You are not wrong

“It’s no measure of health to be well adjusted to a profoundly sick society.”
– Krishnamurti

Nobody has to list the things, the obvious things, which are ‘wrong’ in this world. We already know, we’ve seen it; the violence, the pollution, the oppression, the hunger, the waste, the hatred, the abuse, the corruption, the boredom and then some reality TV. Without these, our newspapers might be blank sheets of paper, or just one extensive weather forecast.

So at this stage, “what the hell is wrong with this world?”, sure seems like an appropriate question.

Today I felt like spelling it out: Regardless of what you have been told before:
It’s not you. You are not wrong. Continue reading

“Jack of all trades – master of none”

Jacks of all trades, generalists, “Hans Dampf in allen Gassen”, whatever you might choose to call it; if you have no idea what I am talking about – I am referring to those kinds of people who are reasonably competent with a variety of skills, but who don’t stick out in a particular one. It’s almost like a trade-off; either be reasonably good at many things or master one (or a few) particular skill(s). Being a generalist as opposed to being a specialist. If you find yourself having an exceptionally long list of passions and interests that also seems to be subject to constant transformation …you might want to start calling yourself a “Jack” also. Other potential symptoms? Continue reading

Make your own soap

Why?
It’s cheap (or at least cheaper than any natural soap you’d find in the store/market), it can be a nice and personal gift, it looks quite aesthetically if you ask me and it’s fun and simple to produce. Even I (sometimes not so handy) can do it.
I learned it while I was volunteering on farms/for self-sufficient farmers (wwoofing).
Don’t worry; I won’t bore you with a recipe on how to make your own soap, since there are plenty of good ones out there, even with pictures and stuff (to name a few: here, here, and there)

Just so you know what’s on the pictures…
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Wwoof: Mondhof Tachen ar Loar

For five weeks I have been working on a little farm in the Black Forest in southwestern Germany. It is called “Mondhof Tachen ar Loar” and the two farmers, Rebecca & Jochen, live there with their three children and animals, trying to become as self-sufficient as possible. I found them via wwoof.de: “WWOOF is a worldwide network to bring those people, who try a sustainable way of living in the countryside, together with those who want to learn about it.

You get free food and accommodation in exchange for work, plus you get to meet interesting people and gain a lot of knowledge. A great concept, especially for someone like me, who comes from a place of knowing next to nothing about gardening, farming and keeping animals.

Here’s how a ‘regular’ day looked like on the farm…
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Strawbale building

In august we did some strawbale building at Vereniging Aardehuis in Holland. When the workload of building all 24 blocks of earthships with tires became too overwhelming and time-consuming for the people of the community in Olst, they decided to build the rest of the houses with straw – another sustainable building material that doesn’t take as much time as tires to be put in place
(I heard that it would take about 20 minutes (for the fastest person) to prepare only one tire! One wall consisted of approximately 200-300 tires.. You do the math!).

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Building a green roof

Last weekend I helped building some green roofs on top the houses at Vereniging Aardehuis in Olst, Holland. Now I have a basic idea of how to build one, that I would like to share with you… But before you hasten to decide to build anything like that, you’d have to make sure that your roof can handle all this extra weight.

However, once it’s there it creates an aesthetical landscape, serves as a little natural habitat for our insect fellows and on a summer’s day you can even climb up your roof and enjoy the sunshine from up there. It doesn’t have to be expensive (around 100-300€) and will also provide you with some insulation.

Here’s how we did it… Continue reading