Boswyck Farms at the Urban Wilderness Action Center

Saturday March 20th was Eyebeam’s (eyebeam.org) Urban Wilderness Action Center — a day of events promoting guerrilla gardening, materials reuse, and food production. UWAC was produced in conjunction with Electrosmog, an international festival that introduced and explored the concept of “Sustainable Immobility”: a critique of current systems of hyper mobility of people and products in travel and transport, and their ecological unsustainability. Electrosmog took place more or less simultaneously in New York, London, Berlin, and Amsterdam.

Boswyck Farms took the two-pronged approach: stationary, and mobile. Lee and Joanna set up a hydroponic teaching table inside Eyebeam, where they demonstrated four of our systems: an aeroponic system, a drip system, a nutrient film technique system, and a passive system. In addition to the showcase of set-ups, they also handed out information about Boswyck Farms’ educational programs and general mission.

UWAC Day was also the premiere of our Mobile Kitchen Unit (MKU): a Radio Flyer wagon retrofitted to be a semi-autonomous picnic kitchen. Currently, the MKU is equipped with (almost) all of the materials necessary to make pesto — a Boswyck Farms specialty. This time around, we made pesto with our own arugula and spinach. Special thanks to Travis Tench of Band of Bicycles (bandofbicycles.com) for lending us the bike-powered blender.

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Chloë and Robert led interactive demonstrations of the MKU on the sidewalk outside Eyebeam, in the West Side Highway Park, and in a public green space near the Chelsea Market. In total, we worked with about twenty people (age four and a half to adult) to make and eat pesto. We hope that the MKU will help teach folks that making healthy, locally-sourced food can be easy and fun.

Eyebeam’s Stephanie Pereira took more pictures of the MKU and our other activities (including a couple short videos). Click here to see the photos and videos.

Images courtesy of Stephanie Pereira

UWAC was initiated by artist Jon Cohrs, in collaboration with the Eyebeam Student Residents, Eyebeam education coordinator Stephanie Pereira, and UK-based artist Kai-Oi Jay Yung. We look forward to partnering with Eyebeam again.

Stay tuned for a number of upcoming events and presentations, including an appearance at The Bushwick Starr (thebushwickstarr.org), and a festival with the New York Restoration Project (nyrp.org).

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