MikroBIOMIK Soil Retreat

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HUMUS Sapiens: What's the dirt - on me?

On 20.-22.07.2018 there will be research for everyone at Projekt Draussen, the creative workshop, learning and working place in the middle of the forest south of Munich. Let's discover what's going on in the ground under our feet. Let's explore the secret ingredients that make plants happy. Together we make a contribution to open research and a sustainable future!

Would you like to get your hands dirty, learn more about soil ecology, discuss at the campfire in the evening? Please write to humussapiens@mikrobiomik.org on which days you would like to be there (with or without accommodation), and whether you already have a topic / project idea in mind or would like to give a workshop.


Soil is life and we believe that diversity is the key to creativity and innovation. HUMUS Sapiens is an open source research project and an intitiative to create an international network with soil enthusiasts and biohackers. In this soil-retreat we gather people from around the world and different backgrounds to share their knowledge and diy-methods to create workshops and concepts around the topic of soil.

Scientists, artists, pedagogues, ecologists and farmers work together to develope new strategies and tools for the study of soil and farming technics and to share their results on a open plattform for further research.

The Global Hackteria Network, Gasthaus: Fermentation and Bacteria and the mikroBIOMIK Society gather their sources to rethink the way we deal with our mother earth.


The retreat will take place from Friday noon, 20th July until Sunday 22th July evening.

Where - Hosting & Accommodation


The Projekt Draussen, also known as `Klause zum Schindergraben` is in the middle of the woods close to the Isar. In the upper floor under the roof is a cozy space where up to 20 people can be hosted in individual beds. From there you have access to a small terrace to enjoy a calm moment. There are more two smaller rooms with loft beds which have access to the balcony directed to the south from where you can see the little river and catch sun all day long. Feel free to bring your sleeping bag, bedsheets can be also available. You can also bring your tent and mount it in any place of the territory.

How to get there

Projekt Draussen is located about 30 km in the South of Munich in the woods and close to the Isar.

Schindergraben 1, 82544 Egling

Projektdraussen2.png Projektdraussen1.png

By bicycle The bicycle tour along the Isar takes about 1-2 hours. There are the following possibilities:

  • You start with your mountain bike on the Isar, for example in Munich at the Wittelsbacherbrücke, and orient yourself on the bike tour "Munich - Kloster Schäftlarn".
  • Or you climb on your racing bike in Munich, choose an Isar site and orient yourself on one of these routes.

By public transport and walking

With the S-Bahn S7 direction Wolfratshausen you arrive from the Munich Marienplatz either in 33 minutes to Hohenschäftlarn or in 36 minutes to Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn.

From the S-Bahn station Ebenhausen-Schäftlarn, you can prepare for an Isar walk. We have prepared this route for you.

If you need a Shuttle please send us an email! (humussapiens@mikrobiomik.org)

From Airport

Closest airports are "Franz-Josef Strauss" Munich (MUC) and the "Allgaeu Airport" Memmingen (FMM).

By car

It takes about 30-40 min to reach Projekt Draussen by car following A95 or B11.

Retreat Schedule

Friday (from noon)

  • Arrive, meet and tune
  • 13-14 h herbal stroll "Plants and herbs" through the woods guided by Irmi Baumann
  • In the early evening: introductory round, formulation of wishes, expectations and offers
  • Content structuring in the sense of an "unconference", planning of fixed sessions and workshops
  • Depending on the weather: Campfire and / or cozy sitting together + possibly first project work

Saturday Excursion in forest and field (collecting samples at different locations)

  • General analysis of soil composition (physical, chemical)
  • Microscopy (with the support of the Microbiological Association Munich)
  • Remote workshop "GoFerment" to Maya Minder and Marc Dusseiller in Indonesia (15 h (UTC/GMT+2h))
  • composting (based on prepared compost & theory)
  • Further workshops (partly organized by the participants)
  • Free work and exchange on the respective areas of interest
  • Jam Session with Brãthew Van Schalkwyk and Ofentse Moshwetsi. Bring your Instrument!


  • Free work and further workshops
  • Documentation of the projects
  • Summary words

Documentation and Impressions


  • Mikrooekosysteme (Robert)
  • Totholz
  • Leuchtpilze (Julian)
  • Schlamm (Lucy & Josi)

Pyrolyseofen (Rolf, Andreas)

Kohle und Terra preta production?

Matschbatterie (microbial fuel cell) (Lucy, Patrick)

1 // Bottle: no label Anode: Metall-Topfreiniger Cathode: Metallschwamm Plant: Giersch Voltage: 0.75V

2 // Bottle: no label Anode: Metall-Topfreiniger Cathode: Metallschwamm Plant: Baum Voltage:

3 // Bottle: coke bottle Anode: Metallschwamm & wire donut Cathode: Metallschwamm Plant: moss Voltage:

4 // Bottle: adelholzener Anode: Carbonized pencils, charcoal, wire Cathode: Metallschwamm Plant: Giersch Voltage:


Introduction to microscopy

  • how to work with a microscope
  • test sample 1: casting the underside of a leaf with transparent nail polish
  • test sample 2: inner structure of leafs (whats the name of the little coils??)

Preparing soil samples

  • moisturizing soil in a petri dish for microbe extraction
  • how to prepare slides (with and without cover slip)

Analyzing soil samples

  • with the Binocular (small insects, springtails, mites,…)
  • with the Microscope

4-10x objective – nematodes, amoeba (rarely active), large ciliates, tardigrades, …

40x objective – ciliates, flaggelates, rotifers, fungi, algae

60x objective - small protozoa and bacteria

40x phase contrast - nice to see bacteria: spirillae, coccus, lactobacilli (?), …


  • most of the soil samples that were brought by the participants were very dry (little rain in the past days and weeks)
  • with little experience it was difficult to find interesting microbes in these samples

what worked good

compost microscopy

  • hundreds of small insects in a square centimeter (binocular)
  • very high abundance and diversity of microbes (especially nematodes, ciliates and bacteria)

mud sample (from the matschbatterie)

  • nematodes, fungi, (koneiden), spores, shelled amoeba,…


  • enrichment techniques (maybe in a test tube – to let the microbes swim into the liquid layer)
  • more time for soil moisturization and analysis (several days)


synthetisches Polymer in Boeden (MikroPlastik) (Maria)

Idee: Durch polymeren superabsorber den Boden verbessern Frage: Langzeit-Wasserspeicher-Granulat wird in Boden eingearbeitet; Was ist der Einfluss dieses Absorbers auf die Mikroorganismen Analyse: Eine Bodenprobe geteilt und eine Haelfte mit Absorber angereichert und unter dem Mikroskop beobachtet.

makroskopische Analyse: trockene Kokoserde wird angesetzt; mit dem superabsorber ist die probe nach vier wochen immernoch feucht; Annahme: dadurch dass die Probe solange feucht ist, muessten viele Organismen zu sehen sein, ist aber relativ steril



Homo amantis Yoga


Citizen Sensor (Robert Meisenecker)


Regenerative Landwirtschaft

Zukunft der Menschheit

Mobstocking und Humusaufbau


Mikrobencomic (Armin)

Wie kann man mikrobiologische Organismen in Comicform darstellen?

  • Was gibt es fuer ein Thema das man sinnvoll Darstellen kann?
  • Wie stellt man es dar?

Komplexitaet der Prozesse und Organismen so hoch, dass es schwierig ist sie zu Vereinfachen. erste Idee: Bodenregenerationsprozess Problem: super vielschichtig

Reduzierungsschritt fuer eine Geschichte notwendig.

Amoeben storyboard: Wie frisst es sachen Wie pflanzt es sich fort? Wie bewegt es sich?

Open Library


Hosts, Team, Co-Organizers

Julian Chollet (DE)


Julian Chollet is a (no)mad scientist, curious student and informal teacher with a background in molecular biology. He is working on the endless and underexplored biodiverity of microbes, fungi and phages - with the aim to liberate the world from microphobia through workshopology, fermentation and microscopy. His current main project focuses on creative learning environments and public participation in science with emphasis on the invisible world.


Josephine Blersch (DE/PT)


Josephine is scientist, teacher and actress. Her research is driven by curiosity and interdisciplinarity. Her prospective is the communication of science leading to scientific matter being accessible and understandable to public audience. She is actress and script-writer of a theatre company Marionet which translates scientific (u-)topics into theatre plays. Josephine´s ambition is the creation of a bridge between artistic expression and science.


Rolf Mahnke (DE)


Experience Designer Concentrates on the design of digital formats and physical spaces for creative work, learning and innovation. Develops concepts for the participatory design of scientific events.

Founder of "Projekt Draussen"

Practitioners, Mentors and Workshopologists

Carlos de Paz (Peru/DE)


Carlos is a nomadic Architect (who has lived in Peru, France and Germany), a transdisciplinary thinker and a metaphysical artist. In keeping with St. John of the Cross’s motto  "to arrive to an unknown place, you must take an unknown path", he navigates through the blurry margins between Design, Complexity, Biology, Cognition, Physics, Teather, Biodance and Metaphysics. While living in Peru he has done various workshops, congresses, performances as well as installations: as co-founder of the “Atelier de la Carne: Metasensible Laboratory of the Body and the City”, or as co-director of the “Combi Project: Transdisciplinary Urban Reprogramming Laboratory”, he is and will continue to be a perpetual student, informal researcher, joyfull experimenter and inciter of the mindful understanding of love.

Detlef Schmitz (DE)




Robert Hubert & Tankred Fiedler (Mikrobiologische Vereinigung Muenchen e. V.)

Mikrobiologische Vereinigung München e. V.

Irmi Baumann (DE)


NaturCoach, Resilience trainer and mountain hiking guide. Her core theme is Preventive Health Training for companies and individuals in and with nature. Wild herb workshops, guided hikes of all kinds as well as educational programs for children and adolescents complete her portfolio.


Hellmut von Koerber


Hellmut cooperates since 40 years with pioneers in organic farming. He supports increasing agro-ecosystems with information, workshops and networking. As an information scientist he founded flexinfo.ch offering flexible information systems (e.g. for statistics of organic market, fair trade and other sustainability labels at FiBL). Aim: transparent and open ResourceBalancing for regenerative agro-ecosystems.


Lucy Patterson (UK/DE)

Lucy portrait.jpg

Hi! I’m a freelance science hacker and community organiser living and working in Berlin. I’m a biologist at heart and by training, fascinated by the very weird and extremely small molecular world. I work at the interface between science and society, creating projects and events that bring different communities together to engage with scientific ideas and explore the implications of contemporary research. I specialise in events that foster exchange and collaboration (hacks and hackathons, social or community events, world cafes, informal discussion events), experiences that encourage learning and discovery (workshops, hands-on activities, experiments), and immerse or entertain (immersive experiences, live performances).


sciencehackday Berlin

Florian Detig (DE)



Paul Simons

Maria Degand


Based in Leipzig, Student at Bauhaus in Weimar. With the intent to become a filmmaker with a strong science fiction portfolio I realized there is more - You do not have to base anything loosely on science, you can actually connect art and science, without becoming a filmmaker. Courses in Genetics, television, radio and recently in microplastic hybrids. Now trying to become a bioArtist. More personal: Married - proud cat owner - do not ask about plants - scuba diver.

Fabian und Tobias Pranter

Armin (DE)

Comiczeichner der sich nicht fuer "normale" Superhelden interessiert. Sucht nach externem Input fuer sinnvolle Inhalte. Moechte gerne lernen wie die Mikroorganismenwelt funktioniert und ein Mikrobencomic zeichnen.

Brãthew Van Schalkwyk (SA)



Ofentse Moshwetsi (SA)



Remote and Virtual Collaborators


Hackteria HUMUS Sapiens Forum

Random Thoughts About Soil

Related Projects on this wiki

Activities in the HUMUS Sapiens project which promotes open soil research started with RandeLab Soil Retreat in the beginning of May.