Saturday, August 21, 2010

Bavarian Beer Gardens - Beer Good

My beverage of choice while trekking along the Isar River... from Munich to Deggedorf.

Dr. Konrad Hagedorn - Humbolt University-Berlin

As Head of Division of the Department of Agricultural Economics
at Humbolt University-Berlin, Dr. Konrad Hagedorn has a curricula vitae so substantial that it would stack higher than hay in any barn. (See the following for details)
Dr. Hagedorn afford me an interview in which he gave an overview of the historical perspective of agriculture and economics in Europe and the US. He provided ideas on how small scale agriculture could be sustainable, how it is possible to insure food security and food soveignty. Discussed topics included: climate change, peak oil, gentically modified organisms, seed banks, small scale verses large scale agriculture, and world hunger. When asked the future of agriculture, Dr. Hagedorn replied that it is unclear, that the big question is dependent on energy.

Thursday, August 19, 2010

Berliner Stadtreinigungsbetriebe (BSR)

Everything about Berliner Statreinigungsbetriebe (BSR) is stellar! My objective was to meet with BSR and gain knowledge about how Berlin's recycling department turns the city's kitchen waste into compost. (Photo) Dr. Thomas Klockner, Director of Communications, and Wilhelm Winkelmann, Fermentation Plant Manager, not only provided me information about their biowaste recycling program, but information how progressive and innovate Berlin is when it comes to recycling waste into energy. For example, their various waste treatment plants convert waste into enough energy to supply approximately 100,00 households, equating to over 1000 gigawatts hours of power.
BSR is continuously taking measures to be more energy efficient with their waste management practices, since by law not waste can be deposited into their three, now closed, landfills. Mr. Winkelmann is managing the up-coming fermentation plant which is targeted to convert organic waste to CNG. This biowaste will power 130 waste collection trucks. Also, this fermentation plant will reduce their recycling costs, from 80 euro/ton to 40 euro/ton.
Dr. Klockner provided me with ideas in developing a pilot test for composting kitchen biowaste. He recommended developing an effective campaign encouraging residence participation, to have high transparency and good communication with city residences, and to have a cost effective recycling plan.
BSR collects 60,000 metric tons of kitchen biowaste each year, but there are problems. City residence complain of odor, fruit flies, and messiness. Dr. Klockner displayed BSR's new composting buckets with biodegradable liners (photo). Each separate recycling program comes with a cost, therefore these recycling buckets will be tested in a district in Berlin to see its effectiveness in reducing citizen's complaints.
For more information on BSR:
To obtain a comprehensive report from this interview, inquire at
Also visit this blog's post Pro Arcade to see one of Berlin's contracted composting facilities

Friday, August 13, 2010

Pro Arkades - composting business near Berlin

Pro-Arcades is one of 7 companies contracted by City of Berlin to compost green and kitchen waste. This composting enterprise assumes the southern districts of Berlin. Mr. Volker Hohne, (pictured) president of Pro-Arcades, gave Joy, my interpreter, and me a tour of Pro Arkades's facilities. This 10 year old business composts 200 metric tons each day. Much of the compost is sold to local farms where a smaller portion is purchased by the general public.

Wednesday, August 11, 2010

My Radical Life with my Radical Trailer

Many thanks to Peter Blansjaar from Radical Design, the Dutch manufacture who is responsible for hooking me and my bike up with the finest equipment. This trailer is amazing... it quickly turns into a duffle-bag for easy train or plane transport, pulls sweetly behind my bike, and relieves the 'squirreliness' that heavy panniers place on your mobility. The Radical Trailer hauled a 20 kilo box full of my excessive gear to the post office. Also, the wheels adjust so I can pull it up and down stairs, which is often in the cities I am couch surfing. The expressions I receive going up and down escalators in railway stations is priceless.
If you have not heard, my bike was recovered in Munich, thanks from the help of the US Consulate. I gave up on it's safe return and asked Peter to send me another ball-hitch which I would need to add to a new bike. He sent it the same day I requested it and made a special trip to the post to ensure I received it. I have added it to my borrowed bike in Berlin (see photos) and it has allowed me to move around the city with ease. Thank you so much Radical Design for making my life radical!!! Please visit the radical designers at the site below... they make other extraordinary products!

Radical Design Manufacturing BV

Tuesday, August 10, 2010

prinzessinnengarten, Berlin

Princzessinengarten at Moritzplatz

Founder and co-owner of "portable garden" of Princzessinen - Normadish Grun

Thursday, August 5, 2010

Mehlworm BioVollkornbackerei, Berlin

BioVollkornbackerei, a 27 year old bakery in Neukolln district, originated from a collective of squatters who desired an alternative way of living and working. Work, they decided, should be a place with a no boss mentality, where work staff equally shares in decision making, where pay is equal regardless of duties, and the work environment is stress-free and pleasant.
Bread at that time was poor in quality, hence the collective's desire to make wholesome bread. Gabby Silke, on of the founding members, says that producing quality food was important, but more important was working as a collective. Also, as a lesbian, she could work openly, without reprisals. With a feminest perspective, the collective had more women members than men, since bakeries historically have been dominated by men. Vanessa Tuttlies, 10 year veteran at Mehlworm, says these values still exist today, even though the 23 staff is now half collective members and half employees. For her and many other staff members, her job is not about making money, but about a quality of living ( she works no more than 30 hours per week).
Mehlworm BioVollkornbackerei uses German-grown organic grains, with many of the farmers still used today since the bakeries inception. The 20 varieties of baked goods offered to their customers are outstandingly wholesome and tasty. The sour dough rye bread I ate was fantastic!