Aug 112014
 
Mehl Stübchen Berlin

The Mehl Stübchen is a flour factory which creates flours for many specific uses. They sell to home bakers, rather than to businesses, providing advice and information to improve the quality of home baking. They also sell very good bread and pastries. They are located in the “Red Island” of Berlin at Leberstraße 28. The owner, Nicole, needed me to bring a translator for the interview, so thank you to Julie August for the assistance. [...read the rest]

Aug 072014
 
The Home Project, Berlin

Walking through Kreutzberg/Neukölin I was drawn to another minimalist window display of an unlit store in a residential street. Like most entrepreneurs of shops with obtuse names in quiet streets, the owner wasn’t all that interested in promotion. The Home Project is a project of two designers, Álbio Nascimento and Kathi Stertzig. “I’m interested in your project”. “Good.” “So?” “Why?” “Because we want to work with artisans. We’re designers. We like to have a process [...read the rest]

Aug 032014
 
Helmut Menzel porcelain at the Berlin Make Markt

I was going in a different direction, on an arbitrary itinerary when I saw a poster for the Berlin Make Mrkt and figured out that it was monthly and this afternoon, the first Sunday of the month in Prenzlaurberg. The market was quite small, and typical of Australian and US markets in mainly offering jewelery. There was a knifemaker, several furniture resurrecters, and some knitted lampshades. I engaged in my usual behavior of buying rings [...read the rest]

Jul 262014
 
Prinzenstrasse garden

My favourite reading is food blogs and my favourite Berlin food blog is Stil in Berlin.  The author gets around,  and reviewed the food in the Prinzenstrasse community garden.  I thought it was clever to serve some food in a garden so went for a visit,  but found a lot more than I anticipated. The main difference between this garden and every other garden I’ve seen is that it’s full of people.  The first reaction [...read the rest]

Markthalle Neun

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Jul 242014
 
Markthalle Neun

In a less gentrified yet part of Kreutzberg is this market described by my favourite local food blogger as “the most interesting food in Berlin”. The large covered hall hosts an artisan food market several days a week every Thursday there’s a “night street food market”  which is a food truck scene without the trucks,  each stand vetted for interest and quality. Unlike many other informal gourmet scenes,  this one offered more product range with [...read the rest]

 Posted by at 18:06
Jul 212014
 
Kochhaus

Four years ago I met a guy in Paris who was delivering measured ingredients for 3 meals for 2 persons once a week. “Because people feel guilty that they don’t cook for their families.” “And that they have such beautiful kitchens that they never use.” I bought the domain feastbox.com.au. Had a few twists of my own in mind, but wasn’t quite ready to take the plunge into a food business. In June, Hello Fresh, [...read the rest]

Jul 172014
 
Leather Workshop, Dresden

The Neustadt neighborhood of Dresden, which was rebuilt by artists after the reunification of Germany, has quite a few artisan manufacturers, including shoes and clothes designers with the sewing machines right in the shop. I was intrigued by Susanne Möller’s Leather workshop at Alaunstrasse 70 (open Monday to Friday from 1400-1800) Phone 0173 56 11 912. The main products on display were colorful leather children’s shoes. She also made a very dramatic folded handbag and [...read the rest]

Jul 122014
 
Winterfeldt Market Berlin

This market was so movingly delicious to eye and sense, that I had to just enjoy it rather than documenting it. Produce, baked goods, prepared foods, and hard goods stalls were mixed and profuse, which was delightful. It’s summer, so the market was full of berries and cherries. Although I have so far not found Berliners to be nice to strangers, that was not the experience in this market, and, also interesting, this seems to be typical of [...read the rest]

Jun 152014
 
"To hell with the market" .... visit to my hero F.E. Trainer's sustainable world

“Composting and growing carrots is a nice start, but we need to get rid of the growth economy, make the global economic system work to meet needs, and replace capitalism with a different economic system that works for people. Most Green people are stuck at the level of compost heaps, which don’t have a chance of saving us. We don’t want to be a society full of compost heaps heading for disaster. Growing carrots locally is just the first step to changing the economy.”

Jun 132014
 
Andrew Calabrese on food and media justice

Andrew’s comparison of the global consolidation of media with the global consolidation of food, gave me an idea! I’ve been applying the model of the local food movement to local objects. What about applying the model of the local food movement to recovering the media! Just as we’ve learned to buy direct from farmers, we need to figure out how to deliver our money directly to journalists. As food activists have innovated new economic institutions [...read the rest]

Jun 052014
 
My words at launch of Alana Mann's Power Shift

Alana has studied one of the many vibrant alternatives to this juggernaut, the movement for food sovereignty, conceived and led by La Vía Campesina. Vía Campesina is typical of contemporary social movements in its recognition of the common interests of first and third world farmers, smallholders and laborers, producers and consumers and in its recognition of the centrality of women, indigenous people and culture to forming truly liberatory alternatives.

May 312014
 
heartbroken consumer

Today my beloved MacBook Pro fried its logic board…Why is there so much consumer choice but not what I want?…But my real question is why aren’t companies somebody refurbishing the beautiful, solid old hardware chasses of these classic designs. Convert those BMWs and Mercedes to electric systems? Design lightweight guts for those beautiful PowerBooks and Communicators. If corporate design can’t match vintage classics, then innovative small companies should be designing custom kits to keep these beauties on the road.

May 232014
 
the crisis has no clothes

As a budding Australian, I learned this week that right-wierdo Tony Abbott’s budget cuts are spurious. The agenda of the cuts is to eliminate the deficit, but it’s not a big deficit and it’s not particularly a problem. Having invented a problem, Abbott has cut “across the board”, implementing Australia’s first user fees for healthcare (including children’s immunizations!) and cuts to profitable investments in innovative enterprise. During the same week, I was lucky to attend [...read the rest]

May 232014
 
health: the new prison

The prison industrial complex is based on the insight that bodies can be made profitable without their consent. You just need the right regulatory framework. Governments come in handy for corporate schemes. Nutritionists’ longstanding warnings that processed food is unhealthy are beginning to materialize as public health crises. The U.N. Special Rapporteur on Food announced this week that “unhealthy diets are now a greater threat to global health than tobacco.” The carcinogenic tendencies of agricultural [...read the rest]