At Domberger Brotwerk quality is the top priority. Since 2016 Florian Domberger and his crew have been fabricating real bread at the Essener Straße in Moabit. The dough preparation happens right in front of the costumers, so they can convince themselfs of the top quality and ask questions during the process. With their „Brotwüstenexpeditionsfahrzeug“ they drive around Berlin and bring handmade food to the (how they call it) „Bread-deserts“. The main ingredients for the spelt and rye bread can be counted on the fingers of one hand: flour, water, salt and patience so the bread can unfold its full flavour. What a lot of people don‘t know: rye bread shouldn‘t be eaten right after it came out of the oven. It develops it‘s full aroma within the next three days. And when properly stored it is eatable for whole two weeks. Wheat bread is consumable for a little over a week and even after that it can be toasted and is still delicious.
If you get out at Ubahn-station Leinestraße and walk towards Tempelhofer Feld, you discover the old stone house of „die Gärtnerei“. Artitst, architects and refugees moved in here two years ago and created a little gardenschool and a few workshop rooms. Part of the curricula are german lessons, training for vocational issues and landscape design. On the wasteland near the stone house arises the garden company which became a place of interest, creativity and social transformation for people of all cultures. Garden tools, flower bulbs and different seeds are part of the main equipment for the pupils and their teachers. Also the garden pupils regularly invite people of the neighbourhood for happenings like lectures and workshops.
The community garden is located at the east side of the Tempelhofer Feld and was founded by the group of Allmende-Kontor in 2011. Shortly afterwards the first ten raised beds were build on the area of 5000 square meters. Ever since the garden grew and is today composed of 250 patches and with over 500 gardeners a self organised project. As common adress for urban gardening it might be the biggest raised bed project worldwide. All patches are allocated temporarily and should be used and carried ecological and resource-efficient. Besides the patches that are planted by single persons, the Allmende-Kontor contains common raised beds which are carried by the whole community.
The „Prachttomate“ arised at 2011 out of a rubbish-strewn abandoned area at the Bornsdorfer Straße in Berlin. Today it‘s a meeting point for the neighbourhood with diverse cultures of vegetables, herbs, berries, flowers and of course tomatoes. At this place you can‘t find any customized patches. Everything is planed, cultivated and picked together with the community. People from any culture are welcome to visit the greenhouse, experiment with the fabrication of Bokashi-Terra Pretato, get in contact with strip cultivation or just to enjoy a drink at the bar. Besides smaller and bigger events with live music and bands, you can participant in one of the workshops or tours around the garden. In the summertime there are also happenings like outdoor movies and flea markets.
The „Café Botanico“ is a cooperation between traditional italian food and modern concepts of urban gardening, permaculture and food sovereignty. On 1000 square meters Stefano, Martin and Massimo are planting old species of vegetables, fruits and wild plants following the concept of permaculture. The wildlife garden with over 200 eatable plants can be visited all-season. At the restaurant all plants are being washed and prepared for special meals like: Minestrone with corn from Umbria, Goulash with local bush meat and housemade cake with fruits from the garden. The etablishment is getting along without any subsidies, public funds or bank advance, but self-finances trough the catering trade and selling the agricultural products.
The Prinzessinnengarten is located in Kreuzberg 36 at the Moritzplatz and has approximate size of a soccer field. It‘s an urban kitchen garden which is planted with different kinds of vegetables, fruit and herbs. Rent and other costs can be covered by the garden itself with earnings from the restaurant, selling of the crops and donations in form of sponsorships. Over the years, the place has become a vibrant meetingpoint for the neighborhood and beyond. Besides the garden work, many workshops and different culture events are offered here. At Prinzessinnengarten nobody owns their own patch, but everyone who wants becomes involved to make a place like this even possible.
Erika Mayr already peruses for 15 years with bees and since 2007 she maintains her own bee colonies. For her the bees are a symbol of freedom and very valuable for us all. There are seven different beekeepings around Berlin and Brandenburg. The one we visited is located in Kreuzberg at the Wrangelstraße since 2016 and contains 2 bee colonies. Dependig on the location and the weather ervery honey tastes individual, she told us. While the early summer honey has a lighter color and tastes very mild, the later honey is deep-yellow and has a stronger flavour. Altough not everyone has the same persuasion: Erikas bees are happy here in Kreuzberg. They are free to fly everywhere they want, without disturbing any neighbours or even being noticed. They live in their own little parallel universe. And while Erika works here, connects and pollinates her colonies she disappear in this universe as well.
The Kenya Ceramic Jiko, is a stove which uses charcoal as fuel. It has an hourglass shape, and it is made from a metal exterior, with a ceramic internal liner. The ceramic liner has holes in its base, which allows ash to fall through and be collected in the box located at thme bottom of the stove.
We had a closer look at the traditional way of cooking in Kenya and we learned a lot about the jiko. To get to know how people in Kenya are using it, we had a talk with Shabu.
- Where do they cook? Why do they cook inside?
- Is it known that the smoke is unhealthy?
- Do people have or build chimneys?
- What kind of fuel is used? Cooking at home/ cooking at the kiosk.
- Is slow cooking an alternative option to cook?
What we learnd:
- Either people cook with an open fire, a jiko, a kerosin stove, or a saw dust stove.
- People are cooking inside for privacy. They light up the stove outside and continue cooking inside.
- People are aware of the unhealthy emissions from cooking but they don’t have many other options to choose from.
- The jiko is one of the best options when cosidering money and health.
- Because the houses in the slums are not owned by the people that are living there, they don’t build chimneys.
- When cooking at home, mostly the jiko is used with charcoal or gas. In the kiosks, mainly the kerosin stove and the saw dust stove is used.
- Slow cooking is not successful because there is not enough time in their daily schedule.
- Fire outbreaks are caused by cooking accidents.
Transformation of the ‘Haus der Statistik’ into a green vertical graveyard, a place to celebrate life.
The ‘House of Roots’ gives you a feeling of peace and freedom. It is a place to remember your beloved ones and to value the beauty of life. The connection to nature is regrowing and the human body is committed to the circle of life again.
The building is transformed in 3 steps:
- Opening up the first floor, leaving only the structural columns to support the building; room for a green and vivid park is created.
- Changing the inner part of the building into a form of an ‘Atrium’. Therefore, a second facade is built; it can be used in addition to the outer facade.
- Using the existing ornamental elements on the outer facade, making small changes and multiply these elements for the entire inner and outer facades. These boxes are used for the ‘green graves’.
The new process of Cryomation turns the dead body into a granular mass of 20 kg of sterile soil. It builds a perfect nuritrition soil and is used as a fertilizer for the chosen plant that grows on the ‘green grave’.
There are two kinds of plantations:
- The ‘green grave’: plants which will grow inside the boxes. They represent the beloved person who has deceased. The type of plant is chosen by the deceased person’s family.
- The ‘candle plant’: in front of the boxes inside the building, you can find a place to plant a seedling. The idea is based on the church’s spiritual significance of candles. The plants can be bought in a special part of the building.
The plant’s harvest is collected by the people who come to visit the ‘House of Roots’.
The system is built on trust.
Darja Studer, Anastasiia Baranova, Shir Loewenstein, Mario Wurm