Springmavera ROCKED today!
As of Sunday, Immigrant Movement International (Thank you IMI very much for this) will receive a weekly shipment of seasonal vegetables from upstate New York. A portion of these vegetables will then be used in our weekly cooking demonstrations. Today’s preparation included a crispy green salad with a raspberry vinaigrette - YUM. Seasonal vegetables make for the freshest and healthiest food!
After food we moved to plants. Marco introduced a number of gardening techniques. One of these techniques included Natalie Jermjenkos Ag-Bag. From the looks of it, everyone was excited to learn about ecosystems and how plants such as Borage, and Nasturtiums not only attract beneficial bugs, but also carry much monetary value. It seems edible flowers are hot on the chefs palette. With a few minutes to spare Holly and I gave a short seed demo.
Several hours later, Marco, myself and Holly were still at IMI, cleaning, planting, setting up a camera, demystifying Gaia soil and smiling. We also planted calendula, marigolds, peppers, and mint. The garden in springing.
More Pictures SOON
There is much to say when thinking of social work and its integration into art. There is even more to say when thinking of the individual and the practice he or she brings to share with a community they know not much about. Yet what can one say without sounding pessimistic or overdetermined that they are correct in their observations. Guess all one can do is speak from experience and hope that their words will shine a light on an ongoing question.
Most recently, Springmavera approached Immigrant Movement Intenational with a proposition: we will come here, build a garden, everyone will want to join, we will harvest from out planters, make food, then move to the Hall of Science and start Biomodd. Of course, our tone was more leveled, but my reflections takes me to such a place. Wow, were we wrong.
In art school, listening is not a course. However, i would argue it should take hold. As a whole, we as a people, might think of becoming participants more than teachers when working socially and out in the open air.
So far Springmavera has learned: we cannot have workshops on Sunday, no one is around; therefore, participation is low. The point is to interact with the community around IMI. As a response, we now gather Tuesday mornings.
When visiting several weeks back, I met a vibrant and most pleasant women from Mexico. Her name is Veronica. She's as fresh as a sprout and as energetic as the sun. She mentioned plants, food preparation, nutrition, healthy eating and so on. I took her lead and went with it. As of now, Springmavera is moving its gatherings to include vegetable prep, plant knowledge and gardening. As a crew of food loving people, we have spoke about vegetables seen, yet not so sure how to cook, made a salad of kale, talked about kale varieties, community supported agriculture and sub-irrigated planters. Next week, everyone is bringing a kind of fruit, we are making a fruit salad, i'm giving a lesson on making homemade granola and Marco will help plant the seeds and plants brought from everyone's home.
So this is it for now. Such work is never easy, yet the journey is ever so rewarding. Even more rewarding when one realizes, those whom we think we are "helping" are actually helping us. Pictures to come soon.
Check out these inspirational photos from the Facebook page of Eco Village International Network. Things we might also explore in Springmavera since we're getting more restricted in the use of space at Immigrant Movement International. I also added an interesting poster from that same page which reminded me very much about the conversations I've been having with Jason about the role and politics of urban farming.
It’s New York, of course there will be obstacles: two planters have been removed, some greens have perished and a much-needed facelift has been struck with claims of – liability. Whose to think that spinach, lettuce, pea seeds, tire tube planters and tyvek box could cause such havoc. I had no idea. Then again, it goes to show how radical plants and the hands and hearts of those who help them grow can be. With many more months to tackle, spring, summer and fall will be an uphill climb. Tuesday will see borage, oregano, mint and green onions. From one garden to the next: Brooklyn -> Queens, I’ve transplanted, and with great care, the strongest, most beautiful and intentionally sound plants. Not to mention, they’ve just been fed-the juice has power (fish emulsion, garlic, spicy peppers, molasses, and compost tea).
Borage - A medicinal and edible plant. Once believed to cause courage before battle (I think it was the Romans). Its leafs have a cucumber like flavor. One can freeze the flowers, then use them in fancy cocktails and ice teas. The flowers are also lovely in soups and salads. To learn more about this lovely plant visit the free encyclopedia-http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Borage
It's spring, dandelions are blooming, robin red breast are chirping and once again, the maple is budding. Springmavera declares itself - ACTIVE. Together, as team and community, Corona Queens shall be transformed on March 25th around Immigrant Movement International. If possible, please join us in the celebration. Upcoming workshops include moss graffiti (Marco Enriquez), AgBags (Natalie Jereminjenko) and sub-irrigated planters (Bob Hyland). Please keep a look on the blog, as time moves forward, more is to come. Happy Planting -Jason