Invisible Food on the Loughborough Estate

By Ceri Buck | June 12 2008

Invisible Food on the Loughborough Estate

Blog Category: General update

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    This is a project I’m involved in. I’m trying to get local people talking about growing and finding food. Slow process but all good things are slow! Invisible food discovers the wild food growing quietly in the Loughborough area of Brixton; food that can nourish local residents into health and resilience. Invisible food responds to the global necessity to live more locally, to rely less on transport – now that the blip of cheap oil is over – and to create stronger networking communities. Invisible food recognises that “the logic of the market leads to mass starvation”, as Mumia Abu-Jamal wrote about recent hikes in food prices leading to riots in Mexico. And Vandana Shiva argues that we can only strengthen local economies in the developing world by relocalising agriculture in the West. Invisible food is fed up with the idea that developing countries have to export the food growing in their back yards for economic ‘growth’ at the cost of their own nutrition and health. You can’t eat money. And besides, money is never fairly distributed, whereas plants are. Invisible food responds to a sense of lack of earthly connections in inner city areas in London. It provides an opportunity to get on first name terms with local plants and to cook them up. Wild food is whole food. Wild food carries power and energy. Wild food is naturally occurring and uniquely adapted to its environment; resilience and strength are present in every cell of plant matter. Our wild food in London is a gift to us from its ancient woodlands. “Eat wild food frequently, in addition to your normal diet, and your tastes begin to change. The junk foods you couldn’t resist before now irritate your tongue, smell offensive and generally annoy you. Wild food is vital, unique, local, common, simple, messy, fresh, abundant, accessible, seasonal, varied and full of love.” Susun Weed Invisible food invites people from the local area to walk and talk and search out some urban food. It will then be used to make tea, infusions, cordials, soup, fritters, ravioli, tarts, pies, salads, jams, jellies, preserves, syrups, champagnes, wines and beer. In the noisy green silence of the hedgerows and bushes of Brixton, Invisible food wants to know what your mother told you about plants, what you can remember your grandmother doing with plants, what plants you remember from your childhood, wherever that was. Don’t discount anything. It’s all food for the future. Invisible food is no expert. We are an experiment arising from the fractured and isolated urban condition of having very little to do plants. Invisible food is an excuse to learn. Invisible food loves to acknowledge this suggestion by Meg Wheatly that, human conversation is the most ancient and easiest way to cultivate the conditions for change ••• if we can sit together and talk about what’s important to us, we begin to come alive. We share what we see, what we feel, and we listen to what others see and feel. Invisible food sits and writes these looping sentences when not out walking the hedgerows and reflects on the conversations that were had out on the commons. Invisible food likes to show where ideas come from so that’s why there are lots of quotes on this piece of paper. Invisible food is a guerrilla operation liberating time through land, imagination through memory, and friendship through food. Invisible Food has a sister thread of a project called the Plant Olympics 2008 which is a workshop for children exploring and inventing games with plants. The walks take place in the area stretching between Loughborough Junction, Loughborough, Mostyn and Ruskin Parks and Myatts Field Info: 07963 446605 or openbracket@riseup.net. Priority is given to residents from the Loughborough Estate Months and what to make in them April Nettle tart, ravioli, soup, tea Crystallised violets and violet rice pudding Young hawthorn leaves May Nettle tart, ravioli, soup, tea Crystallised violets and violet rice pudding Young hawthorn leaves Elderflower cordial, fritters and champagne June Elderflower cordial, fritters and champagne Chickweed salad and pesto Fat Hen, Good King Henry and Dead nettle greens July Dog rose petal jam and crystallised dog rose petals Lime blossom tea Chickweed salad & pesto Fat Hen, Good King Henry and Dead nettle greens August Dog rose petal jam and Crystallised dog rose petals Lime blossom tea Chickweed salad & pesto Fat Hen, Good King Henry and Dead nettle greens September Hawthorn jelly Blackberries Mulberries Rowan and Elder berry jam Dandelion root coffee October Sloe gin Hawthorn jelly Chickweed salad, pesto Rosehip soup and syrup

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WRITTEN BY

Ceri Buck