/ permaculture

Looking back over June & July - frolicking around the place

I hope you are all well and healthy. June and July were busy months with some big projects significantly close to completion.

Heating Oven update

The heating oven is still broken. We have collected a total of €73.50, thanks for the kind donations. Now we have €9,926.50 to go. You can make your donation here. We really need to fix this issue latest by September to have enough time to test it before the heating season starts.

Renovations

cellar renovation on the verge of completion

The volunteers did a great job to complete this task. All the cement parts are now drying.

The stairs still need to go back in when the floor is dry and then eventually it can return back to it's storage purpose.

Here's a cool picture of this work.
basement

Dog gate in the vorbau

Since we like to keep the kitchen door open in summer we wanted to be able to do so without the dogs walking in the kitchen. The initial idea was to have this gate inside the kitchen door... however in the end it was done on the vorbau door.

image6

New showers & water station

We bought two new showers which were set up on pallettes and now we still have to do the base and the drain. A new water station is also being constructed in the yard.

shower

The hardest part of the job was actually digging the trench to put in the cold water pipe. Thank you to Ben, Maria, Adam, Franz and Jecka (and me) who helped to make this all in one weekend.

Franz continued the job with Veikko, Luiz and me. Finally we are able to use the shower with both cold and hot water. Luiz and Natalia will try to finish the handwashing station in the next week or so.

Windows restocked and repainting ongoing

All the outside windows around the house needed repainting. This is the kind of task that can only be done in the warm weather and so we took the opportunity with the warm sunny weather to get started. All windows taken off have been restocked, painted and now in the process of being rehinged. It's a labour intensive job and it is taking a long time but it will save the windows from rotting further with water damage during the rainy months. This task would not have been possible without the help of awesome volunteers including Jamie, Natalia, Tip & Meg, Barish, Balint and many others. The job is almost finished with the last few windows being done. This was for the main mill building... we still have to do some of the old mill windows and the rental house windows.

Compost toilets on the move

In the mandala garden we also moved the toilet on the next compost area. I also started some experimentation with increasing the moisture levels in the first compost pile to raise the temperature and facilitate compostation. More on this here - I will be updating the article with my findings as I go along.

We moved the second compost toilet that was in the yard on the zweistromland and set up 4 new smaller sized compost boxes. It is experimental and not quite finished yet but I hope it will be functional in the next days.

toilet

From the Garden to the pantry

rhubarb and strawberry syrup & compote

I harvested around 7kg of rhubarb and 1kg of strawberries and made compote, froze some rhubarb and berries and the rest was turned to syrup and jam. The syrup and jam were quickly consumed. The frozen bag of rhubarb is for events later on in the year for more syrup and drinks.

elderflower syrup

The volunteers collected flowers and I turned it to delicious syrup which we are now using for drinks. It is very refreshing, the perfect drink with some fresh mint from the herb garden.

pumpkin spread & onion schmalz (vegan)

We are coming to the end of last years pumpkins - there is still one left in the hackcenter. We chopped it up and I made a spread with it, with linseeds, onions and fresh thyme.

Vegan onion schmalz was also a success and will definitely make it again. If you want to make it at home you can check out the recipes on the wiki.

mirabelle jam

We had tons of mirabelles which Balint turned into jam, looking forward to enjoying this in the coming months.

A new bean trellis

Balint made a new been trellis in the garden after the first one was so successful we are excited to have a second one.

balinttrellis

Our lovely pets & farm animals

duck eggs hatched!

5 ducklings were all cute and running around, a new area was set up for them because the other ducks were being aggressive and then a few days later we lost all the ducklings probably to a marden or rats - they disappeared at night. Needless to say, I am not impressed. The chicken won't sit on the eggs anymore so I guess no new ducks this year after all. Now Kiwi the duck sits on a fresh batch of eggs, we'll see how many of those make it.

Rat control measures are being stepped up a notch as a result. Black is putting in his bit and catching as many as he can.

One male duck is suspected to have been eaten by the fox, at least it solves our issue with the male to female ratio being too high. The rest of the chickens and ducks are all fine and laying regulary. Fresh eggs here are really tasty, especially fried with garlic on home-made bread.

The dogs

Moomoo and Podha decided to have a fight whilst we were away and so Moomoo had some time recovering from his injuries, thankfully nothing serious but still €61 vet bill, antibiotic pills and cream for his swollen leg.

The vet recommended a change with the feeding routine to help address the issue with the aggression when it comes to Podha stealing Moomoo's food or worse not letting Moomoo eat at all which then makes Moomoo aggressive. We are trying it, so far so good. In truth we hadn't had a dog fight in many months and hopefully Moomoo will remember this one for a long time.

Podha is still eating volunteers on a regular basis, he says they are tastier after they have showered ^^.

Black is totally chilled sunbathing, sitting in the strawbale and hunting rats for sport.

Moomoo is his usual self chasing sticks and whining when he feels left out.

blackmoomoo

podha2

Cats

As chilled out as usual our lovely trio of cats continue to bring home shrews and mice, living the life, snoozing on the couch. They also have fun walking people to the compost toilet in the garden and jumping around in the garden beds to keep the mice population down.

catsres

Young coders summer camp

We had tons of fun with Ruben & Bela working on the automated irrigation system project. I am very proud of them both for the great work they put in it. We didn't just code though, you can check out our activities here.

ycsc2

ycsc1

Research

olive soap experiments

Franz had the idea to buy olive soap made from production leftovers, this arrived in flakes which then you can melt and dilute to make liquid soap.

exp #1 Diluted with water 10:1
feedback: too runny for washing the dishes and showering

exp #2 Diluted with water 5:1
feedback: it feels good to wash hands but not good to wash dishes, perfect for showering, foams up in hair which feels like "real" shampoo, smells a bit like old oil

I have enough sample left for one more experiment, I think I would split this in half and maybe 2 more varients.

Since the household feeling is that we like this soap we will buy some more of it and continue experimenting with it until we get it right or find something else that fits our needs and ideals.

The documentation for this research is on the wiki here:

Geodetic Solar Village / Construction research

We received an interesting project to be added to our research group. The geodetic solar buildings can be used for a variety of purposes including cosy seating spaces, greenhouses etc. If you are interested in this topic and would like to read more about you can do so on our wiki.

Donations received

  • more tomatoes - thank you Oma
  • thank you for €50 donation for the oven fund
  • thank you Heidi for towels, bed linen, blankets and tools
  • thank you Veikko and Regina for the fruit from their garden
  • cccamp ticket 100% funded - thanks to the generous people from hackerspaces.org :-D

Needs & Wants

We are always happy with donations especially when they match our needs :-D

If you have something that you may think is useful but not on our list, ping us an email!

Visiting and Volunteering

We are happy if you want to come and help with the ongoing garden work, upkeep of the house and other projects even if it's only for a weekend. Volunteering let us know your dates and we can check our calendar.

Events

Below you'll find a run down of all the events happening online and onsite at the mill during the next 3 months for your calendars.

We welcome suggestions on how to improve the events or even suggestions for topics for the events we have already listed below.

Onsite at Kuckucksmühle:

Important: In order for us to plan sleeping spaces, food etc. please book your space by email.

August

2nd to 4th - IT meetup
9th to 11th - Weekend Deceleration
13th & 27th 4pm to 6pm - freeCodeCamp

September

10th & 24th 4pm to 6pm - freeCodeCamp

October

4th to 6th - IT meetup
11th to 13th - Weekend Deceleration
8th & 22nd 4pm to 6pm - freeCodeCamp

Online:

Eco Hacker Farm Monthly Meeting

8th August @8.30pm to 10pm
12th September @8.30pm to 10pm
12th October @8.30pm to 10pm

freeCodeCamp

13th August @4pm to 6pm
27th August @4pm to 6pm
10th September @4pm to 6pm
24th September @4pm to 6pm
8th October @4pm to 6pm
22nd October @4pm to 6pm

Much love
Aimee xx

p.s. I need your support

Activism and social change are only possible if I do not have to worry about my basic expenses being covered. Thank you for supporting me! You can make a regular contribution through patreon.

Alternatively you can email me directly to talk about this or use my paypal.

Aimee Fenech

Aimee Fenech

Lifelong student, occasional nomad, eternal dreamer and writer, permaculture enthusiast, an escaped financial services professional aspiring to a long, healthy and happy life.

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