Translate this Page

Oct 232014
 

namieszaj w ogrodzieAkcja edukacyjna dotycząca kompostowania

Zapraszamy wszystkich zainteresowanych na warsztaty edukacyjne, dotyczące powtórnego wykorzystania odpadów organicznych. Odbędą się w dniu 25 i 26 października br. (sobota, niedziela) w godz. 10:00-15:00 w 10 miejscach w Warszawie.Warsztaty będą się odbywały w cyklu ciągłym, jeden po drugim. Każdy warsztat przewidziany jest na ok. 30 minut.Warsztaty poprowadzą edukatorzy, którzy przeszkolą mieszkańców i zapoznają ich z zasadami prowadzenia kompostownika oraz wręczą materiały, niezbędne do rozpoczęcia produkcji własnego kompostu w przydomowym ogródku, w tym kompostownik oraz aktywator kompostu. Jest to akcja pilotażowa i jeżeli będzie się cieszyła zainteresowaniem mieszkańców, zostanie powtórzona na wiosnę. LOKALIZAJE:

SOBOTA – 25.10 g. 10-15

  • Centrum Kultury Łowicka, ul. Łowicka 21, Mokotów
  • Szkoła Podstawowa nr 115, ul. Okrężna 80, Mokotów
  • Urząd Dzielnicy Rembertów, ul. gen. Antoniego Chruściela “Montera” 28, Rembertów
  • Kampus SGGW, od al. J. Rodowicza „Anody”, Ursynów
  • Szkoła Podstawowa nr 171, ul. Armii Krajowej 39, Wesoła
  • Gimnazjum nr 114, ul. Malownicza 31 A, Włochy

 

NIEDZIELA 26.10 g. 10-15

  • Gimnazjum 86 w ZS nr 46, ul. W. Thommeégo 1, Bemowo
  • Zespół Szkół nr 43, ul. Kobiałka 49, Białołęka
  • Urząd Dzielnicy Bielany ul. S. Żeromskiego 29, Bielany
  • Dom Kultury Zacisze, ul. Blokowa 1, Targówek
  • Zespół Szkół nr 70, ul. Bajkowa 17/21, Wawer
  • Gimnazjum nr 55, Al. Wojska Polskiego 1 A, Żoliborz

 

********************************************************

Educational action about composting

We invite all interested residents to participate in educational workshops about how to transform and benefit from your organic waste. On October 25 and 25 between 10-15, there will be workshops taking place in 12 different locations around Warsaw (see below). The workshops will run in cycles one after the other and last about 30 minutes. The workshops will train residents on the basics of composting, familiarize them with the compost bin, and show them how to turn kitchen and garden waste into compost. At the workshop, people will receive the training along with a 400-l compost bin and compost activator. This is a pilot program and if it attracts enough residents, will be repeated in the spring.

 

LOCATIONS

SATURDAY, OCT. 25 10-15

  • Centrum Kultury Łowicka, ul. Łowicka 21, Mokotów
  • Szkoła Podstawowa nr 115, ul. Okrężna 80, Mokotów
  • Urząd Dzielnicy Rembertów, ul. gen. Antoniego Chruściela “Montera” 28, Rembertów
  • Kampus SGGW, od al. J. Rodowicza „Anody”, Ursynów
  • Szkoła Podstawowa nr 171, ul. Armii Krajowej 39, Wesoła
  • Gimnazjum nr 114, ul. Malownicza 31 A, Włochy

 

SUNDAY, OCT. 26 10-15

  • Gimnazjum 86 w ZS nr 46, ul. W. Thommeégo 1, Bemowo
  • Zespół Szkół nr 43, ul. Kobiałka 49, Białołęka
  • Urząd Dzielnicy Bielany ul. S. Żeromskiego 29, Bielany
  • Dom Kultury Zacisze, ul. Blokowa 1, Targówek
  • Zespół Szkół nr 70, ul. Bajkowa 17/21, Wawer
  • Gimnazjum nr 55, Al. Wojska Polskiego 1 A, Żoliborz

 

Oct 232014
 

This is the 400-liter compost bin people will receive at the workshops on Saturday and Sunday.

To jest kompostownik (400-l), który mieszkańcy będą otrzymali na warsztaty w ten weekend. (OK – wiem, to jest słabo polski– proszę o pomóc)

thermo04 thermo02 therm01

Aug 252014
 

This year I grew a lot of purple food, which all seemed to come ripe at the same time. Here we have: eggplant (two varieties), red basil, thai basil, black cherry tomatoes, Iko peppers, red russian kale, red curly kale and blueberries. Other purple/dark red food that I grew: red okra, blackberries, black currants, red lettuce, red peppers, black beans, red popcorn & cherokee tomatoes (the best tasting tomato I ever grew….)

Purple Food

Purple Food

 

Jun 152014
 

This year, I’ve decided to keep track of how much I harvest each month & see if it is enough or too much for a three-person heavy veg-eating family. My first planting was March 21.

Salad greens – 3+ kg

Here we have all sorts of lettuce including red leaf, oak leaf, green leaf, red romaine, plus nasturtium leaves and flowers, borage flowers, and spinach. For lettuce, I harvest the leaves, not the whole heads. I seem to be able to harvest leaves from a head of lettuce for about 4-6 weeks before it needs to be pulled and eaten. I have found that for a family of 3 heavy salad eaters, we need about 6 or so active heads of lettuce (that is, heads from which leaves can be harvested). So let’s say each human head needs two salad heads. As for spinach, about 5 plants per person every week seems about right. One can harvest a few leaves at first, but they mature so quickly, the whole plant must be picked within a week or so. My family seems to eat about 100 g of salad greens per day. During this time, even though I picked a lot of salad, I still had to buy one head of lettuce from the green market (ran out of garden lettuce). I also ran out of spinach — that’s to say, I didn’t plant enough.
farm_0619_lettuce_IMG_1297

Snow Peas – 1.2 kg

I planted about 10 rows double rows of peas starting in late March and ending May 1. A double row means a trellis with peas planted on both sides of it. Since late May — about 2 weeks — I’ve harvested only from the first 3 double rows of snow peas. They are incredibly tasty. Three double rows equals about 100 plants and about 1m2. I estimate that each m2 (three double rows) will give about 2 kg of snow peas over about 3-4 weeks. I’d say a generous portion for one person is about 50g of peas. So 2 kg means about 40 individual servings of peas over about 20 or 30 days. So for 2 people — that’s peas every day; for 3 or 4 people — peas every other day. This is not a problem for me. If the peas keep going we will be eating peas every other day for the next 6 or 7 weeks. That might be too much…

In simple English: 100 pea plants produces 2 kg of snow peas harvested over 3 or 4 weeks.

farm_0619_peas_IMG_1295

Strawberries 3.5 kg

I planted 15 plants last spring. These 15 plants became 30 plants. And then they became 45 plants or maybe more. Let’s say there are 50 plants. The mother plants give bigger strawberries than the daughter plants. There are still many more to be harvested. farm_0619_straw_IMG_1298

Asian brassicas / greens (savoy, tatsoi, hon tsai tai, pac choi, joi choi, bekana) – 750 g

Growing these tender little babies is a constant struggle as they are clearly the most favorite food of the SLUG. Even a good old Polish radish won’t distract them from these delicious greens. Picture shows 100g of greens. Not pictured is Savoy — a great green! These grow best in raised beds.

farm_0619_asiangreens_IMG_1293

Brassicas & chards (kale, collards, mustard greens, chard) – 2 kg

Quite early in the spring I was able to harvest quite a lot of chard and mustard greens which were planted last summer. I am pretty much the only person in my family who eats this stuff.  I love the brassica family! No picture yet…

May 302014
 

Today was Work Day or Open Day at the Common Garden in the Służewiecki Dom Kultury. The “Wspólne Ogród” is still in its infancy and it hasn’t been easy to attract local residents to participate. Today, however, a great guy who has been helping a lot lately, Wojtek, stopped by with a new part for the hose. He helped move some dirt and some giant rocks. Hurray!

There has been a big pile of muł (pronounced “moo”), that is to say silt, just sitting in the path for weeks. It came up from the bottom of the beds. Up until just now this very moment, I thought it was “ił” (pronounced “ew” as in yuck or gross) because someone told me so and I never looked it up. I looked it up. Muł is SILT. Ił is LOAM. But  “muł” also means “mule” and ił is just muł with sand…. This is it:

sdk_0530_IMG_1213

After discussing with Wojtek what we could do with this pile of muł (throw it over the fence, spread it around a little here a little there) I suddenly got the idea to mix the silt (maybe about 60 liters) with the acid peat that was donated by Plantico. So that’s what we did: 180 liters of peat with 60 liters of silt. Starting to look like SILTY LOAM. Don’t ask me what THAT is in Polish. This is silt with peat (muł z torfem):

sdk_0530_torfandew_IMG_1222

I also made some beautiful balls:

sdk_0530_balls_IMG_1219

The garden is looking good. Each bed is its own universe of experimentation!

sdk_bednumbers_IMG_1225

1 – Veges and herbs (mostly brassicas)
2 – Veges and herbs (mostly tomatoes and peppers)
3 – Nothing yet. A dirt-holding bed
4 – Double dug, and then soil over a “Permaculture bed” (grass, straw, woodchips)
5 – Compost bed
6 – Double dug and planted with a couple of pumpkins so far
7 – Lupine and alfalfa (łubin, lucerne)8 – Lupine and alfalfa (łubin, lucerne) with 4 tomato plants planted into the green manure
9 – A woman planted some cilantro and radish here!
10 – Mustard and Lupin (Gorczyca, łubin) plus 2 fennel and some wild mint

 

 

Apr 122014
 

uo_logoTomorrow is the first event for Uprawiajmy na Ochocie, a series of workshops for Ochota residents.

We will be learning about how to get started with growing food in your apartment and on your balcony. Lots of possibilities from the easiest (onions in bottles, sprouts) to the more difficult (tomatoes, peppers). All you need to bring is a container (pot, bottle, old shoe??)

It all starts at 11 am in the common building at the Zelmot Allotment Gardens in Ochota (where Pixxe Garden is located). There may still be time to sign up. https://www.facebook.com/groups/603740809715692/

If you can’t make it, there are still two more workshops in May!

 

Apr 062014
 

sdk_feet_IMG_0780

Today was the first big workday at the new SDK Community Garden. We started it with a quick lesson on Soil biology, texture, structure, acidity, and nutrition, then moved on to the big work of the day: fixing the poor-draining garden beds. One participant did it all in bare feet!!

First we removed all of the top soil — about 10 or 15 cm. The layer underneath is very heavy.
sdk_dig_IMG_0784

Next we dug a few holes with the amazing dirt driller:
sdk_drill_IMG_0787

The wholes were about 8 cm wide and 1 m deep.
sdk_drill_in_IMG_0785

These we filled with landscape fabric “socks” filled with gravel.
sdk_gravel_IMG_0789

The finished drains looks like a cute bow tie:
sdk_april6_gravel_bowtie_IMG_0792

Next we broke up the hard clay layer as much as we could and mixed it with wood chips. A nearby stadium donated a huge amount of horse poop and straw. They even delivered it right into the compost bins:

sdk_binofhorsepoop_IMG_0773

We added the straw-manure mixture:

sdk_manurethrowing_IMG_0794

We decided to leave this and let the organic matter break down a bit. We’d like to build raised beds here…

sdk_finishedbed_IMG_0793

This is what it looked like when all was done — a bit of a mess!! That’s a work-in-progress.
sdk_april6_theend_IMG_0800

Apr 042014
 

We gathered samples of the top soil and the substrate for texture tests.

First we remove all visible rocks and organic matter, spread the samples on newspaper, and let them dry for a couple of days. The next step is to pulverize the soil. You can put it into plastic bags and crush it with your hands or a rolling pin, for example. Remove any additional organic debris or rocks.

sdk_IMG_0748

Then we put the soil into a jar (500 liters or a quart) until it’s about 1/4 to 1/3 full, add water until the jar is about 3/4 full, and add 1 tsp of castille or dish soap, something that doesn’t make too many suds. Typically, the recommendation is to use dishwasher detergent, but that is very expensive here in Poland. Shake for 10 or 15 minutes and set somewhere where it won’t be disturbed.

sdk_soiltexture_jars_IMG_0751

 

Within a few minutes the sand settles to the bottom of the jar. Within a few hours the silt settles on top of the sand. Within a few days the clay settles on top. That’s the theory. In practice, the results are not always clear. For the Pixxe Garden’s soil, the results were quite clear. For the SDK garden, this is what we found:

GARDEN BEDS have a Sandy Loam:

sdk_soil_texture_bed_results_IMG_0756 sdk_texture_results_bed_triangle

SUBSTRATE has either Sandy Clay or Sandy Silt — only two layers were really discernible:

sdk_soil_texture_substrate_results_IMG_0756 sdk_texture_results_substrate_triangle

Sep 182013
 

On Monday it was time to remove the Kompostowisko at the Copernicus Science Center. Hopefully soon the organizers will share some event photos.

Sep 152013
 

Yesterday on the way to Pixxe/Jadalnia Warszawa/Slow Food Youth’s Jam Session, Iza and I were unable to get into the Finskie Domki (Finnish Homes) neighborhood by car because there was a giant Soldariność protest blocking all entrances. The driver dropped us off on Ujazdowski above Trasa Lazienkowska. So there we stood with two enormous crates plus two other bags — easily 50 or 60 kg of fruit, sugar and kitchen equipment. The driver suggested we get Solidarity people to help. We tried asking people but they just streamed by; it didn’t seem to be working.

jamsessionday_01_solidarnosc_DSC01138

Crowds make me nervous –  so I lifted may arms and started screaming, in English, “Please help us!” and also “Proszę mi pomóc” (Please help me! — at the moment I forgot how to say Please help us!) Finally four guys stopped, listened, picked up the boxes and carried them ,5km right to the house. HURRAH!

jamsessionday_02_helpers_DSC01146

JAM SESSION IN PICTURES

Sep 132013
 

Today we collected 20 kg of fruit for tomorrow’s JAM SESSION

  • 2 kg cornelian cherry (dereń)
  • 5 kg apples (jabłek)
  • 10 kg pears (gruszki)
  • 1 kg plums (śliwki)
  • 2 kg grapes (winogrona)
  • 1 kg aronia (aronia)
  • 2 kg elderberry (czarne bez)
  • 250 g blackberries (jeżyna), which were eaten on the spot

Click on the pics for a little story.

Sep 132013
 

For a few years now, I’ve been making tempeh because I couldn’t find it for sale in Poland. For the last month or so, I’ve been making it and selling it to the Kooperatwya Dobrze here in Warsaw. This week I documented the process to to show people how tempeh is produced, and also just to assess how much time and money it costs to make.

Making tempeh starts Monday night and ends Thursday morning.

MONDAY

Crack and soak the beans

Of course we start with organic, GMO-free soybeans. 1000 kg of soybeans makes about 1600 g of tempeh. Interesting, huh? That means that 37,5% of tempeh is — well, what is that white stuff exactly? It’s the mycelia of fungi Rhizopus oligosporus and Rhizopus oryzae! (I apologize for referring to then as bacteria and mold in the past.)

The first step is to separate the husks from the beans. The husks must be removed because Rhizopus oligosporus/oryzae cannot penetrate the husk. The husks are separated with a loosely-set grain mill, which cracks them and in so doing removes the husk.  If you don’t have a grain mill, you’ll have to remove them by hand after the beans have soaked or you could try to find soybeans that are already de-husked. I have not yet been able to find these in Poland (organic non-GMO de-hulled soybeans).

The beans are put into water. At this time, some of the husks float to the top and can be skimmed off.

The beans are left to soak overnight.

TUESDAY

Wash the beans

By morning, the beans have expanded and more husks have floated to the top. These husks are removed. The next step is to partially cook the beans — this means about 30 minutes. As they cook, a foam forms and yet more husks rise to the top and are removed. As you can see, removing the husks is he beans are placed in a colander.

Dry the beans

The beans are spread out on a flat surface on clean lint-free cotton material, such as pillowcases or sheets. It takes at least 4 hours for the beans to dry. Wet beans prohibit the growth of Rhizopus oligosporus/oryzae and encourage other kinds of growth — the kind we don’t want. So it is important for the beans to be completely dry.

Inoculate and pack the beans

By the evening, the beans are ready to be inoculated. All 1000g of beans are placed in a big pot or bowl. To this we add 2 Tablespoons of Rice Vinega and 2 teaspoons of Rhizopus oligosporus/oryzae starter. Any kind of vinegar can be used, just make sure the acidity is no greater than 5% acidity. I once used white Polish vinegar (acidity 10%) and killed the spores. Vinegar creates an acidic environment in which other fungi and bacteria cannot grow.
Next we pack about 500g of the beans into 1 gallon-sized / 3-liter-sized zip-locked bags. The bag has already been punctured with many tiny holes spaced about 1 cm / .5 inch apart. By using zip lock bags, the tempeh can be removed without destroying the bag, and so the bags can be reused many times.

This step takes about 30 minutes.

Incubate the beans

The bags are placed on some sort of rack that has holes or space to create airflow. I use a shelf from Ikea and a rack for drying cookies. These are placed in a box, or some other insulated space with a light bulb — approximatey 40-60 watts usually generates enough heat. We need a fairly constant temperature of between 26-30 C. Lately, I have been using a cabinet in my desk. It’s painted black and does an excellent job holding the heat. The tempeh goes on the top shelf and the light on the bottom. The tempeh is not placed directly under the bulb where it is very hot.

WEDNESDAY

The beans must “cook” for 24-36 hours between 26-30 C. The temperature should be monitored during this time. I no longer use a thermometer (because mine is broken) so I had to develop my Temperature Sense. In this case,  the door is nearly closed the first 8 hours and open the rest of the time. It is better to err on the cool side. If the temperature is too high, the spores are killed and the tempeh is ruined. It’s important to have air flow around the tempeh.

THURSDAY

The tempeh is done. Each 500g bag of soybeans yields about 820g of tempeh. Removing and sectioning the tempeh takes about 30 minutes. The tempeh is then delivered to the co-op Thursday afternoon.