Eat Your Sidewalk

NEWS! The EAT YOUR SIDEWALK COOKBOOK is finally out in the world! Take a look. We have a new website for the project with blogs, tools and lots of useful information. Check it out.

Eat Your Sidewalk is one of our core on-going initiatives, launched in 2008, to foster large scale social and ecological transformation in an emergent bottom-up manner. The focus of this initiative is to develop an alternative way to address our pressing socio-ecological issues by developing alternative practices of place, the commons, multi-species actions, and urbanism.

Eat Your Sidewalk is just what it says. We believe that it is time to change everything about how we eat, think about food and engage with our urban ecosystems. We believe it is time to start  urban foraging and eating our sidewalks. Change needs to begin right where we are:

Foraging the weeds in the cracks of our streets right under our feet, and not in some far off pristine forest.  Urban foraging is a delicious joyous activity that has the capacity to spark deep and far reaching ecological change. When you bend down a pick a dandelion growing from a crack in the street, what has happened to this plant now happens to you — your fates are joined. You are of this place in a way you have never been. This is a profound act with important consequences for us, these weeds, our eating habits and our sense of place.

Eating your sidewalk is about the complex and entangled ways of being alive. This extends beyond us to include the very active participation of plants, animals, histories, technologies, ideas, other worlds and practices. For far too long we have held ourselves apart from these worlds — socially, politically, economically, and ecologically. We wish to change this in a direct, engaged, and joyous manner.

To help foster a sense of being of a place that could open us up to the wonders of meeting radically distinct worlds and remake our own world we have developed a program we call EAT YOUR SIDEWALK. It is one part foraging and one part commons building and all centered on the social and intraspecies pleasure of eating.  This initiative has different aspects to it:

  • We lead community urban foraging tours workshops, challenges, and dinners, where we take groups out to forage their sidewalks. We identify, dig into histories, share stories, taste, and have a wonderful meal together. From one hour to one week. We have led these walks all across the country (NYC, San Francisco, Detroit, San Diego, Montreal, Sherbrooke) and internationally (Denmark, Poland, Japan and elsewhere). See The Civil Appetites
  • We make food meadows and food forests full of wild growing edible and beneficial weeds. These are  co-develop urban landscapes from small patches on city streets to entire college campuses. See PITZER MULTI-SPECIES COMMONS
  • We lead systems analysis and engagement workshops for communities. See Entangled Citizens
  • We have published a beautiful coffee table cookbook: Eat Your Sidewalk. Four hundred plus pages, full color book with over a thousand photographs of foraging expeditions from the high arctic to the inner city, dozens of diagrams, and over one hundred recipes. Part urban foraging guide, part ecological philosophy and part travel narrative…
  • We consult on the commons, urban ecosystems, participatory design, and strategic initiatives to tip systems into new states with organizations, communities, architects, universities, and many others.

 

We would love nothing more than to work with you, your organization or community at any scale or in any capacity. Our Facebook page has much more information on the various ongoing Eat Your Sidewalk projects.