cinthia and alejandra to the university.


we went to visit the nano- art and new organisms center of the UFRJ in fundão. meet Malu and her students. tks Malu for receiving us ;)


in nano we pic the 3D printer that we are using the next 3 weeks. this 3D printer was build by marcos and it’s his personal printer. tks marlus ;)



then we went to nuvem, 4h of madness traffic to get out of rio, rain, fog but finally we arrived :) julia and vishwa ram had some soup prepared and prepared some hot tapioca pancakes.. delicious all ;)


our first meeting of interacivos. lots of new people all wiling to take the proposals to a good end.

ok guys, stay tuned I’m going to sleep now.. on the cloud (nuvem) :p

doors open @ l’hort del circ


today we open the circu’s farm to the public. from 19h to 22h we had music, drinks and talked with everyone interested on this particulary urban farm. it took us 2 years and the contribution of many people on design, building structures, maintain things alive and keep the place clean. it’s a just a joy looking to the green spot we have created over the ruins of a roman circus ;) thanks everyone that stoped by and a special thanks to all of you who made this urban farm possible.


Screen Shot 2013-08-12 at 11.53.38 AM

uau!! 2 lines that made us jump of joy :) so next september you will find us in brasil developing a electronic faucet/valve that can be made in a 3D printer. here you can see our proposal.

I’ll keep you posted on the developments here on the blog and on the wiki. please if you want to contribute feel free. the e-valve is a complex project so every help is welcome ;)

nas nuvens


creio que é o primeiro post que escrevo em português :) ontem apresentámos a nossa proposta para uma residência artística na nuvem.tk a ideia era formalizar a nossa colaboração com a UFRRJ no desenvolvimento do sistema de rega de baixo custo, conhecer a nuvem e poder contribuir para um projecto que busca uma harmonia entre humanos e biosfera e obviamente hihihi poder voltar a participar num interactivos! trabalhar com gente nova e que sabe mais de “outras coisas” :) a nossa proposta é por um lado ligar o sistema de rega a uma placa de refarm para que possamos recolher dados e enviar-los aos nossos servidores e por outro lado desenvolver componentes específicos (uma torneira) de codigo aberto.

olhando para o sistema UFRRJ há 3 componentes que são difíceis de encontrar globalmente ou que diferem radicalmente de cidade em cidade. outros não :) por exemplo o presostato é um componente global. em todas as cidades que fomos sempre encontrámos máquinas de lavar a roupa donde era possível retirar o presostato e de regular os mecanismos internos para que funcione com a pressão requerida 1KPa. no caso da electro-valvula/torneira/mecanismo-de-fechar-um-circuito-de-agua não conseguimos encontrar uma fonte regular deste componente nas cidades. primeiro porque genética de refarm: como fazemos oficinas não trabalhamos com altas voltagens e as valvulas que mais encontramos são as das maquinas de lavar roupa/louça. estas são todas a 110-220V ac. a voltagem comportável para trabalhar com todas as idades é entre 3-5V dc.

segundo porque não encontramos frequentemente electro-valvulas de baixa voltagem.. há umas numas impressoras profissionais, outras numas máquinas de café, outras na nautica, mas não é um componente comum a nivel global. esta é a nossa proposta concreta para a nuvem, desenvolver uma “e-torneira” para ser reproduzida localmente com uma impressora 3D.

o outro componente intrigante é o sensor de cerâmica. este componente tem muitos desafios pela frente antes de chegar a ser um objecto que possa ser reproduzido segundo as matérias primas disponíveis nas cidades.

só 5 propostas serão aceites, cruzem dedos :)

mini vacations board

yesterday martin hug just send us this


it’s our new mini vacations board V3. the mini is meant to control the UFRRJ watering system, collect/store data and has an optional wireless data socket to upload data or change configurations.

contents: ATMEGA328, EEPROM serial 256K, usb port, FTDI, wifly, 3V rele, Li-Ion battery.

we’ll are making 10 of them and we need 10 developers that are willing to take one and start debugging :) we will realease them free you just have to tell us why you want it and figure out a transportation solution from barcelona to you :p




refarmthecity barcelona

today a new non profit organisation is born :)

refarm bcn will give support to all the projects in the city and has a hub for urban farmers. if you live in bcn stay tuned and join our activities in can roger or hangar.

spring update 2013

on the other day someone said, today the spring started officially. I look at the window and saw the vine as skinny as yesterday. and I though.. not here.. the spring update post will have to wait :) today yes, look at this picture

spring update 2013
today, here, officially, the spring started. and this specific point is important that you be aware of it. it controls your farm calendar :)
this spring update brings the winter work. we have been working on our wiki and fill her with structure and content. the idea is having a database of tools and experiences that can help a urban farmer to start. texts, references, 3D models, urban farm plans and diagrams. the next step will be filling with more DIY/DIT instructions and open to public participation.
the second step will be connect this wiki with the real objects and then learn with time. understand which models and tools work better, last longer, saves energy and materials.
we’ll soon have our most powerful board available. we have team up with HANGAR, MID, IACC and his fablab :) we are now in hangar developing the refarmthecity shield for the new smarcitizen board. it’s a pleasure to work with great institutions and great people that are neighbors and friends ;)
also in hangar we are starting new workshops. on thursdays you are more then welcome to come and build/debuilt together something ;)
still in barcelona our next project will start in 2 weeks. can roger. a social cantina, a farm and a art hub. the project was approved by the city council and the next 3 years vegetables and certainly other things will grow ;) you can check refarmthecity development here
ok, that’s all for now. hope that you find good farm activities this spring. we’ll do ;)

The Internet of Vegs (IoV)

At this point, we’ve already worked for a couple of weeks on this new board and things start coming up together. From a communications perspective, I’m really interesting in designing how this new brand boards will communicate with users in a very easy and bidirectional way. I mean, I don’t only want to know what’s going on with my farm, but I also want to tell my boards what I need them to do at my place. Obviously, for doing so, I first need tehm to tell me if everything is ok and, more important, alert me if things are getting bad.

Miguel, Svetlana and Hernani at Hangar, designing the new board

Miguel, Svetlana and Hernani at Hangar, designing the new board

Together with Miguel, we are right now at this stage, asking our boards what is happening in their world, the vegs world. The first parameter we are testing is their battery level and they are doing good. They can keep us posted, wherever they are, and even ask our server to send us an email if they are about to die. That’s something.

can roger

last week we were invited to join other institutions and propose a project toguether for one of the 17 empty lots that the city council of barcelona has set “free” for on public management.

our farms will only be a small part of the entire project but all the other components fit so well that the final proposal is very holistic. has you know spain is having a tremendous impact on her economy and this impact is not equally shared by the entire population. the cases on hunger and starvation were never this high during peace time.

the proposal has a social dining for 100 persons, a playground for kids, a multifunction for cultural activities and of course urban farms.

for now it’s just a proposal and next april we’ll know the results. cross fingers ;)


january update

ok. this is not perfect but it’s a middle term :) we finally got online. I’ve been the last days working with andreu recovering the databases of our blog. 190 articles that covers all the process of the refarmthecity project. I still must dig the pictures.. they wore not on the bd and if they were they would be mixed with all the propaganda that someone injected on the wiki. you know the normal stuff, viagra, iraq war, nudes and so on..