2010/03/26 — 2010/03/27
public works and Somewhere are involved in a long term project called the International Village Shop, a platform for the production and distribution of locally informed goods across a network of urban and rural communities. As part of the International Village Shop we are generating new products which directly refer to specific situations and are developed collaboratively with local hosts. The site Abbey Gardens is the site of "What will the Harvest Be?" an ambitious artist's commission initiated by the Friends of Abbey Gardens (FOAG) to revive a neglected piece of land in Newham, East London. The artists - Karen Guthrie & Nina Pope - led the development of a 'harvest garden' that will run for a minimum of 3 seasons at the site. The 80m x 20m garden was launched in spring 2009 as a social and horticultural experiment: its 30 large-scale raised beds are freely accessible for anyone who wants to grow flowers, fruit and vegetables. In 2009 it attracted over 30 regular users as well as many more occasional volunteers and groups of all ages. Members of the public also visit the garden, which is ordinarily open daily, and there are regular events and activities. The 2010 planting scheme has been designed by the artists, and plans for the coming season include the planting of an experimental trained fruit wall, the instigation of an 'honesty stall' to offer produce to the public and wider public engagement in the community. See: www.whatwilltheharvestbe.com and www.abbeygardens.org for more details. Production Workshop The idea for the workshop is to brainstorm and develop new objects/items/goods that derive from the context of Abbey Gardens a collective urban food growing site. The brief is open and will be developed collectively and in reference to specific aspects of Abbey Gardens, such as collective gardening and harvesting, urban food production, social and historical aspects of the site, etc. The aim for the two day workshop is to develop a brief for one or a number of new products, and if possible, to assemble first prototypes. The new items can be anything: from food or tools to plants or processes and of a real or digital nature. The products may later be used at Abbey Gardens and distributed locally through the Abbey Gardens' new honesty box and mobile stall. The honesty box is part of a wider network of cultural trading activities called the International Village Shop, where the new products for Abbey Gardens can become part of a growing collection of locally informed and produced goods.