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  • September 2011
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Digital Salad: an edible art project

There is a farm inside Assemble, Garfield’s newest art gallery. That’s right–through September 30th you can view this creative, engaging, and delicious show called DigitalSalad. What is DigitalSalad exactly?

DigitalSalad is an edible art project that involves growers, creatives and technology to generate an artful community learning experience through installation with performative aspects and online and gallery exhibition. The charm of a local farmette will be installed in the urban, neighborhood gallery space, assemble.

DigitalSalad is the creation of local media artist Heather Mallak. As for the pop-up farm, well it’s a little slice of Churchview Farm, a renovated family farm using sustainable practices located right here in the South Hills of Pittsburgh.

At DigitalSalad you can learn about urban farming, find some great recipes (or leave one of your own!), check out one of Churchview Farm’s beehives, and pick up produce (this Friday and next). And, this Saturday, you can even have brunch:

Saturday – September 24th, 10 -11am
Join us for Brunch: Onsite, chef prepared brunch tasting of harvest from Churchview Farm. Kate Romane, local E2 chef extraordinaire will be preparing farm fresh brunch items for people in the neighborhood Saturday morning.

Farms aren’t only in the countryside, they’re popping up all around the city–often where you least expect them. Everyone has the right to tasty, healthy, and locally grown food, so head on down to Assemble (5125 Penn Avenue in Garfield) and see what it’s all about.

In the meantime, check out these books about urban farming:

City Farmer: adventures in urban food growing by Lorraine JohnsonCity Farmer celebrates the new ways that urban dwellers are getting closer to their food. Not only are backyard vegetable plots popping up in places long reserved for lawns, but some renegades are even planting their front yards with food. People in apartments are filling their balconies with pots of tomatoes, beans, and basil, while others are gazing skyward and “greening” their rooftops with food plants. Still others are colonizing public spaces, staking out territory in parks for community gardens and orchards, or convincing school boards to turn asphalt school grounds into “growing” grounds.

Farm City: the education of an urban farmer by Novella Carpenter – An unforgettably charming memoir, Farm City is full of hilarious moments, fascinating farmer’s tips, and a great deal of heart. When Novella Carpenter-captivated by the idea of backyard self-sufficiency- moved to inner city Oakland and discovered a weed-choked, garbage- strewn abandoned lot next door to her house, she closed her eyes and pictured heirloom tomatoes and a chicken coop. The story of how her urban farm grew from a few chickens to one populated with turkeys, geese, rabbits, ducks, and two three-hundred-pound pigs will capture the imagination of anyone who has ever considered leaving the city behind for a more natural lifestyle.

Eat Here: reclaiming homegrown pleasures in a global supermarket by Brian Halweil – Some people may ask, “what’s wrong with getting my food from some distant land, if the food is cheap and the system works?” The point Halweil, a senior researcher at the Worldwatch Institute, makes throughout this book is that those prices are artificially low, and the system is actually broken. Halweil’s writing is journalistic in its reliance on interviews with farmers and activists, but the book’s abundant statistics, graphs and suggestions for action lend it the tone of a policy paper—one that is, nonetheless, impassioned and accessible. Halweil gives readers reasons for pessimism (the thousands of gallons of fossil fuel used to ship fresh greens around the world; unprecedented risks of contaminated food) and optimism (the spread of “farm shops” across Europe; the Vermont diner that’s thriving by using almost entirely local food); fortunately, his optimism usually prevails.

– Corey, Digital Learning Librarian

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