I will now take a moment to recap the events of the past three or so weeks.
Jam Jam at 18 Reasons Gallery; 18th/ Guerrero, San Francisco
Jam Jam was an event that was sponsored by Slow Food Nation and the day’s activities were coordinated by Monica Linzner and Gordon Jenkins. Many others were involved in skill sharing jam making, the making of marmalade, preserving lemons, and making applesauce from Temescal apples. Jam Jam was only one of the many workshops that took place at 18 Reasons Gallery on August 30, and was part of the larger Slow Food Nation Youth Movement series. For example, several young farmers and urban gardeners came later in the day to the gallery and spoke about the joys and pitfalls of farming in the city; being a young farmer; and making the transition to rural lands.
Monica and I spent a large part of the morning before the Jam Jam gleaning fruits in the Oakland Hills, among them (the last of the) blackberries, oranges, elderberries, Eureka lemons, and several varieties of apples. Zhanara, who made a magnificent Central Asian style elderberry and blackberry jam, showed how jams are made in the traditional Kazak style, which is a method that takes three days all told and produces a syrup-y sweet jam.
The Eat-In at Dolores Park, 1 September
The Eat-In was one of the single-most inspiring public events I’ve been to in quite a while. Picture an urban hillside within clear view of downtown, complete with sirens in the background, panhandlers, families, and holiday barbecues. Now picture a table draped with white linen encasing the hillside, a table that doesn’t seem to end, and that can comfortably seat one hundred people on either side. Picture a family style meal where dozens of little factions come together and eat at this table– eating food that’s been prepared in kitchens all over the East Bay and San Francisco by young people who are rallying for fair access to delicious and healthy food for everyone, a country that values the people who grow its food, and a majority who is invested and cares about these issues enough that they spread the good word.
Here is a photo of my contribution:
Urban Re:Interventions, San Francisco, 5 September
Urban Re:Interventions is a show (which will be up until late October) that explores how we as designers, architects, and guerrilla artists can make small interventions in the built landscape of San Francisco. I presented a series of maps; enlarged 2’x 3′ photos of foraging adventures; blackberry, plum, and apricot syrups; a small collection of seeds; nocino; and everyday tools that I use for foraging, like a fruit picker and binoculars. There was also a fruit display which included Derby Street Asian pears. There were many other fine projects featured, so if you have a moment, check out the gallery space at 130 Sutter Street, San Francisco.
OPEN Restaurant, New Langton Gallery, 13 September
OPEN Restaurant is a new experimental restaurant project that is hosted by Jerome Waag; Sam White; and Stacie Pierce. The second OPEN project took place 13 September and the theme was the Open City, which essentially meant that all the ingredients were foraged from within the city limits of Berkeley, Oakland, and San Francisco. Backyard gardeners, community gardeners, enthusiastic canners, wine makers, beer brewers, urban farmers, fishmongers, seed savers, and artists all participated in this event and created a cohesive, beautiful menu for fifty diners. After the more formal sit-down portion of the dinner, anyone could come to the gallery and have a glass of wine and small plate, each $5. A bicycle-powered ice cream maker churned out ice cream and a swing installed especially for the occasion kept me- for one- entertained.
This is a photo of the newfangled farm box which read “Seed the Sensible; Harvest the Impossible.” The beauty of it, though, is that the phrases can easily be interchanged to read, for example “The impossible seed; the sensible harvest.”