II picnic organic

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.

IMG_6909

today we installed a automatic watering system in one farm container

IMG_6925 IMG_6926

see you next month ;)

do it together

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 ;)

IMG_6823

IMG_6814

IMG_6817

IMG_6820

friendly table design and raw materials

here is the first final design of the farm tables.

IMG_6739

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 ;)

IMG_6806 IMG_6807 IMG_6808

 

new composters arrive

today the tarragona city council brought to us 4 trash containers that are broken. they are perfect for us, we cover all the bottom holes, build a wood base that holds the trash and drains the liquids, build a structure that elevates the container so we can put a tube for leaching collection and turn the composter more easily. here a link to our wikiIMG_6798 IMG_6800 IMG_6801

day one: prepare composters

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 ;)

IMG_6520 IMG_6522

from A to B

today is our last day in hort del circ. the city council wants to dig the roman ruins that are under the farm so we must leave. but one finish and another starts :p we are taking all the soil and some farm structures to taula amiga’s farm.

IMG_6503 IMG_6504 IMG_6505 IMG_6506 IMG_6507

l’hort taula amiga

general view 1

this is a project that we have been cooking for some time now. we manage to involve 3 institutions and give some meaning to this farm. the idea is to engage neighbors and users from taula amiga social cantina to produce their own vegetables. a farm has a tool just like we see it :p

the city council gave the allotment. no water, no electricity, no direct sun. design and biology challenges are all there :)

horticulture school of reus will give us the local approach. local seeds, small workshops of calendars and farm management, organic farm procedures and will keep an “eye” over the new year.

and taula amiga: we first meet fundacio formacio i treball through another workshop in barcelona. we needed washing machines, they didn’t have but in between we made a visit to their headquarters and we meet their social cantina project called taula amiga (friendliest table. in catalan sounds better:) every one in this cantina is involved in some kind of integration/formation work and the farm is meant to them. we will start with 10 families and some neighbors the design and the construction but first and until the spring of 2016 we are having horticulture classes and start a community composting.

general view 4

construction fase 5

espai quiro farm containers II

 

uau, great day today!! we took apart pallets, cut some of them on strategic places, add screws , prepare some wood wheels and you get yourself a nice farm container :) all made with recovered materials from the surroundings.

next steppes will be building some more (will be dependent of the local-analog-crowfunding-campain that we are setting up:) and then apply our automatic watering system also made with urban trash ;)

will keep you posted :p IMG_6084 IMG_6086 IMG_6088

12105887_1670047786544738_7777709626416575456_n

12065592_1670342043181979_7687000663912934845_n 12112348_1670342089848641_5330445967922526902_n 12140152_1670471319835718_1082472477726248950_o

IMG_6172

espai quiro farm containers I

today we meet to start build the farm containers. this is our lunch on saturday :)

IMG_6089

we started early preparing the base of the farm container.

IMG_6086

and then move along cuting woods, take apart pallets and making weels. here you find a link of the farm container in our wiki.

IMG_6079

IMG_6078first prototype finished. see you tomorrow ;)
IMG_6090

composting at espai quiro

the idea is to start a group of urban composting, you know, we need to start making food for the vegetables :p

to start we’ll try 2 diferrent systems: a variation of berkley’s hotcomposting method and my friends Hermetia illucens 

for the hermetia illucens we will build composters from some old trash cans the the city council kindly gave to us. we’ll collect the leachate on a 1,5L pet bottle.

here some photos of the firsts gatherings.

IMG_5252 IMG_5838 IMG_5836 IMG_5834 IMG_5833 IMG_5262 IMG_5260 IMG_5257

espai quirò

back in april we made an open call in hangar to give a workshop. it did not go through cause we didn’t had enough people, but among the people who contact us was M.U.L.A. a beautiful collective project of house sitting, a DIT project made with both human and materials from the surroundings where old buildings are recovered by the people and supported by the proprietaries. we and MULA started to talk of making a workshop on the upper town and for us is great to have a project in this part of barcelona. MULA with other local entities are promoting the use of a vacant allotment where a old clinic (quirò) was taken down. they have an agreement with the city council for 2 years. it’s 3000m2 and more or less half will be available for urban farming. since we can not use the soil we’ll built farm structures with wheels for urban mobility :) apart of building the essential structures: shadow, composers, farm structures, watering systems, a kitchen :) we’ll try to go further this time and one of the tools we will try to implement is the local cartography of raw materials to build soil. we need to select composter systems and recipes to start mapping the leftovers of restaurants, citizens and other specific ingredient to then make the schedule of collecting. some tricks we can made like for example make a dropbox only to egg shells or sea shells. you know.. not only the local gastronomy is deeply connected with different vegetables for different seasons, the compost you can make in a city is also connected like this: here people eat “tortillas” and sea food and this are excellent providers of minerals.

we are starting a local-analog-crowdfunding to this project. check here the poster duna made. we have 3 kinds of farm structures, a starting party with food included and other surprises for the supporters :p you can support this project on selected places, like pepi’s bar, where she will explain to you and in person all the great things about this initiative and if you have time you can also know a little bit more about the neighbor and the surrondings supported by honest food cooked by pepi’s husband and the espai quiro blog webmaster, antonio.

the first design-together starts next sunday. we’ll meet in espai quirò around 11h. see you there ;)

planta’t 2015

you know that we have been researching about urban soil for a while and one of the tools we have worked with is chromatography. next 7 june at the botanical garden of barcelona we will give  workshops with 2 variants of this separation technique: photo chromatography for soil samples and paper chromatography for leaves pigments separation. check the program here there are plenty of great activities ;)

fescamp 2015

this year we were invited by ciclica to give 2 workshops in fescamp. today I came with xavi to give our last workshop. have you ever been here? fescamp is a annual gathering that trough collaborative artistic practices promotes a critical reflection about the city of Sant Cugat del Vallès with focus on environment and sustainability.

we had a great workshop. many people interested in watering systems and e-trash recovering.

hope to see you there next year ;)

FesCamp15_9maig-v4.4_700

 

 

madrid medialab_prado workshop

yeah! this time you must run!! in 4 days we’ll be traveling to madrid to give a 6 day workshop and build together the medialab prado farms :) this workshop is free for you there are still a couple of available places!! run run to here :)

 

barcelona workshop open call and back home :)

has been 6 years and we now return to hangar.org after studying 15 different cities, different food, different tools and different trash. it’s good to be back home with a workshop program that’s the most comprehensive we’ve done so far. we also have other plans for the other days of the week so if you want to build together your next low budget automated food table just join us if you want to collaborate on the space building or on urban composting you are more then welcome ;)

 

 

Scraps-grown fruits n’ vegetables

I’ve recently came across again a habit i neglected for a while. Given its role as a good alternative to composting, besides relatively quick reap, growing food scraps can be fairly inexpensive, ludic and also prevents landfill saturation. There are lots of ordinary edibles we frequently buy that would easily grow on a sunny window sill, mostly, in water, pebbles or soil, as stated here. In order to accomplish that, you might want to know that starting food scraps out in water is often a helpful way to jumpstart a plant, until it establish itself and may be able to be transferred to some other substrate.

Here you go, nearly 1-2 days after i’ve cut this leek section, i would spot it growing again. :)

IMG_20150219_232206871

And voilà:

IMG_20150222_135853510

You would not need more than this that you see on the pic. Juste make sure you keep roots in contact with the water, and nature will do the rest. Five days later i already had a small sprout popping out; you can also see at the background a sprout of avocado (i’ve cut a section so you could see it from a better angle) i had previously caught in a Rio forest . As i stated, there are severall ones you could play along with, as ginger, green onions, lemon grass, potatoes, garlic, and so on.

You must want to notice that in order to grow organic, non-GMO vegetables at home, you will need to start with organic produces.

Good luck reducing your grocery bill ;)

________________________________

Worth a glance:

Earth911;

Black Thumb Gardener;

Ecotonix.

Getting to know the Wooden Pallets

After some information from Hernani which opened our eyes to the world of wooden pallets, we realized that we were too naive to think that wooden pallets are just some wooden structure..

Wooden pallets can be spotted very easily around the neighborhoods and even in the city of Barcelona. There are a lot of ‘excessive’ wooden pallets that are thrown out on the streets and in the trash.

As a good result wooden pallets are often reused to make new things and it is playing a huge role as a material in the SUFj farm at IaaC. However we have to be very cautious of the selection of wooden pallets to pick up as they will eventually be the home of a lot of plants/food. Some of the wooden pallets have gone through some treatments due to some regulations and some of the treatments involve adding additives which are not desirable for gardening purposes.

I went up to the rooftop and took some snaps of the labels that can be found on the wooden pallets that we previously collected which I’m gonna show below (which some other labels that we don’t have) together with some information that I gathered from the internet :)

 

SAM_3245The logo on the left side of this label is the most common print found. In the logo there writes ‘IPPC‘ which means ‘International Plant Protection Convention’. This indicates that the wood has been treated by approved measures but doesn’t necessarily mean chemically. If you can’t see an IPPC stamp, it is not recommended for reuse.

On the right side of the label writes ‘HT‘, which means ‘heat treated’. It is a treatment where the wood is heated to the minimum core temperature of the specific to the wood type. There are no chemicals involved in this process this means it’s safe!

The code on top of the HT indicates the country where the pallet was produced and the code of the production. For example ‘PT-1218’ means that it’s produced in Portugal with production code 1218.

 

SAM_3244The label ‘KD‘ means ‘kiln dried’. This treatment is used to reduce the moisture content of lumber in a controlled environment (a kiln, for example) to reduce warping. Used mainly in the wood furniture and flooring industries. However this treatment can be done in a variety of processes. which means it’s not guaranteed that it’s fully safe.

 

MB

If it is labeled ‘MB‘, which fortunately we didn’t pick up any, it means that the pallet was fumigated with methyl bromide, a toxic pesticide. Pallet makers are phasing out methyl bromide, but you may still see this mark on some older pallets. Not safe!

 

SAM_3249The label ‘DB‘ means that the wood was debarked before it’s used to make the pallet. so Phew! means it’s safe!

 

EUREPAL

There are also two pretty commonly seen labels – the ‘EUR‘ and ‘EPAL‘. This means that the pallet is produced in Europe. Europe does not allow chemical treatment but it is only guaranteed fully safe if it is only marked ‘EPAL’. ‘EUR’ is from the old system so you might still want to be careful with it. The best is to find some with the both stamps.

 

SAM_3253Last but not least! There are some pallets which are labeled with color depending on the company that produced them. Blue pallets are produced by pool CHEP; Red pallets by pool LPR; Brown pallets by pool IPP. It is not advised to use them specially for gardening use as you may find traces of formaldehyde and other resins used in the composite blocks.

 

There are other labels which I couldn’t find what they mean which I hope do not relate to any treatment of the pallets. If there is any other label that you would like to add please let me know in the comment below so that we can have a more complete list! :)

 

 

Sources:

http://en.lcn-pal.com/wooden-pallets/News/heat-treated-kiln-dried-same-thing-right-not-quite.aspx

http://www.instructables.com/id/How-to-determine-if-a-wood-pallet-is-safe-for-use/

http://www.instructables.com/id/PALLET-SAFETY/?utm_source=base&utm_medium=related-instructables&utm_campaign=related_test

http://www.1001pallets.com/pallet-safety/

MACBA lettuces

on the 12th of november I went with sebastian to give a small workshop about transforming e-trash in a automatic watering system. this workshop is inside a wider educational program made by opensystems to the macba museum.

we needed a small farm so that we could implement the watering system but the museum doesn’t have any farm or garden so we decided to design one, prepare all the pieces and build it together. this is the first drawing :)

IMG_0992 - 2014-12-08 at 10-15-54

so we need a structure that could be easy assembled and we had certain limitations: it must have wheels and it must fit on the museum elevators :)

so here are some pictures of the building process and at the end you have a pdf manual that we made to care and maintenance of the farm. you can also find documentation and the 3Dmodel on the wiki.

IMG_0384 - 2014-11-10 at 17-45-53 IMG_0388 - 2014-11-11 at 13-40-00 IMG_0391 - 2014-11-11 at 14-06-22 IMG_0395 - 2014-11-11 at 15-30-51 IMG_0399 - 2014-11-11 at 15-41-51 IMG_0407 - 2014-11-12 at 09-20-42 IMG_0413 - 2014-11-12 at 15-53-59 IMG_0647 - 2014-11-21 at 12-04-27IMG_2341 - 2015-02-03 at 15-23-47IMG_2344 - 2015-02-03 at 15-24-10IMG_2346 - 2015-02-03 at 15-26-40 IMG_0801 - 2014-11-28 at 13-05-27 IMG_0802 - 2014-11-28 at 13-16-12IMG_0813 - 2014-12-02 at 10-50-25 IMG_0816 - 2014-12-02 at 10-51-27 IMG_1016 - 2014-12-09 at 13-28-27 IMG_1017 - 2014-12-10 at 09-09-36 IMG_1041 - 2014-12-10 at 11-55-58 IMG_1849 - 2015-01-08 at 11-44-13 IMG_1853 - 2015-01-08 at 12-01-47 IMG_1859 - 2015-01-08 at 14-05-16 IMG_1862 - 2015-01-08 at 19-32-09 IMG_1957 - 2015-01-14 at 18-54-21 IMG_1972 - 2015-01-14 at 18-59-47 IMG_2098 - 2015-01-20 at 14-07-06 IMG_2100 - 2015-01-20 at 14-07-44 IMG_2123 - 2015-01-21 at 13-59-06manualMACBA[eng]

manualMACBA[cat]

refarmthecity wiki link

opensystems blog link

SUFj day#1

SUFj  (Sustainable Urban Food and the j stands for jardin) is a garden team of iaac’s students: Wen, Mar, Sebas, Remita to create a rooftop garden space as a productive learning platform. I’ll be coordinating and we’ll have gatherings and many activities all tuesdays from january to june. this activities can go from helping the construction of farm structures, design objects that improve the circles present: water, food, waste or you can have a drink, a tea, watch a documentary, enjoy of a small jazz concert or take a step and propose something you feel that’s fits :) ok the invitation is done we’ll wait for you ;)

visit l’hort del circ

once in a while we have people asking to visit the circus farm and today was one of those days :) gemma wanted to know more about the project, we gave a walk and talked a little about permaculture and urban farming. we also add time to clean a bit and take care of some hungry caterpillars :p

IMG_0973 IMG_0975 IMG_0976 IMG_0977 IMG_0978 IMG_0979 IMG_0980

iaac 2015

we’ve good news!! from january to june the SUFj project will development new collaborative works and social happenings for iaac’s rooftop garden. me, wen, mar and sebas will give more news soon but if you wanna join us you are more then welcome. we meet every tuesday from 10h30 > 17h~20h

IMG_0954

on our first meeting we talked about what we need to do, what we want to build and logistic details. wen today brought 2 surprises: the companion planting diagram of the plants we already have

IMG_0959

and since today we also celebrate that sebas will be on costa rica for 2 months wen, prepared a goodbye-see-you-soon song ;)

IMG_0965