Yes, I am aware that 1000 bushels is a LOT of wheat, and I’m going to need a whole lot of help from you and everyone you know, dear reader, to pull this off. The point of the project is to turn something that is used as an investment by a broker into an investment in people and places. Taking a generic lot of wheat out of the commodity system and calling it art can reclaim its individuality and create something special among all who participate. By doing so, perhaps this project can raise awareness and stimulate discussion, help us think about new systems of food exchange and distribution, and facilitate the sharing of knowledge about how to grow, mill and use wheat. And it will even feed some people.
So this is where you come in. I’m seeking:
1) Community / school gardens, organic farmers, small farmers, backyard gardeners or other organizations dealing with urban agriculture issues who would like to give wheat growing a try.
2) Experienced wheat farmers who want to dedicate a bit of acreage to growing some of the wheat in the interest of art (if you just want to give me some friendly advice, that’s also welcome).
3) Bakers and/or cooks (you don’t have to be a professional) who would like to make something with the wheat flour. I would give you whole wheat flour, and as a condition of this gift would require that you document what you do with it. Those who are using the wheat for a public/noncommercial purpose – e.g. school programs, feeding the hungry or homeless – are preferred, but I am also open to collaborations with local businesses.
4) Locations – preferably historically appropriate ones – to display the wheat, store it or to serve as centralized locations for distribution events. I would like to create some visually compelling displays; you wouldn’t have to commit to displaying the entire pile.
5) Cultural communities or organizations that work with them – especially ones who have traditional agricultural backgrounds or connections to wheat growing and/or baking / cooking – are strongly encouraged to contact me. By cultural communities, I mean groups of people with shared ethnic backgrounds or the organizations that support them – for example, organizations that work with new immigrants or particular ethnic communities.
Variations on these themes are most welcome; if you’re wondering whether your idea would fit in with this project, if it has something to do with wheat, it probably would! Eventually I’m going to put some sort of form up on my website to be a bit more organized about this; for now, if you’re interested in getting involved or getting on the email list for this project, please send an email to sarah “at” gogoweb “dot” com.
Lastly, if you are potentially interested in funding any part of the project, even small donations are welcome! Again, I’m still figuring out how funding will work and what the entire budget will be (including purchase, storage, transportation, and milling of the wheat). I want to be transparent about my budget needs and explore new models of art funding with this project, potentially a CSAA (community-supported agricultural art!) model where folks buy a share and get some wheat flour from the project in return. Contact me via email to get details or to share ideas.
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