Friday, April 1, 2011
Soil Kitchen @ 2nd & Girard
Soil Kitchen is a temporary, windmill-powered architectural intervention and multi-use space where citizens can enjoy free soup in exchange for soil samples from their neighborhood. Placed across the street from the Don Quixote monument at 2nd Street and Girard Avenue in North Philadelphia, Soil Kitchen’s windmill pays homage to the famous windmill scene in Cervantes', Don Quixote. Rather than being “adversarial giants” as they were in the novel, the windmill here will be a functioning symbol of self-reliance. The windmill also serves as a sculptural invitation to imagine a potential green energy future and to participate in the material exchange of soil for soup - literally taking matters into one’s own hands. This exchange provides an entry point for further dialogue and action available in the space through workshops, events and informal exchange. Soil Kitchen provides sustenance, re-established value of natural resources through a trade economy, and tools to inform and respond to possible contaminants in the soil.
Soil Kitchen will coincide with the E.P.A.’s National Brownfields Conference. Soil Kitchen gathers soil and creates a Philadelphia Brownfields Map and Soil Archive. In addition to serving soup and testing soil, the building will be a hub for exchange and learning; free workshops including wind turbine construction, urban agriculture, soil remediation, composting, lectures by soil scientists and cooking lessons.
As individuals we often find difficulty in the ability to initiate change within the complex systems that govern our lives, yet, in the 17th century, on the verge of the industrial revolution, Spanish author Miguel de Cervantes described a character who took a stand against seemingly invisible giants. His name was Don Quixote de la Mancha.
Today, after centuries of industry wear upon the earth, natural resources and the places we live, we have trouble pinpointing exactly the cause, let alone developing a solution. As the city of Philadelphia strives to become the greenest city by 2015, Futurefarmers looks to the imaginative power of Don Quixote for inspiration for the creation of Soil Kitchen.
I think this is a fantastic project! I can't wait to check it out! And I'm so stoked that it is taking place in my neighborhood!
Don't forget the project starts today and runs through the 6th!
For more information, schedule of programs, soil sample instructions and more visit the Soil Kitchen's website.