Glasgow2010 - 2013
Glasgow Harvest was developed as yearly highlight of the SAGE (Sow and Grow Everywhere) 3 year strategy to extol local food production across the city in lots of imaginative ways and bring people together to enjoy the fruits of their labour. From its start at the Hidden Gardens, the aim was to encourage local groups to develop and deliver harvests for themselves in the future.
In July 2012 part of the Merchant City Festival 2012, the Harvest team cooked up a storm at the opening of the new SAGE city centre Greyfriars Garden. Over 800 people came to sample international cuisine at temporary cooking stalls, take part in growing workshops, and raid the Fife Diet Seed Truck. Surplus produce was also swapped at the home grown exchange market This for That, an international collaboration between artists Alex Wilde and Annechien Meier.
As a legacy and conclusion of the 3 year SAGE strategic food growing initiative we produced the Glasgow Harvest Toolkit. The digital publication created by Clem Sandison is designed for local groups who are growing their own food and would like to hold a public event to celebrate their harvest. It offers practical guidance on event planning that is relevant to gardening projects, allotments, schools, residents’ groups and community food organisations.
2011’s Glasgow Harvest went citywide to expand the impact of the first harvest and localise the interaction of contemporary artists, alongside strong design and activists, with growing groups in the north, east, south and west. An irreverent homage to the village fête – centred on the Harvest Meal – each event featured live music, communal cooking, food sharing, live workshops and competitions. New work by visual artists drew inspiration from the people and garden spaces that make urban growing in Glasgow such lively subject matter.
The 4 harvests took place in Kennyhill allotments, Concrete Garden in Possil, Woodlands Community Gardens and a Toryglen park.
“A village fête on acid”
At each Harvest event there was a wealth of food sharing activities from jam tasting to vegetable pakora making demonstrations. Free Wheel North provided free group cycle rides from Glasgow Green to each of the Harvest events, led by trained cycle leaders. Glasgow Transition Support also presented sessions discussing ideas about how we can develop a more resilient food system for Glasgow.
Harvest South hosted by Urban Roots in Toryglen also celebrated ‘Blasda’ – Scotland’s Local Food Feast (a project of The Fife Diet) which happened simultaneously in 12 locations across Scotland as part of Scottish Food and Drink Fortnight.
Harvest commissioned four artists to create site based or performance artworks for each of the events. 85A collective created a striking puppet theatre, Fesco the Giant (a rampaging supermarket monster) – a reworking of Jack and the Bean Stalk – which used puppets, promenade performance, audience participation and costumes made from edible plants.
Pidgin Perfect made an abstract permanent dining table while Rachel Mimiec worked with gardeners and local groups to make textured bunting, digital-printed tablecloths and textile-wrapped harvest gifts using the Japanese folding technique, Furoshiki. Stephen Skrynka built a pizza oven from scratch in Woodlands Community Garden. He then cooked pizzas on the day asking people to bring their own toppings or pick things from the garden.
– Watch videos about Glasgow Harvest North, South & East by clicking on the ‘play’ icons above
– Watch the Glasgow Harvest West video 2011 HERE
In August 2010, over a thousand people came to NVA’s first Glasgow Harvest at The Hidden Gardens, a take on social gardening which launched the city’s biggest open-air home-grown meal.
Everyone came with food, jam and award-winning creative containers (the most imaginative included shopping trolleys, toasters and lawnmowers). 52 jars of jam made through an online ‘Jam Dating Agency’ were donated and added to an illuminated Jam Wall based on the idea of an edible 3D pantone colour chart. Wheatgrass wigs were given punk haircuts using giant shears by the maverick 85A crew and we gave away 100 chard, courgette and potato plants.
The Double Rubble Chip Challenge provided 27 schools with materials and support to grow their own potatoes. 18 of the schools brought the potatoes they had grown on the day where they were prepared by 90 pupils and made into chips by their Dinner Ladies, cooked in traditional chip vats and wrapped in The Tattie Times made by The Potato Heads school activist growing group.