SMALL STEPS

Blogging isn’t easy for me, so I’m trying a new approach – very quick posts.
Yesterday we went for a bike ride along the old East/West Berlin border. Really recommendable! The part we went to is between a river and an autobahn and it’s really green. There is quite a few people there, but it’s still kind of mystical. I’ve never been there before. We even went outside Berlin, crossing the border to Brandenburg, the next state. We saw horses, sheep, lots of birds and a crane.

rocket

On the way we’ve found some wild rocket. I have been finding it around Berlin quite a bit this year, never noticed it before or knew it grew wild. Just came across the smell one day and thought I’d try it. It tastes amazing! Quite peppery and so much better then from the store!

In one of the little towns outside the city we came across some bushes of different kinds of cherry plums next to the road. The bigger yellow kind, some red ones and some small unripe looking things, literally the size of cherries. I first was worried they’d be really sour. But they are delicious, bursting in your mouth, just a bit tangy, but also really sweet. So, we were grazing from these bushes for a while and then took some home too.

plums

Another good thing about them, they are really easy to pick, coz not on a tree. If I get a garden I need to plant a couple of those. I didn’t like the yellow and red kind too much. Too floury, not so juicy and refreshing.

We also went into a garden colony, which was very neatly kept, around the corner from us. And people had put out baskets with apples and little pots with plants to take. Very sweet!

Yesterday was great! We’ve been having really great weather the last couple of days, actually the whole summer has been pretty good so far. I’m soaking in the last rays, getting worried autumn will be here soon.

Anyways, we had an awesome day out, it was really cool seeing a very different side of Berlin, at times I thought myself in another town and to get some foraging in.

Have a great week!!!

FREE FLEA MARKET

Two weeks ago I went to a free flea market for the first time. A free flea market is  just like at a normal flea market, but everything is of curz-free. Some of the market stalls are run by free shops, but anyone can come and participate and put up their own stall. People can come and just take things or if they wanna give something away, they just put it on one of the tables.
It’s like a spontaneous free shop.

bbb

I took the pictures a bit late, almost no sun anymore.

The last market was held outside on a nice, sunny day at the backyard of “Kunst-Stoffe” in Pankow, which is in the north part of Berlin.

shirts

What projects am I gonna make with these?

Kunst-Stoffe is also an interesting place, it’s like a recycling yard in a building. People and businesses can drop off materials and resources they don’t need anymore.

linen stack

Got a nice stack of fabrics!

They have fabrics, haberdashery, wood, old electronics, foams, wood, tiles.. all sorts of stuff. You have to pay for the things, but you can probably get them at a decent price.

steckdose

A splitter box, also very useful!

The market was very small and lots of fun. I met some of my friends and we had a blast looking for things and hanging out.

books

Got one book on wild plants, the second one that I’ve got for free! And one on storage solutions.

One woman even gave me a free green smoothie.

kitchen knife

Ah yeah, a knife. You always need a knife.

There weren’t many stalls, but people brought really cool stuff, no rubbish. And some people even like “rubbish”, I would still use ripped clothing and sew something with it for example. And everyone was really lovely!!

Some eccentric coat hangers!

Some eccentric coat hangers!

Very awesome!! I will be there again next time!
Is there something like free markets where you are? If not, maybe you feel like organizing one?

FREE SHOP HAUL

I love Free Shops!! They are awesome!
And I just wanted to show you a couple of items I got on my free shop hauls lately.

I got a cute shirt.

I got a cute shirt.

Free shopping is so much more exciting then regular shopping.
It’s like another person left presents there for you to find.
You’ll often find something unique, I sometimes find handmade or hand embellished clothing.

Wearing this, I already got asked twice if I am a communist by people looking at me in bewilderment.

Wearing this, I already got asked twice if I am a communist, by people looking at me in bewilderment.

Free shops are awesome, coz they redistribute stuff from people that don’t need it to people that need and want it. They are like the flow stations in society. Things flow in and they flow out. No throwing beautiful, useful items into landfills or incinerators. Thinking of all the great stuff that already ended up in landfills, coz people didn’t think about it or didn’t know what to do with it, makes me pretty sad.

Another person commented I was post socialist. I liked that. And of curz I am post socialist!

Another person commented I was post socialist. I liked that. And of curz I am post socialist!

No exchange of money needed. Just giving and receiving.

Ladybug skirt!

Ladybug skirt!

It’s almost like a free rental shop, if you don’t like something, just bring it back or give it to another free shop or one of your friends.

The kettle in our studio kitchen broke. I had just brought a kettle to the free shop a couple of weeks ago. And I found this one last time. Mini kettle. Cute!

The kettle in our studio kitchen broke. I had just brought a kettle to the free shop a couple of weeks ago. And I found this one last time. Mini kettle. Cute!

My favourite free shop in Berlin is called “Schenkladen”, which translated means “the shop of giving”. Sweet name!

This is a patch from a shirt that looks like a pyjama top. It says ‘superluck’, how cool is that?!

This is a patch from a shirt that looks like a pyjama top. It says ‘superluck’, how cool is that?!

A new friend of mine invited me to a ‘free flea market’. Can’t wait to go! Have you been to a free shop before? What cool things did you get or experience?

QUICK ENERGY SMOOTHIES

Most days I’ll make myself a fast and easy green smoothie for breakfast.
I love green smoothies as a start to my day, coz they put up my veg/fruit intake in an instance, are really fresh and give me quite a boost of energy.
And the washing up is done in a minute if you do it straight after, just rinse the friggin blender and off you go.
Also they can taste really nice.

I’ve got a pretty shitty blender, which doesn’t just chew up about anything you throw in there, like you see people do in youtube videos with their really fancy blenders.

So, I have to kind of consider what I throw in.

For an easy and healthy breakfast, for which you can even use a shitty blender(well tried by myself) I’ll use,

4 bananas
2 handfuls of spinach
1-2 tbsp of cold pressed hemp oil
600ml cold water

Blend for about a minute. This should be enough for 2 people.

Enjoy.

Love smoothies!

Love smoothies!

Hemp oil is the bomb. Apparently. It has all sorts of good shit in it, like Omega 3 and Omega 6 and chlorophyll.

Best to get in organic quality. Very cold pressed. Check the suppliers info for details on the pressing process they use. The colder and quicker the process and the less oxygen touches the oil during it, the better.

I use bananas, coz they taste nice and are easy to get. And I use spinach, coz I like it’s mild, fresh and buttery taste. I don’t like rucola for a daily smoothie, it’s too strong and I don’t like the taste of silverbeet.
Kale would be a great option also, but a shitty blender just can’t handle that stuff.

I like this as my basic daily smoothie. But you can experiment with different add ins or use other ingredients you like better.

So, here is a bonus recipe, over Easter I tried my hands on some fancy shit.

green smoothie2

Delicious and healthy!

QUICK ENERGY SMOOTHIE

Use the stuff of the basic smoothie and add,

1 tbsp of spirulina
1 tbsp of cocoa powder
5 dates

I got the Spirulina at a raw food expo the other week, from a guy who grows it in the Provence in green houses, using only solar energy. All organic and shit. Nice stuff. Here is his website, unfortunately it’s only in German and French, but he’s got some cool pics on there.

For the cocoa powder I used a sweetened one(with raw sugar), gave me a nice sugar kick, but also a little crash.
If you wanna avoid the crash, using unsweetened raw cocoa might be better.

Enjoy your healthy meal and have fun experimenting!

FREESTYLE RAW CHOCOLATE BROWNIE

This is a no food processor recipe. I have been experimenting with raw foods since a while and always wanted to try some raw chocolate brownies.

I was meeting up with some people this week and thought that this would be a good reason to finally try making some raw, vegan sweets that also taste nice.

Drool!

Drool!

Now, my process of cooking often works like this. I get an idea of what I want to make, check the internet to get a vague idea what goes into the recipe, then I get the ingredients and throw them together how it feels right.

I also don’t have a food processor and if you are really into the raw foods you probably need one, but I just have to improvise.
This cake isn’t 100% raw, coz I bought ground almonds and hazelnuts, which are already roasted. If you want truly raw nuts you’ll probably have to do some research and order them over the net, coz I don’t think most regular organic shops sell them. And if they do sell them, they are most likely not ground yet. So yeah, the food processor problem..

Anyways, I got the ingredients and then just eyeballed it.

This is roughly what I used(and btw, this recipe is for about 4 people),

ground almonds 2 cup(about 200gr)
ground hazelnuts 1 cup(about 100gr)
cocoa powder 2 tbsp

1/2 cup banana (no chips, I think they are disgusting, get the chewy kind)
1/2 cup dates
If you have no banana use more dates instead or use raisins or whatever you like, this is just for taste and sweetness.

coconut oil 8 tbsp
thickened apple juice sweetener 6 tbsp (I don’t like agave juice, I think it’s too processed, also apples=more local)
lukewarm water 1/2 cup

Mix the almonds, hazelnut and cocoa powder.

Chop the banana and dates really finely, dump into the mix.

Warm up the coconut oil gently, don’t overheat it to keep the most of its healthy properties, mix it with the lukewarm water and the sweetener, dump into the mix and stir til everything is mixed nicely.
Taste mixture and make sure you like it.

I used a cute, little square dish(that I found in the street sometime) to put the mixture in. It’s about 15cmx15cm.

Put into fridge over night.

Cut into small slices.

Enjoy.

Great texture. And it cuts really well!

Great texture. And it cuts really well!

Backstory:
The reason I wanted to make something with coconut oil is, that there was a person with dementia at the gathering, so I thought I would make something with extra virgin coconut oil.
Some people swear by the use of coconut oil to treat and prevent Alzheimer and dementia. I know eating it once probably won’t help much, but it can’t hurt, right?!

It’s funny when you meet with people that are a bit conservative and ..somehow set in their ways(most families?) and you tell them “I made some vegan cake and this is the first time I tried it, so I hope you like it!”. I was a bit nervous to be honest.
And after they had a slice you tell them, “By the way, I also didn’t cook it and there is no flour in it!”
And what do they do?! They say they like it and take another slice!!
You know, that’s the feeling of satisfaction.

That was cool. So the cake was a success and I know another healthy, vegan treat I can make for myself when I have cravings for something sweet.

Which raw, vegan treats have you tried making?

MAKING THINGS: GLASS CUTTING

I wanted to do glass cutting for a long time! You know, recycle bottles into drinking glasses and what ever else you can make from them, vases or bowls..

So, I came across different methods, for example tying a piece of string around the bottle and setting it alight with lighter fluid. Like, really?!

cutting glass bottles

Cutting the glass with a special bottle cutting tool.

Then I’ve found this video, which seemed to use a pretty reasonable method.

And then, by coincidence, I also found this glass bottle cutting workshop, which was hosted by Sekundär-Schick, in which we basically used the method described in the video.

cutting glass bottles

Breaking the glass with hot and cold water.

It was a free workshop, you could give a donation for materials. I love free workshops!!
I love it when people give away knowledge for free and everyone(who can) throws in some money to set it up!

cut bottle

Done!

Our host, Sigrid, was really nice and patient and even prepared a soup for us beforehand.
Sekundär-Schick, is like an office for recycling projects. They do upcycling workshops with old clothes and stuff. Here are more pics of the workshop.

sanding bottles

Sanding, not one of my favourite things to do.

Anyways, if you wanna do some glass cutting a few words of caution:

WEAR PROTECTIVE GEAR! While you’re cutting, breaking and sanding the glass. I had little glass projectiles coming off the bottle even after I finished cutting it. Dangerous!

glasses made from bottles

Some finished glasses. You can make wine glasses from the top half of the bottle. Like the one on the left, just attach a piece of wood as a base.

I also got very sick immediately after the workshop. I thought it was from breathing in glass dust, coz it started with a sore throat. My mask hadn’t been really tight and I had dust everywhere, on my clothes, in my hair.. And then I had a pretty severe flu for about a week.
Maybe my glass-cut throat just made me more vulnerable, it was just weird that it started straight after.

I also won’t be using the glasses I made for drinking glasses, more for decoration. I wasn’t a 100% happy with the sanding. Don’t want anyone to cut themselves!

recycled bottle glasses

I engraved some of my glasses. That was the most fun of all!

I love going to workshops lately! And to learn new things and skills. Even to sometimes learn, that a certain material is not really your thing. Glass is not really my sort of material and that’s fine.

My favourite materials are fabric and wood, but more on that later!

ARE YOU SHARING YOUR FOOD?

Some people, including Valentin Thurn, the guy who made the ‘Taste The Waste’ documentary  started a website called www.foodsharing.de .

A website where you can put up food you aren’t going to eat, coz you bought too much or the shit’s growing like crazy in your garden and you can’t eat all of it yourself.

You can put up a “Essenskorb”, which is German for food basket and other people can contact you thru the website and pick it up. I think this is pretty awesome shit!

They only started their website in mid December, but already have more then 5500 active users on their website and redistributed more then 800kg of food since then.

These people really got it together, respect to them! They have also already set up a hotspot in Berlin, including a fridge, where people can drop off and pick up food if it’s available.

Apart from private people, this concept is trying to involve businesses, like bakeries and restaurants which can give food away at the end of the day.
It offers a great alternative to food stamps or food banks by charities.
For a lot of people it’s embarrassing to go to these places and some places make distribution dependent on stupid requirements, like eligibility for welfare.

I love the foodsharing idea, coz it gives people a better social connection and a feeling of independence from charitable and government handouts.

I love this, coz eating is fucking essential to being alive. And most of us spend a lot of money on food.

I love it, coz the concept is expandable, into projects like cooking together, where people cud meet up and everyone brings a couple of ingredients along.

Saying this, I went to a vegan lunch the other day. It was pretty awesome, everybody brings something and you meet somewhere with like-minded people. How great is that, nice food, resource exchange and building of a community! What more could you want!?

I’d also like to say how fucking crazy, disgusting and corrupt I find the propaganda from big corporations like Monsanto and the like, who propagate the need for GM-foods to feed the world!

90 Million TONS of food get thrown out in the EU alone each year. You don’t need much of a brain to understand that the problem of starvation is caused by a dysfunctional distribution system rather then insufficient food production.

As if we just have to produce more food and people in poor countries or poor people in general will just magically be able to afford it!

Countries, in which people are starving in the first place, coz they get so fucked over by corporations and corrupt governments that they can’t grow their own food or have to sell it to countries where people can actually pay for it.

And of curz, the way mainstream media reports about so called solutions to famine is very narrowminded and selective. There is no mention about how much food gets destroyed thru being fed to animals in the meat industry and how industrial agriculture depletes the soil and will make growing food this way in the future impossible.

What I’m saying is, Fuck GM-foods, Fuck Big Agra propaganda and Fuck corporations like Monsanto that make a profit from fucking with people(don’t get me started on GMO’s, that’s a topic for a whole bunch of posts entirely!).

We need to reconnect with our food and stop seeing it as a commodity that is “naturally” freely available in the shelves of our supermarkets for some of us and really scarce for others.
And we need to start seeing it as the stuff that grows in the ground and plays a vital role in keeping us alive.

Love the food and love the people you’re eating it with!

Food is important and it’s more fun to share it!