I hope that the changing weather is not affecting you too badly. We are already adapting from warm to cold weather as best we can. These past months have been quite packed and also stressful for us as you'll see from the updates below.
Heating Oven & roof repairs
We have collected a total of €123.50, thank you all for your kind donations. In the end the property pot had to take a loan from the bank to cover this expense.
Just to make things more difficult the oven company said that they won't be able to supply the oven unless they are able to find one still unsold in the regional sales offices... in the worse case we need to wait until next year for a new oven so we are now exploring interim solutions (eg a cheap second hand oven or just a second hand version of what we want). Relying on the oven inside the house for warmth is ok when coupled with warm clothes and blankets but it is not an option for the rental house which needs at least 5 degrees in the pipes in order not to break the heating pipes when the temperatures go below 0.
In the meantime the water leak on the renters roof triggered the need for a roof repair exercise to replace all the insulation and reseal the roof. The repairs started at the end of September and it was going well until we had 3 days of constant rain whilst the roof was open, this unfortunately meant that the walls got soaked and there's a substantial electricity cost in order to dry it out - we hope that the roofers insurance can bear these costs but we are not sure yet. The works are still ongoing at the mercy of the weather and we hope that they will be finished soon.
The broken oven together with the rental house roof repair needed a €40,000 loan. You can help to dampen the blow by making a donation here.
As you can expect this loan is a huge expense and a burden that we have to carry in the next years.
We feel that it is important to try and pay the loan off as soon as we can for this reason we want to switch to short term rentals for the rental house.
The rental house will be rented out for workshops, seminars, events that match our ideals and short term accomodation stays. More information about this, the prices and facilities available will be published in the coming months. This will increase the property management work but hopefully it will pay off by bringing in more money.
For the mill we would be interested to talk to people who would like to live here on a longer term basis and be part of the project, ideally that are able to contribute to the property pot in terms of rent of around €250 per month + cost of shared food - it would be easier to get along if we share similar values, we are transitioning to more environmentally friendly practices so people who are already thinking in these terms would be great.
There are 2 furnished rooms for this purpose: 1 double room and 1 single room. For the double room the rent would be more if there are 2 people sharing. We would expect long term residents to participate in community life and bring value to the project.
Please keep in mind that finding a job in the region is hard and it is not possible for us to employ people and finance long term stays, we are already at capacity in terms of spending and relying on one income puts a lot of pressure on us, we are trying to relieve this and not add to it.
For weekend visitors we emphasize the need for financial support, without this it is not possible to keep everyone fed and warm.
We are also interested in working for money and provide the following services:
cellar & bakery renovation almost finished
The cellar was repointed where needed together with the bakery and also some broken roof tiles in the bakery were replaced. The entry way of the oven was also repaired as the first few bricks were broken.
The only missing item to finish off this renovation are the stairs to the cellar which had to be replaced.
New showers & water station
As part of the enhancement projects for the festival this year we installed cold water access from the showers and also two new shower units and a hand washing station the costs were covered by the festival.
Windows restoration update
All the windows in the house were repainted, we were hoping to replace the internal windows upstairs for better insulation however with the rental house roof repair and the oven replacement this is not possible this year.
I would really like to automate some of the monitoring process for the compost piles so if you want to come to the next IT meetup and are interested in this topic please let me know.
From the Garden to the pantry
tomatoes, cucumbers, sunflowers and pumpkins
We are very happy to be harvesting tomatoes, they are super tasty. Cucumbers, sunflower seeds and pumpkins are also being harvested.
The pumpkin harvest this year was c. 230kg. So you know what you're eating when you're here.
Laura & Milena made green tomato chutney which is delicious. The sunflower seeds will be used for the chickens in winter.
apples, walnuts, chestnuts, elderberries and rosehips
We also collected apples to eat and also to dry, walnuts to dry and eat over the winter, chestnuts to make soap and rosehips to dry for tea. We also collected elderberries and are drying them for winter. This year we didn't make any elderberry juice since we still have quite a bit from last year.
The apples harvest was nowhere near as big as last year so we decided not to juice them. Perhaps in the next weeks we can consume them in the form of lovely pies and jam.
Our lovely pets & farm animals
Ducks and Chickens
Thank you Laura for the picture
Luiz sponsored 3 new chickens, unfortunately one of them was killed by the fox. All the other birds are doing fine and have transitioned from their summer coup to the winter coup.
None of the ducklings that hatched survived unfortunately, they were picked off one by one by the rats.
Thank you Laura for the picture
Moomoo is already wearing his jacket at the night temperatures are getting close to 1 degree at night and he also has a blanket to keep him warm at night. He has figured out how to easily jump over the fence though so it be raised higher to keep him in the yard.
Black ran off and was nearly taken to the animal shleter (which would have meant a fine) but fortunately we found the person who had him just in time.
Podha seems to have become harder of hearing these days but is much happier with the colder weather.
Thank you Milena for the beautiful drawing of Podha :-)
Apache is now almost part of the sofa, he only gets up to eat, drink and use the litterbox. We have nicknamed him "the cushion".
Jaguar and Luna thankfully are more active and hunt around for mice.
€500 was received from Energie Dezent eV for food that was eaten at the festival. Without their support the event would have made a loss, we are very grateful not only for the financial support but also for bringing to the event their workshop.
Kerstin donated fabric and a good sewing machine to be able to repair the teepee, if you are interested in learning how to do this please let us know, Kerstin has offered to run a workshop on this topic.
Oma sent us a lot of vegetables and also a couple of her own home grown watermelon which was delicious.
To all the volunteers, visitors and supporters that helped us out during the summer, making repairs, creating new spaces and trying out our way of life - thank you.
Thank you Katharina Kosak Design for the illustration.
We are happy to have teamed up with Energie Dezent eV a local association with local and international projects relating to alternative energies. If you are a master student in sustainable or new energies we would recommend you contact them for more info about their ongoing projects.
If you know other groups and initiative which you feel would be good for us to make contact and collaborate with feel free to let us know.
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 house work and other projects. If you want to volunteer let us know your dates and we can check our calendar. Please note that for volunteers we have a dorm that sleeps 5 people, the other rooms (1 double and 1 single) will be put up for rent to generate some income to cover our many expenses.If you can make a donation even if you are volunteering we would be happy to receive it.
Below you'll find a run down of all the events happening online and onsite at the mill until the end of the year for your calendars.
Onsite at Kuckucksmühle:
Important: In order for us to plan sleeping spaces, food etc. please book your space by email.
8th & 22nd 4pm to 6pm - freeCodeCamp
October - Berlin
December - Leipzig
36c3 / Chaos Communication Congress - Messe Leipzig
Date: 27th to 30th December
We are participating with an assembly and self-organized talks / events. More news on this in the next weeks. If you are interested to join us please let us know as soon as possible.
12th October @8.30pm to 10pm
8th October @4pm to 6pm
22nd October @4pm to 6pm