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 wiki
today we made brain storming to decide the final design of the farm. many things are involved: sun location all year round, water location, how to keep everyone happy?
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 ;)
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.
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.
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 ;)
today we meet to start build the farm containers. this is our lunch on saturday :)
we started early preparing the base of the farm container.
and then move along cuting woods, take apart pallets and making weels. here you find a link of the farm container in our wiki.
first prototype finished. see you tomorrow ;)
the idea is to start a group of urban composting, you know, we need to start making food for the vegetables :p
here some photos of the firsts gatherings.
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 ;)
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 ;)
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 ;)
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 :)
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 ;)
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. :)
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:
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 :)
The 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.
The 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.
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!
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.
Last 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! :)
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 :)
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.
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 ;)
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
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
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
and since today we also celebrate that sebas will be on costa rica for 2 months wen, prepared a goodbye-see-you-soon song ;)
Soil Chromatography is an incredibly interesting way to visualise our soil and the biological processes that are occurring within it. For me, it is also the point where science and art intersect.
You’ll be able to read all about the how and the why of Chromatography in the Manual on Soil testing that we are producing at the #LabICMx but I thought I’d share some of the photos from the day.
Preparing the chromatography paper
Preparing the Silver Nitrate Solution
A soil picture forming, 1 hour after placing the filter paper and wick in the soil solution.
A soil picture, 15 hours after placing the filter paper and wick in the soil solution.
I can’t wait to try this technique with many different types of soil and other things like vegetables and foods… Art and science… Amazing!
Today we headed out to do our field work with the Urban Lab at Boca del Rio. In all we collected samples from 4 different sites.
Site 1 was visit to a kids daycare centre where in the near future a veggie garden will be installed.
The house of Santiago’s mum was the site of our 2nd visit. They have a lovely 2 hectares with dogs, chickens, ducks, pigs and a large veggie garden. And would you believe it, the family is from Catalunya! As they say, the world is a tissue… (or is that only in Spanish???)
We then headed back to the lab to take some samples from the land there before riding bikes provided by the Boca del Rio council to take some samples from the beach.
All in all a great day out in the field (much nicer than being in the office!!!) and a huge thanks to Alejandra, Alexandro and Santiago from the Laboratorio Urbano and Citycultores for being our guides for the day!
First real day of work today… Good to have a clear idea of what we are going to be doing in the next 2 weeks, to bring out all the doubts, have a resolution to the doubts, have more doubts arise and more solutions… that for me is what this lab is all about, a group of people from different backgrounds coming together and working together on a singular project, each person with their expertise bringing up more questions and then coming up with the answers themselves.
Today we defined what the objectives for the next 10 days will be. Who is going to be doing what. Brainstorming. What things can we add to the project, what things should we take out. Debating. Defining. Clarifying.
We have Tania, Lucia and Marcos working on the programming of the APP and Questionnaire as well as looking at different options for mapping.
Bris and Daniela are looking at plants as bioindicators/context indicators.
Karla and Alaide researching traditional and DIY soil tests.
Jorge is our chemical genius and he’s preparing everything for our chromatography tests that hopefully we’ll get done on Thursday.
It is a relief to be started, to have our goals set and to know what we are working towards.
Tomorrow we’ll continue with the work we started today, really define what tests we are going to do when we visit a future urban farm on Wednesday with the lovely folks from the Laboratorio Urbano Boca del Rio.