food&beverage&bio hacking activities

Welcome to the Food Hacking Base (fhb) blog!

Here you can find more info about what we were up to, nice and relaxed reflections on our past glorified moments :-)

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Food Hacking Tour Winter 2014, part I.

Roaming in the West
Hi to all,
first I would like to thank to all of those who we met during our journey, for your hospitality, for the open heart and mind with which you welcomed us and “shipped us” towards the next destination when the time came, thank you! 
For the ones who followed our progress and in same cases joined us on the way our goals were to bring people in the hacker movement together around “the table” if put it short. Sharing a glass of something mighty tasty and plate of something extraordinary, having a good time all together. It seems with retrospective that we had succeeded. Over the course of more than month and half of touring we visited around 15 places, hacker venues all around Northern, Western, bit of Southern and Central Europe. We gave numerous workshops and dinners, discussed many important topics related to hacking community and movement and at the end reached €2000 of our crowdsourcing campaign goal covering our expenses during our stay in Europe (alas not the flight tickets, we definitely hope next time …). As mentioned above we had great time and felt really well treated. If to give the number one for me, Frantisek Algoldor Apfelbeck, it would be the Novi Sad (Нови Сад) and our time with the LUGoNS group and our hosts Jelena and Goran, it was super cool there, thanks! Now what about actually starting from the beginning, shall we?
 
30c3 in Hamburg and later,
We the Food Hacking Base at 30c3 have been super busy and very productive, getting in touch with lots of people some of them we later one visited during the tour. We have been running quite a well equipped kitchen and workshop venue and thankfully from the stock of the ingredients which was left behind after the event we used most of that for our tour which saved quite a bit of cash and prooved our no waste policy. Concerning cooking&brewing equipment, there we were way over stacked to be honest. We were also carrying quite a bit of building material especially the wood which we used for our tables at the conference, thankfully we share it with Warpzone hackerspace in Munster (where they do a big build up at their really cool new location (except maybe the fourth floor issue with no elevator 🙂 )) and rest went to some of our members, after that our car actually was just overloaded, before it was kind of close to impossible. Anyway our first step in the tour was to go back to Augsburg where we unloaded Moritz and the OpenLab Augsburg crowd celebrating Silvester, which was lovely. After that we stayed a bit with my parents in Czech Republic leaving behind all the seats and parts of the car which were not absolutely mandatory and moved to Prague’s hackerspace Brmlab where we finished up our preparation for the tour and took off first  for Hamburg. When we arrived to the spot the CCC crew was still busy wrapping up after the congress, so we just got all our stuff, completely overfilling the car as mentioned above and bulleted for our first location ChaosKueste in Kiel, where we were hosted by Sven and Benie. 
Here we did our first Korean dinner event of the tour and the kimchi workshop. It was nice and relaxing, cool. Of course we did some sightseeing with our hosts and shopping, the Kiel’s Asian store had quite a selection so we got ingredients for next few events. Concerning the Kiel’s hackerspace it is personally one of my favorite small scale places. I was thinking about that quite a bit and it is hard to put my finger on “what is it” what makes it different, maybe low drama level, not sure. One thing which I think really shows up is around 30 years of history, yes you are right this is one of the oldest hackerspaces in Europe and in the world. This gives the place kind of continuity and I would say ethical or maybe social quality which keeps the place moving in some certain direction in a comfortable atmosphere. There are members of all ages around and from what I’ve been told, the group actually managed well keeping people who are members for quite number of years even if not actively involved recently, “on the list” which helps with covering the running expenses of the place. Many of us recognize this as a major achievement. In this case the presumption that low activity equals low on drama doesn’t fly. This group is actually behind one of the most successful open free mesh networks in Germany – Freifunk in Kiel with over 300 nodes now all over the Kiel, so activity is definitely there … By the way the location of the place is really cool, in the city center with a big shopping window facing the street showing all the various achievements and inspirations. 
So our time in Kiel was great as was the last time when I was around, we did what we could to inspire and get inspired sharing what we love and we moved on to the next venue the WarpZone.
 
if there can be a place as different as ChaosKueste it is the Warpzone, at least for me. Instead of a small spot behind a shopping window in the town center for this place we had to search at the city outskirts in the “ancient industrial estate” called  Pebüso Industriekomplex, the red brick scenery with plentiful graffiti still sticks to my mind. The hackerspace by itself is cosy, situated in a first floor and consisting of two rooms, one dedicated I would say more to socializing and food hacking and second being more electronic and build up focused. But mind me, when you are reading these lines Warpzone will have already a new “face”. They are steadily working on a build up of their new location which is in the same complex but much bigger! Also it will keep the local hacker crowd nice and slim because it is in the fourth floor without elevator (sorry could not resist this one 🙂 ). Now what about the folks, how did we got together? OHM2013 was the first event where we met and had a really good time together around Food Hacking Base with Warpzone helping enormously with the build up and later on with keeping it running. At 30c3 we were hacking together again and now we came back together visiting the hackerspace itself, “Food Hacking Base nomads and The Residents” :-). 
Now as the previous hackerspace was “old and seasoned”, Warpzone is “recent and vibrant” and you can feel it. The folk around is younger in general but also I would say more crazy and “lets do it” focused. They by themselves consider most of their activities being done spontaneously just thinking about something and making it happen in the next moment. That includes their project of installing programmed lights on the top floor of their building or for example their life video transfer of the detonation of the bomb left after the second world war in the nearby channel and you can go on and on … As a food hacker I have to report on really cool peltier based field fridge which Lars with others developed for OHM2013 and which we took partly as a blueprint for the the recent version of experimentally incubator – definitely from the point of view that it is doable. The 3D printed ice cream machine is a great idea resulting in some really tasty snacks based on wild experimenting, some recipes here (??? link ask Lars). As before we did Korean healing tablet, brewing workshop and as an extra cheese and some alcohol tasting including home brewed beers, cherry wine and cider among the others, many thanks to Phillipe, Hamburg brewer and our host in Münster. During our stay we had a really good time having cozy accommodation even when bit too busy, thanks to the community for having us. We definitely want to visit again and can not wait for the new premises! Before jumping to the next spot, I should mention that Münster has few automats for a fresh raw unpasteurized milk, which I think is super cool.
Hack42 in Arnhem,
Here I think I just have to say “classic” and alas in a way past my friends. If you did not make it to the Hack42 by April 2014 or so, you will have to enjoy their new location … The old spot hit for me one of the top places concerning the structure of the place, next to my favorites as C-base in Berlin or Noisebridge in San Francisco and it was just super cool! Located in a formal military barracks it had enormous floor place organized into variety of venues. There were presentation rooms, big dirty workshop, electronic lab, nice and big kitchen, of course the social room with bar and wooden stove (so good!) and so on. From the more alternative I should name at least the computer museum which was really something, do check the pictures! I felt like going back in time really to my beginnings with Robotron etc. Now for the falk we have been coordinating in advance with Lurwah, Erwin and Cookie the first two knowing from previous fhb events Lurwah being into mate experimenting and kombucha and Erwin into molecular cooking. The plan was to make as usually the Korean dinner to bring people together and in this case also the tempeh event. I really liked the Lurwah’s experiment with kombucha where he was growing extra large kombucha SCOBY for the biofilm. Erwin was demonstrating his progress on his sous vide machine with heavy 3D printing involvement, which was nearly ready for the testing. 
I personally liked the feel of the place, you had access to really great infrastructure which you could use to do wide diversity of projects so really an open platform, this is one of the advantages of medium to large scale hackerspaces. We had an  interesting discussion about the “official” structure of the organization, where Hack42 has legal concept under the Dutch law, where basically the board has the power and responsibility. However the system was described working in reality in a manner that people sign things to the board, the board announces them on the meetings and once the members vote in favour or otherwise the board “officially confirms” the decision.  In some situations the board goes forward directly like for example ordering T-shirts with Hack42 logos when they are low etc. Based on this description and amount of people being active in the community it sounds to me like working well. We have also made a short trip to the Arnhem on whichs outskirts the Hackerspace is located and it was really nice. I especially liked the local coffee shop after half year of keeping clean in South Korea … I can conclude that Hack42 is rather relaxed cool hackerspace in a laid back Dutch town, exactly what I like 🙂 This stay was very special and impressive and we really enjoyed it!

 

 

I think that the bulk of people involved in fhb is based around this hackerspace. I remember meeting Webmind and Arnd back in 2011 during my Food Hacking Tour around Europe in one squatter bar, when there was not a permanent hackerspace in the town yet. Well times are moving on and now Techinc is still very young but already well established on the Dutch hackerscene. With many members and really busy environment lots of things are happening. We knew the place already because we have beeing preparing there the Food Hacking Base for the OHM2013, especially brewing with just few little explosive incidents. This time we have run three different events in the place special ones being definitely the tempeh workshop with some nice Hack42 and Techinc graphical hacking :-). 
I can say that we were really busy enjoying the attention. It was in Techinc where we received the highest amount of donations which really helped us out especially later on. As I mentioned already this community is very quickly growing with lots of young people involved. Arnd who was one of the founders was acting at the time as “benevolent dictator” or however you call the responsible person who is member of the board and coordinating the hackerspace in the manner that it works and people feel welcome. Discussions were run if to rent another rooms in the building, if to move the hackerspace around etc. really busy times. I personally liked the green and nature friendly environment around the hackerspace, I really appreciate this especially in Netherlands it is great. From the practical projects in the place I was impressed by the 3D printer project where several prototypes were made. Very important fhb project was more or less put together here (and at 30c3 again with Arnd) – The Experimental Incubator. This device is going to allow to control internal conditions including at the moment temperature allowing for example for it’s oscillations which will give us chance to test some theories about preference of microbes in biofilm polycultures as kombucha, kefir etc. for wider temperature range rather than one set tempearature. We have managed  to assemble three prototypes and tested them measuring temperature posting it on the video. I was very happy that we managed to progress again it was I would say a big step towards making this project reality! 
So to conclude the Techinc was really busy and fun and helped us a lot with both the resources for our tour and moving the experimental incubator project forward. Also we would like to thank Marcel and Daan for their hospitality and joining us actually for the next stop of our tour the famous VoidWarranties in Antwerpen, Belgium.
this hackerspace was really interesting. It was my first place which was located in the catacombs of a castle and with selection of best beers which a usual mortal can get his/her hands on – compared to all hackerspaces which I visited so far. Our main contacts for this hackerspace was Kristel and Ivo with whom I believe we have organized this visit for more than two months in advance, unbelievable! We have arrived this time in numbers with Marcel and Daan coming with us from Amsterdam and Brabo visiting from Ghent and it was great! We have rocked and rolled for two days, doing workshops, hanging out drinking, sightseeing you name it. Both the kombucha workshop and the Korean dinner gathering (video courtesy of Bermarte) were really big, highest attendance so far. We were more and more moving during this tour towards hands on experience so people actually learn how to make things by doing it rather than doing demos and VoidWarranties had an advantage of extra space because our events were run in a social hall on the ground floor next to a bar and kitchen, which was lovely. We have met a lots of people from the local crowd and it was nice to see some of the folk popping in for the first time, saying that they were on the discuss for year or two, kind of always “coming for the next one” but when Korean social dinner and probiotic workshop made it up to the news, they just finally arrived. This is actually what I’ve seen in a lots of spaces and on the events to happen, that if you do stuff around food and drinks people who are bit shy to show up in the hackerspace for the first time come much more easily, the entry level of “braveness” is just way lower than for some special hard core software or hardware hacking. It is win to win situation because the old crowd is happy to hang out socializing, giving tours and introducing projects (generally the scary ones of course) so as long as the mess is cleaned in the numbers all is fine. As any hackerspace there are of course local projects going on. My favourite one were definitely trips to harvesting the overpopulating oysters which were happily running away from the farms to the river and sea, where the local hacker and slow food community took an advantage of that. I think it is really nice free time activity resulting in few kilos of fresh organic oysters in your bucket which can be shared later on around the barbeque with a bottle of local Belgian beer, ahh the memories are still haunting me :-).
The VoidWarranties experience was really lovely, lots of people and interest, great hosting and overall atmosphere. Lets hope that some of fhb members will park bit better next time, so they car doesn’t have to be towed away under a heavy fines, shall we?
 

 

Syn2cat in Luxembourg,
was the first hackerspace which I have visited enjoying the advantage of having fully subsidised rent and energies. Located on an edge of Luxembourg city in the former school it is I would say medium size hackerspace. Our host and long term fhb supporter MaCfreak arranged for us spot in his lovely house. I have never seen before so many Apple products in one spot, I think this impression will last me for decades (like my visit of Keukenhof). We got a tour around the Luxembourg city and have a good time enjoying the beautiful night scenery later on having a drink or two. Concerning the hackerspace I’ve enjoyed the premises and definitely the people. It was bright well structured place with one room dedicated to the community activities including a kitchen/bar corner and social place and the other room serving as electronic lab, dirty workshop, storage and what ever else you need. When talking to the community it was clear that the life in Luxembourg is still quite easy compared to the other parts of the Europe, the crisis did not hit yet, however when it comes it may be quite blow because the bank industry is the main source of wealth of the country. The good situation was reflecting also in the atmosphere of the hackerspace, which was at least to my opinion nice and relaxed, people were not worried about their survival and that makes difference. The hackerspace was well equipped and people showed in numbers enjoying our activities. The kitchen corner or I would say kitchen/bar corner was well equiped and structured, firdges full of drinks available for donation, well nice spot as I have said 🙂 To see some extra photos from the event, please check the Syn2cat pages! There are several project happening in the place, just check the link mentioned above for the first class information 🙂
Parking! Fucking xxx zones, all different colours, sizes, variety of “behind the window meters”, that is what I get as one of the first memories of the Geneva, thankfully lovely Post Tenebras Lab comes just next to it and stays … With these folks we met at 30c3 and coordinated for this visit, which worked out just great! Smoking my pipe in the park next the the Geneva lake enjoying the winter sun and atmosphere of the place, hmm I love Europe! We have done a Korean dinner as we did in the places before, made some fermented beverages during our kombucha workshop, kimchi and  had a great talk about beer brewing with the local enthusiasts. As a cherry on the cake (at least for me), this hackerspace is the first one which I have seen to possess a really cool “can smasher” or however you call the thing which makes a “disk” from your empty can, so no need to jump on it as an idiot. Just press it gently (or bit more aggressively to be honest) and voila, space safed, no question about that! Another nice treat in the spot (except the collection of beers of course in the fridge) was the “direct window” into the Fixme hackerspace in the near by town Laussane. Really cool idea. Thankfully some of  the folk arrived in person, among the other Robin formal member of Tokyo hackerspace and for us very importantly he demonstrated  the fermivino which is a device measuring temperature and allowing for controlling heating and cooling similar to the experimental incubator which we are developing but focused towards minimum costs. Well I can say we have been quite busy here for more info check out the links to the Post Tenebras pages here, post one, post two and post number three.
 
Now this was the last hackerspace of  the Western part of our tour, after Switzerland we have moved on to the Southern, Eastern and Central Europe and we have decided to dedicate another blog post to this part of the tour to keep  things more organized and also recognizing the difference in the atmosphere of the places.
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Food Hacking at 30c3

“Once upon a time”, Chaos Computer Club initiated the yearly hacker meetings, congresses if you like, of which many of you are the current, past and hopefully future participants. It was a great time for us as Food Hacking Base (fhb) in the last several years, with this event being truly crucial for what we do and how we do it getting in to a full action.

As you can remember from our crowdsourcing campaign our goals were to build up an experimental kitchen and workshop venue which would be suitable for variety of food and beverage hacking and open to the public, something what we have done on previous outdoor events but never on the indoor event really. Well I think that after the event we can say that we have managed, thank you for your help and definitely many thanks to the CCC orga who supported us in many ways!

Now lets talk a bit about what was going on, at least the parts which I’m aware of, things got bit busy as they usually do 🙂 but there was plenty of time for the others to share their experiences here so it should be quite compact. Thanks to OpenLab in Augsburg, Moritz Bartl and his hackerbus which he lend to us we have managed to pick up the fhb gear from previous events stored at my parents place in Kout na Šumavě, Czech Republic and moved on for Brmlab, one of my favorite hackerspaces located in Prague. We have prepared here for 30c3 for few days, starting our Kombucha cosmopolita batch etc. We left Brmlab on 23/12 and arrived to Hamburg on 24th of January just in time to help to prepare with the CCC crew Christmas dinner and also do the basic ingredient shopping which we wanted to have ready for the event. So to conclude the transportation with the hackerbus worked out well, saved our lots of money and time, next time arrival on 22nd or 23th (as previously planned) would be better if not earlier (the mode of transport for next event has to be discussed).

On 25th we have been getting things ready for the build up of the base, luckily getting access from the orga to the “left over” wood and other materials from their build up, which helped us enormously, Lucas and his coordination is to thank in particular. In the evening Marcel and Dann arrived and we managed to “transfer the duties” because I had to leave for Augsburg to pick up Moritz and his friends from OpenLabs spending basically whole 26th on the road, coming back to Hamburg around 10pm. When back most of the tables were ready, ingredients stocked, place  organized, many thanks to Eunha, Marcel, Daan, Bravo, Ingo and others for their help it was crucial push for the project. Next day – day 1 we have managed to set up the sinks (borrowed from CCC/members) properly on the linoleum so all waterproofed as promised. We have installed the “presentation” desk where we have been offering free tasters “donations appreciated” during the event and the multimedia corner was used continuously, the printer definitely helped! From other stuff we have got rest of the ingredients, induction friendly pans which we have been missing and variety of other smaller or bigger things. Our 30c3 wikies were down for whole day (as anyone else’s), next day (day 2) it was thankfully restored so our workshops were properly announced and we could rock and roll.

Concerning the reflections during the event well … We were short of few pairs of hands, many times no one promoted our activities at our presentation area because people were busy with other activities in the base, hopefully we will have more “human power” next time. Sometimes it was too intensive for the people involved, too many things to do at the same time, which was bit stressful. I’ve been coordinating the night shift catering for CCC volunteers from 9 or 10 pm till 6-7 am which was bit demanding, we will see how to sort that out for the future events, several people involved with fhb told me directly that I should be more around, which I think is true.

Based on the numbers of participants of the workshops at fhb we have been running on the max of our capacity most of the time, the place became quite popular as at OHM2013 but this time more focused on experimenting and workshop activities rather than catering – still we kept ourselves well fed. The separate experimental kitchen was a good idea, just during some workshops it was too busy especially if it was used by people who were not involved with us before, however with the “members” of the fhb community preparing other stuff during the workshops it was generally fine and not really interfering.

One thing which was really nice and we should plan on that more in the future, or coming back to our “roots” were the thematic dinners. We did that at OHM and 2011 CCC camp in Finowfurt and kind of naturally got to it at 30c3 too. However it would be I think a good idea to decide on the dinners which we would like to have during the congress in advance and make again some booking system etc. with people helping/learning during the preparations and more people joining later on for eating, all donation based. I think it had a really nice dynamics and people really enjoyed it. We were using putting this in practice of food preparation workshops and consequent community dinners during our tour for our Korean healing table dinner and it worked great! I would definitely suggest international dinner for one of the days.

For the things which I think should be improved I was really missing a clear system of what ingredients are where and the same applies for tools and kitchen equipment. This was one of the major drawbacks for both newly involved people and the “grizzled crew” and we really need to take care about that during next events, it will make our lives so much more easy and all activities much more efficient and fun. Proper shelves and labels/pictures what belongs to where and “checking out” that things are return to the place where they live is really important I think. It should not take us too long to take care about that if we do it on the day 0 having some lamination machine to our disposition or something like that and enough material for building the shelves.

Suggestions for next event:

  • Schedule of our events at 31c3 with log in/sign up system kept up to date on our FHB wiki in case that the 31c3 wiki goes down again
  • Proper shelf system should be installed with labels and “drawings” what belongs to where before the day 1.
  • Whole area should be covered with linoleum and good industrial style mops and brooms should be ready at hand to keep it continuously clean.
  • Extra sink or dish wash machine should be arranged with drying area (or lots of towels purchased for drying).
  • At least two fridges should be installed, or several smaller scale peltier fridges build (would be really cool).
  • Better coordination with CCC orga could help us especially with synchronizing the transport of thing to and from CCC congress.
  • Things like aprons which we use on daily bases with FHB logo on it should be supplied.
  • Using delivery system combining quadcopter and pneumatic tube system to target with food people and groups who we are close to would be really nice

What I liked most

Personally it made me most happy that we have managed to build up decent environment for food and beverage hacking on this indoor event, without some major issues. That was great, our main goal and we have proven that it is both doable and desirable setting an example for next events of this type, which I think is crucial.

Sincerely for Food Hacking Base,

Frantisek Algoldor Apfelbeck

Korean healing table

Greetings from Food Hacking Base (fhb) and Eunha Jun!

I’m native Korean and this is an invitation to food hacking base gathering around our table.

I want to make you to feel “warm heart” and “good energy” through my foods. We think the combination of our “bobsang (table)” is very important. That means the combination of colours, the ratio of vegetables and meats, the energy of  cold and heat etc.

We use many fermented ingredients for our good digestion like for example ganjang (soysauce), doenjang (fermaneted soybean), gochujang (red-pepper sauce) and of course kimchies!

I want to prepare the table seasonal and local because freshness of  ingredients and energy is very important.

If  you join my Korean healing table we can feel all this together.

In addition everytime I want to make one dish workshop during the table preparation so you can learn how to cook Korean style meal. The good news for vegans, we have always some of our dishes suitable for you too!

We are hoping to see you soon ewnjoying and sharing wonderful food and knowledge together!

Sincerely for Food Hacking Base Eunha Jun,

FHB at OHM2013

First of all many thanks to all the members of our group and people who took their time, effort, half of their kitchens (or brewing places like Arnd) and yes also cash making the Food Hacking Base (fhb) happened. Here also comes our thanks to the orga who supported us extensively.

The story below covers some of our activities and events, mentioning some names of people involved piece fully forgetting others, please take it as a short overview rather than all including text, so much happen that no one can really tell the whole tail.

The Build up of the base

The build up started early and could not really happen without all the hard work of Thorsten, his car, tool set and later on enormous support of the whole Warpzone hackerspace members which become our lovely neighbours for the event. Together with many other helpers we have build proper working tables for the kitchen, nice and high around 100 cm, shelves and organized it neatly. The ones who are over 150 cm know how much back pain this solution is saving you.

Second on the list was the hexayurt cold room build up which is described more in detail here. Lets say that it was really nice collective effort which resulted in not as “cold” cold room as we hoped for but it definitely helped against the hot Dutch summer sun (no no not daydreaming again …). Also thanks for the 1000 eu from the orga donated to the project.

Next big project was build up of the workshop venue, in this case the roof and support system. That was really fun, many of us had to laugh when seeing the design of the project changing happily during the build up (well what would you expect in Holland with frequent smoking brakes after all) resulting in final structure resembling a bit of “Alice in Wonderland” style but most importantly it worked. It kept us out of the sun and rain, so great!

One of the last projects was the build up of the washing table, which alas we did not managed to connect to the water source and drainage but with some extra human labor we succeeded in keeping our place and equipment clean and it was for many a nice and simple opening to become involved, just stick your hands in the sink half an hour of meditational dish washing and you are as new being! Lars and other folk from Warpozne went bit gaga 3D printing, assembling and successfully testing an ice-cream machine, check their pages for more info!  Well this list I think could summarize what we have build concerning the infrastructure. For the next time we can try to make the cold room colder, workshop venue with floor and washing area with connected to the water source and drainage, that may be for the future improvements. It has to be mentioned that the organic produce shopping from the local farmers, it’s delivery and share which was organized by Tg, Cor-Jan and others was highly appreciated and we hope it will happen again with even more funds dedicated to it and more people involved. It was worth of the effort I think and definitely going well along with our principles of  local, sustainable and organic.

What have we done with such a lovely utilities?

Thanks to a nice gear and infrastructure we have kept ourselves busy and happy, well “round we may say” 🙂 Breakfast around 8 to 9 in the morning, few dishes, the “best” generally for the early birds, meat eaters diet based, larger decent food for the late comers. Lunch was nice collaborative effort, as applies to other dishes vegan options always included, special thanks to Evina on this one, that extends to the dinner and her whole presence too. Dinner was really fun because we have been playing quite a bit with lots of people coming by and helping, often preparing their favorite dishes so you never new what is coming, Evina was especially coordinating these activities. Marcel, Daan and many others were around to play too. Here also thanks to many others like Oto, Bravo, Eric, Erwin, Stuart, Lars, Thorsten etc. who just did what was needed whenever, and also contributed financially which was very appreciated! With every subsequent day we grew bigger and bigger and lets be honest by the end of the camp we have been too big to the opinion of many of people involved from the start. It was great but next time we would like to rather keep smaller around 15-30 people as a core group lets say and help to create or initiate similar projects around the campground so people can enjoy the idea and it’s benefits but the community keeps to some certain lets say “smaller social circle” size. Everyone feels more comfortably about different environment, but smaller nex time seems to us better.

Workshops

As promoted in advance one of our major aims at the camp was to serve as an educational place, equipped to give especially hands on workshops on variety of the food&beverage related subjects. I think we can say that it worked. There were complications, wrong or late timing of the workshops sometimes but at the end majority of the activities happened and quite on the time seeming to please most of the participants. People were coming back, budgets were covered and several workshops were completely overbooked with many people under the line. At the end we have been running sometimes several workshops in the same time with other events too, so again bit overstretched, next time we should make sure that we keep it rather less intensive but well covered and coordinated. If I can mention few workshops which went really well or got big, if not both the mAcfreAk’s traditional “hack our own Sushi workshop” was as at 2011 CCC camp very popular, molecular cooking with Erwin (egeltje) and Ralph Moonen was really big with I think over 30 people below the line and really tasty stuff being created, the “icecream” dessert was just superb! I wish we got better job in announcing the change of the time for Machtelt workshop on the beer brewing because her workshops were really cool and I hope we can host and properly promote them next time whenever that may be (especially that Belgian egg liqueur which was really tasty :-)!) . Evina’s vegan hacking attracted a lots of enthusiasts as on the previous CCC camp, no surprise there, I would say especially the vegan purgers got people intrigued and they were really delicius! If course Christian’s matelade making and Luwah’s mate sodas can not be omitted, both inventions kept plenty of people nice and sharp during the event. I’m personally happy with the steady increased interest of people in probiotics and I hope that they keep their babies (for example kombucha) well and happy and yes increased farting potential when consuming is natural and absolutely fine 🙂 Now that may be enough as a “short recollection” of some of the workshops. Please if I didn’t mentioned your favorite one pleas forgive me, thankfully there was plenty to pick up from.

Events

As is now already a tradition started with Webmind, Francoise and me at CCC congresses, Food Hacking Base cheese randevou or cheese tasting took place again with quite a wide selection of cheeses (well over 20 don’t be fooled by the wiki entries as usually), snacks and yes some lovely wine and Belgium beer. I’m truly sorry not to share the pictures but it was somehow too dark to take a proper ones or people just kept their attention too focused on tasting … Many thanks here to Machtelt, Webmind, Daan, Lurwah and others for their selections! Next time more light and proper labeling should improve the experience even more, lets see what we can do at 30c!

The biggest food hacking based event was a Joined venture of our group, Free Village and Noisy Square. The event was huge we served food to over 200 people I would say and the crowd was happily hanging around quite for a while in a picnic style of atmosphere, great! All covered by donations with a nice surplus, what more can one ask?

Hot Party. Well that was the last night, enjoying the cold room which was hacked to the “hot room”, having partysnacks, lots of drinks, talking and relaxing. Very nice, next time lets do it again, just lets start bit earlier sleepy heads!

Budget

Our goal was to end up after the event with some money in our hand, that worked out. We got over €1000 extra, after reimbursements and various claims we settled happily on €600 as funds for the next events and projects. The total spending for whole event was around €4000. We spend bit over €2000 during the event for fhb related stuff and another €1100 for hexayurt coldroom which was however funded by OHM2013 orga – €1000 budget. We got around  €1300 in donations during the event, over €1200 in crowdsourcing campaing run before the event and over €500 from internal group donations to start with. You c an check on our data here.

The main experience for the next events are:

– more people involved with finances and keeping track of them, especially during the event

– finishing up our reports at the end of the event immediately – at least as much as possible.

Summary

If we can conclude the Food Hacking Base project aimed to serve as a food&beverage hacking hub at the camp, bringing people together, helping to create social links, educating them, all of this and more in a friendly and sharing atmosphere and we succeeded. There were issues and things which we hope to improve next time, taking properly care about our left overs being high on the list. However all in all, lets do this again, definitely!

At the end once more thanks to anyone contributing to the community and special thanks to the Evina, Christian and Lurwah who were on the deck from the beginning helping months in advance to make this all happen.

Thanks you!

So see you at 30c3 in Hamburg or another event!

Sincerely,

Food Hacking Base

Hexayurt Cold Room at OHM2013

“Tak jak to tenkrat bylo” as we say in Czech, “how was it than?” or in Dutch, ” Hoe ging dat nou eigenlijk?”
The  construction of the hexayurt cold room (hcr) was well prepared, long  term disorganized effort of the Food Hacking Base (fhb) aimed to store  “perishable items” against the Dutch summer sun (yes such thing truly  exists, and to the Dutch, please be quite!) at the OHM2013.
So after few months of poking variety of the mailing lists especially the ohm2013 discuss, we actually decided that even after successful crowdsourcing campaign we do not have enough money and especially manpower for the endeavor, so lets skip it. When I arrived to the camping ground on 23.7.2013 with not a single tent erected (with exception of Thorsten’s one, you know how the German guys are …), I have found out during day or two that the OHM2013 orga actually would like to support the hexayurt cold room project with up to €1000 budget. Within few seconds I said yes and we were in the game.
At this point lets summarize so you do not waste your time if you do not want to (I think you should by the way). We build the hcr up based on the 12′ hexayurt design inspired by Vinay Gupta’s work, Samuel had several nice suggestions on the project, more info here. We installed and hacked the air-con and stored our perishable ingredients going down to 12°C during the night (below 20°C outside) and 16°C during the day (above 30°C outside). The “hot party” on the last day of the camp is completely non related story but yes it was nice and “hot” … So in other words cool but not cold as we wished, to improve that for next time stronger air-con split unit with around 30 000 BTU capacity should be used (compared to 10 000 BTU mobile air-con which we had).
Now back to the story and the build up. Our major problems for the project could be said were three. First we had an issue to find European style wooden pallets for the foundations, which may seem trivial but well it is hard to start to build something when the foundations are missing right? Sorted, many thanks to the orga although they did not really know … Second we have had a major issue to get a good quality insulation material anywhere close by which could be used to build a self relaying structure without worrying about collapsing, sorted, many thanks to Daan for finding it and  Thorsten to drive us there and back! Third and last, the air-con was up to €400 expense if bought new, which we sorted with €120 purchase of old one, later on realizing being unusable because all the Dutch service man who were the only people allowed to reload it (and possessing the cooling gas) were too busy or on a holiday. Many thanks to Braam who got us his last minute saver 10 000 BTU mobile unit and Marcel for picking it up.
Summarized – when you decide to build your own hexayurt cold room pay attention to what insulation materials and for what price you can get in the area where you are building, where you get powerful, cheap enough and functional cooling unit and simple but basic, what are you going to build it on and that you have that first. Also having someone to take pictures during the progress comes handy, for our project Marcel and definitely Eric has to be thanked too, plus others!
Well time to get into the details. The foundations for the 12′ hexayurt were build with 12 standard European pallets which were made more or less equal directly on the lawn. Some of the pallets had to be bit rebuild because they were not sturdy enough. This took us around two hours. When done we used 18mm thick chip boards for floor, the type which is used to make floors on building sides, having an “outer line” on the edge which slides into the “hole line” on the other side of the board. The assembly was done within more or less 3-4 hours within 2-4 people team involving Marcel, Thorsten, Stuart, Lars (well most of the Warpzone) Erwin and Eric, Christian, Lurwah and others discussing and relaxing in the meanwhile. The walls, ceiling and doors were made from (secondhand) polyisocyanurate insulation boards (PIR, used in cold-cells, cardboard/fabric/reflection outerlayer), dimensions close to the usual plywood boards – 2.4 to 1.2 m and 10 cm thick, double aluminum layered, the R-value above 4. Again the boards had the edges which fit into each other which helped us a lot. To erect the walls we needed around eight people at the time because it was a real windy day (5 bft. in an open landscape). We sacrificed some volunteers and left them inside, got them out after an half an hour or so, when we cut the doors in one of the walls, using the cut out later on as door based on the “cork style” approach. The walls were up within two to three hours and as soon as the full circle was made they were able to stand up in the wind without support, later on, we added a two straps fully around, just to be sure.
The next step was the roof and it was quite an adventure, supervised by Daan. Because the walls did not fit perfectly we were improvising a bit managing however at the end to make it happen quite in a decent way, it took several hours to put it up with several people involved. For the seams all around the structure we used polyurethane foam supplied by Daan and also the “cloth” protecting coating from the insulation panels. The top of the cold room was covered by large tarp because we did not have time to make it waterproof (next time we will use some30cm’s wide cloth or tape and make the seams perfect..).
The mobile air conditioning unit was the weakness of whole project (as we have been informed by the Indian expert camping across the street) but it allowed us to make it happened so definitely many thanks to Brann for his help on this one otherwise we would be done. The air-con was disassembled, the temperature sensor identified and moved to the heat exhaust so it was constantly overheating, making therefore the air-con cooling all the time. The fan of the air-con had 2 settings: low and high. At the beginning, when the aircon frozed the fan was on low setting. When we
switched it to high, we did not have any more problems with ice. Whole aircon was placed inside, close to the corner which bottom we left open so the air from out can get in, air-con taking the air from the cold room and cooling it down, expulsing the hot air out by the duct in which the temperature sensor was placed. The doors were made from off cut of the insulation material with two door handles attached by rope going through the holes in the board. The last improvements were light made by Lars, which was a PC-Cooler with 3 10W warm white LEDs on it, worked grate! The floor was insulated by a thin aluminum foil with carpet made from green plastic grass like material on the top. We installed weather station which had the temperature and humidity sensor both inside and outside of the cold room, reporting the readings online (can not find the link to the data now).
If man-hours should be counted, most likely 4-5 man can build up this structure within one and half to two days in a quite pretty relaxed way if most of the tools and materials are ready.
During the usage of the cold room we run into troubles of overheating the room which was caused by buildup of the ice on the air-con cooling system. To avoid that we switched the air-con off once in few hours for half an hour or so which helped, the water from the ice melted on the floor which was not the best. During hot days we managed to keep the temperature under 16°C (outdoor temperature above 30°C) and during the night below 12°C (outdoor temperature above 20°C, sometimes below) with entering the cold room nearly every half an hour or so.
It took around 2-3 hours to take the cold room apart at the end of the event, many thanks especially to Thorsten, Erwin, Marcel and Stuart for the help! I’ve to apologies here especially to the orga for leaving a lots of waste (building material) behind us after our construction projects. I do consider it partly misunderstanding because I did not managed to find out what is the procedure at the end of the camp concerning waste removal, it was really not intended. The orga took care of that for us, again apologies here, we have covered the related expanses not the volunteer work. Next time we need to sort out the transport of the material to some needy hands and dedicate some resources to that.
For the next cold room project it is recommended to have either one more powerful split air-con unit or two split air-con units (second case could be better to prevent the ice build up if programmed properly), make sure that the structure is water proof, using some lino on the top of the floor for easy upkeep, improving the door system, preferably building the double door (or transition chamber) and definitely building up some shelves so the capacity of the room is bigger and it is more easy to organize and access the things.
All in all the project was done with a team spirit, it tested a lots of things in reality, serving as a good start for next project of this type, the aim should be to go below 10°C at all the times.
Many thanks to everyone involved especially those who are not mentioned here, there were many of them!
Sincerely,
Food Hacking Base
EXTRA INFO