Sustainability and Biomimicry #1

This is a series of posts made up of our course in school on sustainability and biomimicry. First, we familiarized ourselves with nature. Then we dove into a subject matter given to us to investigate in groups. The course was six weeks long.

At the beginning of this course, we were assigned to go out into nature and do a guided meditation. It took about four hours in total and included touching the soil, listening to the sounds of nature and the distant noises, to smell and observe nature for a variety of time lengths. Then we drew nature at different time intervals and perspectives. Down below is a selection of my drawings.

After this body-focused exercise, we were given literature on the topic of biomimicry, its history, significance, and development.

20-second sketches.
A close-up of a budding tree and then its branches. Around it, I have written down different describing words.

Raw Brownie

Dough ingredients

  • 2 dl natural almonds
  • 1 dl coconut flour or shredded coconut
  • 10 dates
  • 3 tbsp cacao
  • 2 tbsp coffee, cooled
  • 2 tbsp water
  • a pinch of salt

Topping ingredients

  • 1/2 dl coconut oil
  • 1 1/2 tbsp cacao
  • 2 tbsp honey
  • Shredded coconut

Instead of honey you can use agave of course.

Directions for the dough

Blend the nuts by pulsing them in the mixer until they turn grainy. Add all other ingredients. Blend until it has turned into a cohesive dough. Press out the dough in a form.

If you used a blender for mixing the nuts and not a food processor, switch to a KitchenAid or similar when adding in all other ingredients.

Directions for the topping

Melt the coconut oil on low heat if needed. Add the other ingredients and mix to a sauce. Pour it over the cake, sprinkle shredded coconut over it. Put it in the freezer for at least an hour.

Store in the fridge or freezer. 🙂

Some of the ingredients for the dough.
Cacao, coconut oil and honey for the sauce on top.
Almonds were pulsed in the blender.
All ingredients combined in the KitchenAid and the cacao sauce stirred together.
Shredded coconut to drizzle on top as the final step.
The dough flattened onto a baking sheet.
The cacao sauce poured over the dough and the coconut flakes drizzled over.
After about an hour in the freezer.
It was so so good! 😀

The Weight of Continuity

Jag lÀgger vanor pÄ hög. Jag staplar dem tills det att de blir stubbar jag kan sitta pÄ och sedan stolpar jag kan luta mig mot. Kontinuiteten bygger mig, jag förlitar mig pÄ den, lÀgger mitt hopp hos den. Med repetition över tid skapar jag utveckling och förÀndring. Men inte alltid. För Àven om jag försöker fungerar det inte alla gÄnger. Det finns ingen garanti, men att inte försöka gör mer ont Àn att göra det.

“Det finns ingen garanti, men att inte försöka gör mer ont Ă€n att göra det.”

Ibland Àr kontinuiteten en rÀddning, morgondagen en livbÄt jag kastar mig i, en plats dÀr jag fÄr gÄrdagens tillkortakommanden förlÄtna och fÄr försöka igen. Kontinuiteten hÄller mig flytande, den i sig fÄr mig att fortsÀtta. För om jag hÄller fast vid den bÀr den mig.

Ibland pendlar det och kontinuiteten blir ett sÀnke, Ànnu en dag att bemöta med krav pÄ prestation, produktion, resultat, pÄ att upprÀtthÄlla kontinuiteten. Det Àr jag som mÄste trampa vattnet eller simma, det Àr jag som mÄste orka fortsÀtta och ibland tar jag slut.

Jag inser nu att jag har missat en viktig del av processen för att skapa balans och pÄ sÄ sÀtt lÄngsiktig kontinuitet. Jag har glömt vilan. För hittills har jag sett vilan som en risk, som att det Àr samma sak som att sluta försöka, som att jag skulle sjunka dÄ. Jag anar att det inte stÀmmer. För jag hamnar dÀr ÀndÄ. Kroppen tvingar mig att vila nÀr jag inte vilat pÄ ett tag. Om jag vÄgade vÀlkomna vilan kanske min kontinuitet skulle bli Àn stabilare. För jag Àr redan stark, seg, lÄnglivad, trÀgen, och mÄlmedveten, envis, driven. Det vet jag. Det kan jag inte förneka Àven om jag kan glömma det emellanÄt. Om jag vÀlkomnade vilan in i processen kanske den skulle komma att ta mig nÄgon helt annan stans. För om jag Àndrar processen förÀndras resultatet.

“För hittills har jag sett vilan som en risk, som att det Ă€r samma sak som att sluta försöka, som att jag skulle sjunka dĂ„. Jag anar att det inte stĂ€mmer.”

Saturday.
Sunday.
Saturday.
Sunday.
Saturday.
Sunday.
Saturday.
Sunday.
Saturday.
Sunday.

//

I put habits in piles. I stack them until they become stumps I can sit on and then pillars I can lean against. Continuity builds me, I rely on it, I put my hope into it. With repetition over time, I create development and change. But not always. Because even if I try, it does not always work. There is no guarantee, but not to try hurts more than to do so.

“There is no guarantee, but not to try hurts more than to do so.”

Sometimes continuity is a rescue, tomorrow a lifeboat I throw myself into, a place where I get yesterday’s shortcomings forgiven and the opportunity to try again. Continuity keeps me afloat, it in itself makes me continue. Because if I hold on to it, it carries me.

Sometimes it oscillates and the continuity becomes a weight, another day to meet demands on performance, production, results, on maintaining continuity. It is me who has to tread water or swim, it is me who has to be able to continue, and sometimes I am not.

I now realize that I have missed an important part of the process to create balance and thus long-term continuity. I have forgotten the rest. Because so far I have seen rest as a risk, as if it is the same thing as stop trying, as if I were to sink then. I guess that is not true. Because I end up there anyway. My body forces me to rest when I have not done so for a while. If I dared to welcome rest, maybe my continuity would be even more stable. For I am already strong, persistent, enduring, and determined, stubborn, driven. I know. I can not deny that, even if I forget it from time to time. If I welcomed rest into the process, maybe it would take me somewhere completely different. Because if I change the process, the result changes.

“Because so far I have seen rest as a risk, as if it is the same thing as to stop trying, as if I were to sink then. I suspect that is not true.”

Rhubarb Crumble

Making this pie I have never really had a recipe for it, I have taken all the rhubarbs I could fit into the oven pan and then made a pile of crumble on top, always winging it, feeling it out.

Ingredients

  • about 200 grams butter, room temperature, for the dough and for the pan
  • about 4 dl rolled oats
  • about 1 dl flour
  • about 2 dl sugar and a dash of sugar to coat the rhubarbs
  • about 1 tsp freshly ground cardamom
  • a pinch of salt

Directions

Peel the rhubarb by using a knife to grab onto a small piece of its skin at the top of the stem and then pulling it down and off carefully so that you get thin, see-through sheets of peel. Chop the bottom end off and then cut the rhubarb into thin slices. Sometimes I use a mandolin. Coat them with sugar and let them sit for 30 minutes.

In a bowl, mix together all the other ingredients by hand until you have a cohesive crumble dough. I like mine to be on the stickier rather than the dryer side. More butter makes everything taste better. 🙂

Always taste test your dough! Very important. If it tastes good prior to the oven, it will taste wonderful after. Take into consideration the sourness of the rhubarb.

Butter the oven safe pan of choice. Put on the oven at 200°C.

Strain the rhubarb from the liquid (I do not know where I have read about this but I keep on doing it and it makes great result) and have it as a nice side to your pie endeavor. 🙂 So sweet, so tasty.

Add the rhubarb to the pan and add the crumble on top of it. Put it in the middle of the oven at 200°C until the crumble has gotten slightly browned and until you can see the rhubarb bubble from underneath. Take it out and let it cool for a little while before you serve it with some kind of vanilla whip or ice cream. 🙂

Rhubarbs looking wonderful. 🙂
Butter, rolled oats, flour, sugar, salt and soon ground cardamom.
Rhubarb peeled and all ends cut off.
Cardamom.
Ground cardamom, oh the scent!
Rhubarb coated with sugar, and crumble done.
Rhubarb added to the buttered pan.
Crumble added on top.
After about 20-30 minutes in the oven. This night we had it together with Oatly’s vanilla whip.
Rhubarb pieces mushy and melted. This is summer nights in a dish.

House Renovation #13

In May work inside the house slowed down. Some detail work was done on the outside of the house. The workshop and garage doors got painted and the facade got a touch-up. 🙂 The work on the guesthouse continued.

Now we have the master bathroom left, and the guest bathroom and laundry. We decided to start with the master bathroom. It is a complicated build, which is scary. I try to trust that we work with good, professional people who do this every day and have done so for many years and they know how to solve this tricky build.

Details done and not done. Ventilation device thingy installed, internet connection thingy yet to be installed.
Bookcase done! There are a few details that need a touch up. This will be one of many summer tasks.
Finally we have curtain rails and curtains I sewed years ago, which need to be shortened for this house. Another summer task. 🙂
Detail work on our windows. White space bars on the inside, red on the outside. Very soon the entire house will be red on the outside, creating a cohesive look.
The workshop got done!
I adore the problem solving skills of builders. This door stop was the first thing our tiler did when he arrived.
The work on the master bathroom begins.
This house has been so difficult. With the slanting roof, there is a lot of space with weird shapes that need to be tiled in this particular case, which takes time, which costs a lot.
We removed the entire bathroom in the guesthouse and are now about to install a new one.

Wall Mounted iPhone Stand Project

This is the first, small adjustment that I made to my workshop and it felt like such a victory even though it might not seem as much.

The situation. Not very functional. So I had to come up with some sort of shelf.
Sketch to map out what I wanted to do and what measurements it needed.
Trying out dimensions with my phone.
Cutting wood to the measurements needed.
Plywood pieces glued together.
Wonky buy fine.
Final result! I am so happy with it.
Beside the phone my workshop camera fits perfectly too.

To Hit That Wall

FrÄn sömnen hör jag hur det börjar ösregna, fÄglarna tystnar och vattnet tar över. Regnet ökar igen och jag förstÄr nÄgonstans att det mÄste avtagit och börjat om. NerifrÄn bryggan hör jag barn leka i vattnet. Jag sÀtter i öronproppen igen, vÀnder det tomma örat mot kudden och drar tÀcket över huvudet som extra isolering. NÀr jag vaknar Àr klockan tre minuter i fyra.

Kroppen Àr tung. Jag blir trött av att gÄ uppför trappan till övervÄningen. Jag ligger pÄ soffan, raklÄng pÄ ena sidan och tittar pÄ en TV-serie. Det Àr det enda jag orkar göra. Jag sneglar upp pÄ björken utanför fönstret, pÄ hur solen strÄlar guld genom dess tunna blad, pÄ den blÄ himlen ovanför den, och jag tÀnker att det Àr vackert men idag Àr det inte för mig. Jag ligger bra hÀr.

//

From the sleep I hear how it starts to rain, the birds fall silent and the water takes over. The rain rises again and I understand somewhere that it must have subsided and started again. From down at the bridge I hear children play in the water. I put the earplug back in, turn the empty ear towards the pillow and pull the blanket over my head as extra insulation. When I wake up it is three minutes to four.

The body is heavy. I get tired of walking up the stairs to the upper floor. I am lying on the couch, straight on one side, watching a TV series. That is the only thing I can do. I look up at the birch outside the window, at how the sun shines gold through its thin leaves, at the blue sky above it, and it’s beautiful, but today it’s not for me. I’m fine here.