Saturday, April 2, 2011
Yesterday evening I attended the opening reception for Soil Kitchen, a temporary public art project organized by the City of Philadelphia Office of Arts, Culture, and the Creative Economy. The collective Futurefarmers—unanimously selected by a panel including Carlos Basualdo, Joshua Mosley, and Winifred Lutz—provided the artistic vision, drawing upon Don Quixote, whose statue stands across the street from its location at 2nd Street and Girard Avenue. They appropriated the windmill, but as a positive model for sustainability and clean energy, rather than the imaginary enemy of a knight-errant. It is tempting to invoke the namesake quixotic moniker, but the project provides a model for community engagement necessary for transforming a dream and an ideal of sustainable living into a practicable reality.
The concept is simple and anyone can participate: bring in a soil sample for analysis and receive a bowl of soup in return, made from fresh, local, and organic ingredients. Empowered with the knowledge about the health and quality of their soil, participants can then take the leap to growing their own vegetables, which can become the ingredients for their own sustainable food.
Visit Soil Kitchen before it closes on April 6!