Tuesday, June 30, 2009
At Participation Park i have been able to make working my art, it has allowed my artwork to work not just for me but for others too. So rather than thinking about gardening as only a physical or ecological process, I would like to think about it as an artistic process. The entire act of my bodies work in cohesion with the land that I touch with my hands, my general demeanor and openness towards others, my expressions, the making of each thrash with the pickaxe or each push with the shovel becomes a dutiful and passionate act that i treat with the same respect that I would a drawing or a film of mine. To completely devote myself to the work, so that it becomes an art.
Doing something and then thinking about it differently from how it is… There is a great positive energy in Participation Park, it is a very inspirational force and a great atmosphere to work in but what negative forces might also be present. I like to think about this often, not to be a pessimist, much the opposite, so in order to attain a better understanding of Participation Park’s role and function within itself and its community, thinking about all of its purposes openly and within the history of its site. I live three blocks from Participation Park, yet my home is not part of its community...
Digging at Participation Park I notice myself staring at my hands. Thinking about my back, wanting to correct my posture, use the right muscles so as not to hurt myself. I look around at others. People are bent down, hunched over, squatting, hammering, and completely engrossed within their activity. I have never seen people more devoted to their duty. These people are dedicated. It must be something about the earth, an interaction with the processes of nature, the ability to nurture, to create, to give to.
I think about the great sense of satisfaction I receive from using my body in a way that feels foreign. Having to learn new positions and motions. Feeling pain and sweat, an exhaustion devoted to other. It’s not the same exhaustion that I receive from playing sports or even from working on my own projects. Its not even necessarily about the community, its about engaging with life because even though I know something will grow once I have planted the seeds and done all the work and watered it, I know that I am still going to be completely amazed and unbelieving when I watch this thin green stalk produce a plump tomato that I can eat and that is good for me. Like Roy said, its Magic.
Quietness can be seen in everyone’s faces working. A deep concentration, maybe people are talking to themselves in their heads, analyzing their problems or thinking about what they will do after class. Maybe these faces are daydreaming, wandering in distant lands or completely drawing a blank, engrossed within the pattern of steps and strains their body is committing on top of the soil they work. Eyes are still.
Even the low muttered conversations are somewhat impersonal and polite, at least indirect, as bodies continue to work, their faces aimed downward.
Participation Park facilitates these needs. I feel better everyday I work there, hoping that I won’t stop once the class has ended and that I might start my own garden. I feel glad just to be part of the cause. There doesn’t seem to be any ego or heroism to the labor, it feels just and selfless, but on the other hand maybe gardening is purely for the self, it has very therapeutical attributes. Perhaps I am indulging too much on my own motivations, but I like to feel good about the work that I do.
There was a point where I would have felt uncomfortable being in the neighborhood that Participation Park is in, but Participation Park allowed me to understand better its location and I have come to walking its streets very comfortably. I probably would have never gotten to that point if it weren’t for gardening. Participation Park gave me a purpose, a cause to be there. I feel like a naïve child saying this but perhaps if there were more gardens around the city, the city would become a better, safer place. Gardens create destinations for people to go to, not tourists or suburban commuters, but locals. Gardens attract the people who live around them and bring them together.
Monday, June 29, 2009
Sunday, June 28, 2009
Monday, June 22, 2009
Or, you know, work 10-1 and then come to the Contemporary Museum and attend a lecture by artist Zaq Landsberg about his nation-state, Zaqistan. It is completely relevant, esp. to conversations of common land and nation-states. Also, Zaq is coming all the way down from New York to do it.
Sunday, June 21, 2009
These soils exist in five different physiographic provinces in Maryland which are:
Coastal Plain Province
Piedmont Plateau Province (this includes Baltimore and is very nutrient rich, which makes sense as many cities were once agricultural centers)
Blue Ridge Province
Ridge and Valley Province
Appalachian Plateaus Province
Soil texture traingle:
Helps to classify soil type based on the amount of sand, silt and clay present in the soil.
Med loam is good soil.
You should never change the mineral content of the soil (e.g. trying to make a sandy loam soil into a clay loam soil).
A ribbon test is a very simple way to test your soil. To do this you get a
handful of soil and squeeze it between your index finger and thumb, forcing
the soil out into a "ribbon"; the longer you are able to press the soil without it
breaking apart or crumbling, the higher the clay content of your soil. One
inch is a good length.
To increase the water-holding content and structure of the soil, add organic
Organic matter contained in the soil is a combination of plant roots, fungi, insects, microbes and burrowing animals. These things in combination not only help to prevent the soil from becoming compacted, but also absorb heat and moderate the temperature of the soil during the growing season.
There are fifteen essential plant nutrients which are obtained through the soil. They are:
C, N, P, K, S, Ca, Mg
Mn, Cu, Zn, Fe, B, Mb, Cl, Co
Nitrogen moves through the soil vertically. Old leaves turn yellow when deficient in this element. It governs plants capacity to make proteins and promotes cell growth.
Cover crops such as clover, rye, oats, wheat and legumes put nitrogen back into the soil.
Phosphorus promotes the development of flowers and fruit. Unlike nitrogen, it moves horizontally throughout the soil and is needed to move plant sugars. Signs of deficiency may be noted by dull green or purplish leaves.
Potassium is beneficial for plant growth and disease resistance. It aids in good seed production. A plant may deficient in this nutrient if there are yellow, burnt-looking leaf edges.
There is a higher ratio of nitrogen in green matter (lettuce, avocado peels, spinach, etc.)
and a higher ratio of carbon in brown matter (straw, leaves, old newspaper, lint, soil)
32:1 ratio of nitrogen to carbon is generally considered good compost.
If the compost is too dry and not decomposing, add more nitrogen-rich matter.
The compost should feel like a dried-out sponge as the water helps the micro-organisms to move around. If left out in the sun, a compost pile can dry out. a slanted roof over the pile is a good way to keep out excessive rain but keep in heat.
To take a sampling of soil from your garden/farm/yard collect fifteen to twenty samples from somewhat typical areas of the space: 2" deep for lawns; 6" deep for gardens
Air-dry the samples and mix them together into one. The final sample should be no less than one cup, but no more than two cups.
Decide where you want to send the sample based on cost, speed, and what it is you want tested.
Your test results will tell you the pH of the soil, its texture, fertility, and what nutrients may be needed to be added to the soil. It may also tell you whether or not the soil contains lead.
The pH of the soil is very important as it directly affects the amount of nutrients that the plant can take up from the soil. A fairly neutral pH of 6-7 is generally the most beneficial, though certain plants can do well in acidic or alkaline soils.
beets - 6/20 -8/1
cabbage - 7/10-8/20
swiss chard 6/15-7/25
The “primitive” impulse in painting around the turn of the 20th century can be linked to other reactionary movements like Art Nouveau which attempted to counter the mechanization of life because of the Industrial Revolution. Primitivist painters favored an expressive inner-response unadulterated by the restrictions of formal academic representation or enlightened spiritualism advocated by the Impressionists and Post-Impressionists. They saw in primitive technique a way to make painting more authentic by refuting the futile optical effects and pictorial structures so prominent in such work - think stylistically of Impressionism, Divisionalism and Fauvism.
The idea that the so called “primitive” approach can bring back a certain amount of naturalism, a closer relationship to the individual and their realities, reaches far beyond the limited scope of early 20th century European painting. The same sense of getting back in touch with reality is an important element in facing the ecological concerns we have to deal with today. The disjunction between what people need to survive and the means of obtaining those needs is a more pressing, practical application of these thoughts.
In the second half of the 20th century, after WWII, our country switched from industry to consumption. Top-down powers structures became stronger. We outsourced much of our factories and in the 1960’s let people like Robert Moses build highway projects that decentralized our cities. Today, even the privatization of water seems possible. (It has already happened in Bolivia, where it was illegal, for a time, to collect rainwater).
The relationship we now have to the food we eat comes from the same post-WWII development. War propaganda techniques were quickly adapted to consumer marketing schemes. Ruthless mass-profit capitalism reigned. Consequently, it has become normal to know little about where food comes from. It is normal to know nothing of how it is produced and what exactly is in it. We have another failing relationship between production and consumption and the failure of consumers to see this seems normal as well.
What I liked most about Participation Park is that it counters the displacement of the means of production and control. It reclaims unused space and localized a community food space. The project is evidence of a self-sustainable lifestyle bringing the production of food back to the individual. It intends to create a community space and helps revitalize a portion of East Baltimore without top-down politics.
As ideas grow and develop upon one another in any system there is always a point at which operation fails because the basic necessities which keep the system working become lost. For the Neo-Primitivists the failure in the progression of modern painting was a lacking relationship between naturalistic artistic expression and overly intellectualized technique. Today, we are seeing the potential failure of certain systems we have come to rely on due to marketing, privatization, government …etc. We will either have to take back the means of production or we will be forced to when the systems that govern our accessibility fail - we have to sidestep stagnating ideology and do what actually works.
Saturday, June 20, 2009
"WHO SAYS SUSTAINABLE FARMING CAN'T BE MASS PRODUCED?" (Why are they yelling?)
Friday, June 19, 2009
These are some tomato, eggplants and pepper plants that Isaac and I have been growing on our rooftop. The four tomatoes we have in one bed are probably a bit crowded but we are treating this as an experiment.
The beds were easy to build and consist of recycled wood and coffee bean bags that Zekes sells for a buck at the Waverly Farmers Market. The bags are nice and porous and retain water for a while after it rains. We get a few weeds but I think the bags also help keep those down as well.
We elevated the beds so the soil does not come in contact with our nasty roof runoff that consists of rust and other things from some old heating units on the very top of the roof. We figured it not to be good for the plants. There are also some holes in the bottoms for drainage just in case it rains too much.
Our next job is to construct some sort of fencing to keep out critters. A couple weeks ago we had a well growing tomato but one morning it was gone. We didn't really anticipate that problem. But overall it has been surprisingly easy so far. Neither Isaac or I have ever had a garden before but if things keep going as they are it looks like we might have a few tomatoes later this summer.
For the past few years me and my boyfriend have been putting in a garden, each year expanding the size, adding more varieties of vegetables that we are familiar with and this year adding vegetables and fruit that we haven't tried growing before. About 75% of the plants were from seeds that we germinated indoors in a make-shift terrarium out of an unused 125 gallon aquarium in my studio. The other 25% of the plants were purchased, or like the strawberries, were perennials from last year. This year we tripled the size of the garden and added new things we haven't planted before, radish, sweet potatoes, pumpkins (which I'm really excited for) a few odd varieties of cucumbers, and corn (which was murdered by a strong storm last year) We even ventured out an put in a few blueberry bushes closer to the house which seem to be doing very well. While I don't consider our garden to be organic, we don't use chemicals to fertilize them. The only thing that we added to the soil was compost while it was being tilled.
I remember someone in class saying that the knowledge gained through this class is gained through the work, and I cant agree more. I learned so many things from being hands on that honestly wouldn't have picked up anywhere else. The class visits to all of the gardens was inspirational to me and i tried passing on that inspiration to our neighbors. Three of which have put in a small garden of their own. Participation park has inspired us to invite the neighbors to harvest what they want or need at their leisure from our garden. Roy got me thinking about eating seasonally, which seems to be a task that I'm not quite ready for, but has inspired us to stock up on canning equipment, since we will have more food than we can consume in a season, so we will be preserving and pickling for food in the fall and winter.
Next year we plan to make the garden about 6 times what it is now and do some sort of CSA deal. Where neighbors are invited to purchase canvas bags that can be refilled with veggies and delivered to their home. I don't have any desire to make any profit, just to kind of bring everyone together over a commonality. After all we have the largest yard in the neighborhood and I want to put it to work instead of just mowing the lawn every week. I am also contemplating getting chickens, yet I'm not sure what the neighbors would think, but there is always eggs available for peace offerings.
Below are photos from our garden this year...
Thursday, June 18, 2009
Great Kids Farm is owned by the Baltimore Public School system. It is a growing resource for nutritional and agricultural education. Eventually Great Kids Farm will provide food for cafeterias that will cater to the students of Baltimore Public Schools.
At Great Kids Farm our class was able to interact with the chicken, goat, bee, and greenhouse systems that thrive on the young farm.
In fact- chickens, goats, and bees are just three of the fourteen living systems on Great Kids Farm which also includes small fruit, vegetables, and mushrooms.
Greg Strella, our guide at Great Kids Farm, explained how the harlequin bug disrupts the food chain on Baltimore farms.
Baltimore's warming climate has allowed the harlequin bug to migrate north leaving its predators behind.
Until the harlequin bug's predators move north the harlequin bug remains unchecked in Baltimore.
In order to save their crops from devastation Greg and volunteers on the farm spread organic fertilizers but finding and crushing the harlequin bug eggs by hand has been the most successful pest control on Great Kids Farm.
Great Kids Farm started with a flock of 50 chickens. In the future they plan to build a more portable chicken coop/trailer that can move around to public schools. For now, Great Kids Farm has an impressive coop for their chickens. The coop is surround by a fence that keeps the foxes out but lets the chickens run around.
Most chicken meat that is sold in stores and restaurants originate from eight week old chickens. After chickens turn two years old their egg production slows down and they are killed.
Two year old chickens are normally called stock chickens because they are used in soup.
I was very sad to hear about this as the chickens were very friendly and let me hold them.
Miranda showed me how if you turn a chicken upside down it will get sleepy.
Farmers replace their chickens after two years because it takes more energy to keep them alive than the chickens can return.
Some of the students in the class are interested in starting a "Chicken Club" at MICA. I hope that this happens because it would be nice to have chickens and fresh eggs.
During my time at Great Kids Farm I worked with several other students building shelving for beehives. The shelves were very beautiful. Everyone was impressed with the artificially combed beeswax. In order to make the uniform hives for the bees to produce honey in manufacturers process the beeswax roll it out and press a new comb print into it.
Many of the students expressed interest in learning beekeeping.
Greg Strella explained that this is a very practical and profitable hobby to keep in an urban environment. For one, cities have extended bloom season, and as Baltimore is on a harbor- it is even more extended because of the cooler temperatures near the water.
My sparked interest in bees got me talking to several people that I know.
-My friend Emma Steinkraus' parents keep bees and they were able to procure a special breed of bees that are very gentle.
-I learned that a swarm of bees will follow the queen if you capture the queen in a jar from my father's coworker who had a thick swarm of bees in her front yard.
I also learned that if a bee is full of honey it won't sting.
For those interested in taking a class in beekeeping the Central Maryland Beekeeper’s Association offers beekeeping classes in the spring (March/April):
The Oregon Ridge Nature Center (Where the beekeeping class by CMBA is held) has a lot of great programs this summer
For those interested Greg Strella is always excited about new volunteers. Me and some of the other kids from class are going to make some educational games for the children that come to work on the farm.
Wednesday, June 17, 2009
Harvest the karmic fruits
All year round
Mr. Sharp is like a Zen master who need only put up a finger to enlighten the student - his "way" is steady & after twenty or more years of cultivating the same piece of land, he has attained his "garden-mind" - his expression is like an untarnished mirror - I watched him work earlier today & was mesmerized by his effortlessness – like Prince Wu Hui's cook who was cutting up an ox / Out went a hand / Down went a shoulder / He planted a foot / He pressed with a knee / The ox fell apart / With a whisper / The bright cleaver murmured / LIke a gentle wind / Rhythm! Timing! / Like a sacred dance / Like "The Mulberry Grove" / Like ancient harmonies! / .... / "When I first began / To cut up oxen / I would see before me / The whole ox / All in one mass / "After three years / I no longer saw this mass / I saw the distinctions / But now I see nothing / With the eye - My whole being / Apprehends / My senses are idle - The spirit / Free to work without plan / Follows its own instinct / Guided by natural line / By the secret opening, the hidden space / My cleaver finds its own way / I cut through no joint, chop no bone... // Eventually, the whole gives way to its complexities that in turn, reveal a way that requires no force - not to say that farming or gardening doesn't necessitate discipline, hard work or technicality, but that after a while, the 'divisions' and 'the whole' are subsumed by an indescribable ease that isn't predicated on force, but on submission to pratyayas & hetu. Wendell Berry has written that the language of farming is verbally incommunicable - that it is experiential. It took Prince Wu Hui's butcher only a few years & required merely two virtues: practice and patience - does the story reveal how exactly? No & it never will - it's only a guide...
Or, take for instance Roy Skeen inviting us to walk through the woods. As I made my way through the high grass, trailing a foot or two behind him, he asked me if I had ever read The Lion the Witch and the Wardrobe by C.S Lewis. I responded that I had long ago, but that I was more familiar with a few of his theological works. Then the conversation simply ended – we continued to walk. There was also some talk of giants when we arrived at the Cat-cleared 'trail' but only in passing. On top of what he had spoken to earlier by the fire, both of these cryptic musings leads me to believe that Roy's practical farming practice is supplemented by or even contingent on, an honest and eager openness to the fantastic and magical - by virtue of its just 'being-there' the garden, or more broadly 'nature', lends itself to the spiritually and occult minded - forest nymphs, faeries, mole people, the bo-tree where Siddartha Guatama became the tathagata, the endangered and 'deep' knowledge of biodiversity as learned firsthand by all the 'primitive' Amerindians, the Old Testament garden with its lush fig trees, etc. - I for one find the approach seductive, but am also skeptical that it could just simply be a posture - a last resort against the spiritless machinations of agribusiness and consumerism (that we all know derive their power from the rhizomatic ambivalence of us post-modern H. sapiens - buffoons really) - But then I wonder, is it really too late to regain the teachings of our ancestors? Should we all just throw in the towel because we haven't yet accepted the responsibility or taken the necessary steps to awakening our for-now-dormant earth-mindedness? Or am I reaching too far back? Maybe a step forward would be to acknowledge that we've been orphaned by careerism - that we register "teacher" as possible-vocation-when-I-get-out-of-graduate-school, instead of source of true knowledge for how to have a practice in our own lives. Our elders, realistically, are men like Mr. Sharp - what better teacher to venerate & to tap for that rich knowledge of not only how things grow, but specifically, how to grow them within the city? (his uncanny delivery of two crates full of highly processed trans-fatty snack-foods notwithstanding)
The Hamilton Crop Circle is another example: a few gen y'ers reclaiming aspects of wildness/primitiveness by synthesizing and co-ordinating the institutions/practices of the dwelling and food-production - totally in harmony with an improvised spirituality derived from what may be the mythologies we've been seeking but have otherwise been ashamed to invest it (since most are borrowed), namely, jam band culture, Rastafarian dietary and herbal traditions, post-hippy collectivism, yogic new-age exercise regiments and the information superhighway, etc. or something...
Then there are the ideologue gardeners and hifalutin' rabble-rousers who see/use farming practices as a way to express symbolically (as well as utilize practically), the green-viability of disenfranchised neighborhood properties that would otherwise remain voided. Participation Park is one such example. An area of concern/interest I see in this approach is that in some sense, a neighborhood must remain undesirable for the farming practices to remain unhindered. As we saw in heart-wrenching modern myth of The Garden, the ability of an urban farm to produce is unfortunately dependent upon landowners - a lot that will grow successfully ultimately needs to be in an area where there is no economic interest. In New York City, the agriculturalists have been forced to their rooftops. Hopefully Baltimore will remain like some other post-industrial cities and at least maintain a guise of being commercially and culturally barren.
I guess this leads me back to the question of 'proximity of dwelling to site of food production' - Participation Park is but a node in the net of civic green-spaces - the guys who started it don't live next to it or on it - traditionally, farmers live on the farm, but in the city-environment, is this even feasible, or is it more that the areas where we could foreseeably begin to grow food on a larger scale need to remain impoverished, at least to the degree that they remain obscure enough not to be encroached by real estate agents or developers? I could see Roy relocating himself to his farm - if he truly intends to cut himself off from the petroleum space-time continuum then he may as well assume the life of an ascetic and construct a hermitage; only returning to the world of appearances on the weekends for the market to engage customers in dharma combat or to sell them butter lettuce & extoll the virtues of the touch-me-not.
These thoughts are incomplete & scattered – Alls I know is that in my own short experience - this class - it has been a privilege to encounter such varying methodologies and to speak to/learn from such motivated and visionary humans.
hoop house wetlands, collective living, goats, poison ivy hysteria, & three catfish rotting in a crumbling alleyway
Tuesday, June 16, 2009
Monday, June 15, 2009
p.s. the place we were today is the location of the novel and TV series"The Corner"
26 N Fulton avenue, 21223.
BB is 443-841-6691.
Open Space Programs Director
Bon Secours of Maryland Foundation
Sunday, June 14, 2009
this could be a bump for chicken club!
Poultry fans in Madison persuaded the city's common council to reverse a ban on backyard hens about five years ago. The ordinance -- similar to regulations in Seattle, Los Angeles, Chicago and Baltimore -- allows up to four chickens per property. The animals are to be raised for eggs, and must be housed in a coop that is far separated from neighboring homes. (Roosters are typically banned in cities because of crowing.)
chicken laws for Baltimore city
Up to four chickens can be kept (no roosters) as long as they are confined to a moveable pen that is kept 25 feet away from all residences.
You must have a permit.
the city chicken- a list of chicken laws in various states
this story is mostly just cute from the bangor daily news a story about a man with too many chickens
all the extra work and fortifications aside, I do enjoy my flock, not to mention the fresh eggs they present to me daily. And they really do seem happy to see me every morning.
But overall I do have to say chickens are a great deal like misbehaving toddlers — only with wings.
At this point, pretty much the only thing I haven’t caught them doing is taking the keys to the tractor and doing doughnuts in the field.
I figure it’s only a matter of time.
Sorry again, and hopefully we'll be able to work this out!
I have been interested in the weeds that are pulled from the earth so that the lettuces and other plants may grow without competition. Many of these weeds grow and require no assistance to produce edible berries and foliage, as well as other parts of the plant. Many plants that are edible grow in our city and in our backyards, and yet we have been taught to be distrustful of eating anything other than that which we have planted, or which has been processed for consumption. I would think that it is a valuable thing to learn about the uses of these plants that grow so commonly and that do not require our attention.
Among all of these plants, mushrooms are possibly the most difficult to identify accurately, and so there is a greater risk in foraging for mushrooms. I would think that the challenge of growing mushrooms hold a greater reward, and little of the risk that comes with the difficulties of gathering them in the wild. The best resource for growing mushrooms, or about anything related to mushrooms, will lead you very quickly to Paul Stamets. We heard Adam at the Hamilton Crop Circle mention his name when he introduced us to his fledgling mushroom patch.
Stamets is a good resource when it comes to mushrooms. For a look at his theories, here is a video, and a link to Stamet's website,
TED sponsored by BMW. TED is a giant circlejerk but there is a lot of good science in Stamets' video, and a lot of interesting information on his website. And as I'd be careful just how much disbelief you should be willing to suspend on Stamet's behalf, he remains the best resource we have on mushrooms.
Saturday, June 13, 2009
When I wake up, I go to the bathroom, and it feels great. Then I go downstairs, and it feels great. If the dishes are dirty, I clean them__and they feel great. and if they sit together, clean in the cabinet, I eat off them__and that feels great.
If there is no more food in my ice box, I go to the store with food on shelves like a library to eat. and it is awesome, I can fill as many carts as I want and still carry them, because they have wheels. I can fill as many bags as I want, because they come for free__paper or plastic, both are great. I can walk through the greatest city in America, and that feels great. If I’m alive I can do things, that feels great. If I have money I can do more things, that feels great.
If I’m in the city, I don’t want to touch things.
If I plant my food, I don’t know what to do with it. I could dress my salad with a bottle. I could drink some orange juice.
Friday, June 12, 2009
I've been reading about Dutch art history a little bit lately. One thing I've been really interested in is an idea put forth by Svetlana Alpers, about the difference between the pictorial modes of areas south of the Alps (Italy) and areas north. The southern mode is one in which one makes sense of what appear to be random occurrences by inventing a higher truth that aligns them in a logical manner. The north, on the other hand, observes the world as it is around us and attempts to comprehend it as accurately and intensely as possible in order to place oneself in the world.
I was thinking about this in relationship to the brief presentation of artists working with gardening or greening spaces--which of these pictorial modes might better suit such efforts? Because certainly, while working in a garden one encounters a lot of interesting allegories to one's lived life or cultural institutions (tangent: can we talk some more sometime about the weird parallels between gardening vernacular and military vernacular?), at the same time the key thing when working in a garden is just doing it, simply toiling at a task and paying attention to the surroundings. I suspect the conversation of viewing it "as art" might be more about viewing it from this southern pictorial space--from this insistence that the gardening "mean something", when in fact the effort itself has an immanent meaning. The consequences, political and personal, are inherently tied to the physical act, to the fact of laboring over a shared resource. While it certainly matters to the participants in Edible Estates that they are part of this larger project, what probably matters more is how the cabbage is doing or if there's a pest problem. And perhaps those facts of living with the work day to day are more important than the nice bow made pulling strands of meaning together to tie up and package the work.
The understanding--and funding--of gardening as art may have more to do with the closed-off tendencies of scientific or political institutions than the openness of cultural institutions. Mel Chin couldn't fund Revival Field through scientific channels, but he could through the Walker Arts Center. Can anyone think of some organization not design or art related that would and could have funded Edible Estates? The "could" I suppose begs the question of how it is that art institutions can afford to fund these projects--because I'm pretty sure that they don't sustain the museums in any way (even when the ICA in Philadelphia had a solar greenhouse installed on their rooftop terrace for Locally Localized Gravity, it was temporary). This strikes me as unusual in that museums are spaces for contemporary practice but also for preservation. How can these be made to sustain the institution?
Reference points: Mierle Laderman Ukeles, Svetlana Alpers, Design 99.
Thursday, June 11, 2009
Student's Hand-book of Mushrooms of America: Edible and Poisonous from Google Books
This book seems really useful. Our edible toadstools and mushrooms and how to distinguish them.
WORTHLESS TRADITIONAL TESTS FOR THE DISCRIMINATION OF POISONOUS AND EDIBLE MUSHROOMS FAVORABLE SIGNS
1 Pleasant taste and odor
2 Peeling of the skin of the cap from rim to centre
3 Pink gills turning brown in older specimens
4 The stem easily pulled out of the cap and inserted in it like a parasol handle
5 Solid stems
6 Must be gathered in the morning
7 Any fungus having a pleasant taste and odor being found similarly agreeable after being plainly broiled without the least seasoning is perfectly safe
8 Boiling with a silver spoon the staining of the silver indicating danger
9 Change of color in the fracture of the fresh mushroom
10 Slimy or sticky on the top
11 Having the stems at their sides
12 Growing in clusters
13 Found in dark damp places
14 Growing on wood decayed logs or stumps
15 Growing on or near manure
1 6 Having bright colors
17 Containing milky juice
1 8 Having the gill plates of even length
19 Melting into black fluid
20 Biting the tongue or having a bitter or nauseating taste
21 Changing color by immersion in salt water or upon being dusted with salt
-Edible mushroom stems are cylindrical while poisonous mushroom stems are bulbous.
The mushroom book
EDIBLE PLANT/WEED SOURCES:
A source for books about edible wild plants.
This one is very boring: American weeds and useful plants
The Maryland Native Plant Society
Plants For a Future: Edible, useful, and medicinal plants
SPROUTING AND ANN WIGMORE:
A limited view of the Sprouting Book by Ann Wigmore
Amy Wigmore Natural Health Institute
some edible species
Our visit to Great Kids Farm covered tons of information...
Greg Strella the manager of the farm has a lot of knowledge about a variety of different aspects of farming. Great Kids Farm was started in November 2008 on a 33 acre piece of land owned by the Baltimore City Public Schools.
The school system has owned the land since 1953 when it was sold to the City for $5 by a black abolitionist under the stipulation that the land be used to educate young black men. The city built stone structures using stone quarried from the property to replace the old wooden buildings. After many years of successful use by the city, funding ran out and the property was shut down.
Today there are two full-time paid staff working there with a third person starting work next week. Great Kids Farm has 14 living systems on the farm including chickens (x between white rock and rhode island reds), goats (8 male Alpine/Nubians donated by Groff's Content Farm), wildlife, bees, fruits, and vegetables. Strella's aim is to be able to demonstrate as many things as possible on an urban farm. The goal is to show children and adults all the variety that is possible to accomplish in the city. Not all of the intended lessons will take place at the farm. They will have a mobile chicken coop that will be moved to various schools around the city. In addition, they will be installing greenhouses at some schools, and utilizing farm grown produce at student run cafe's in the city. Great Kids Farm is already selling produce through a CSA and to a couple local restaurants with more intended outlets in the future.
Learning about all that they have accomplished on this farm in only 8 months was impressive. I look forward to seeing how they progress in the future.
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- ▼ June (59)