A garden is a garden is a garden

By Marcia Zoladz

Gertrude Stein, the American writer who lived most of her life in Paris, created something that she called a text landscape. Instead of depicting a person in watercolors or paints she did it with a written text, and because of the way it discribed them one can understand, actually rather well, who this person was. Nowadays there is something familiar in her portraits / landscapes that makes us feel at ease, even if her style of writing was not so easy for her readers at the turn of the nineteenth to the twentieth century.  Sometimes she repeated  the same word many times, like in her line a rose is a rose is a rose, from her poem Sacred Emily (1913). Such a clear message for us now.

It is this same beautiful sensation of well being that we feel when we see, eat or read something, that although very familiar, we could not until that moment explain, that happens when we visitunderplots.com, a web site inspired by ideas around gardening, food and language.

The site is a perfect virtual landscape to celebrate Spring – almost here but not yet, the soil is still very hard for a morning of work with a shovel in our hands. As we wait, I recommend a visit of perfect bliss, with a cup of tea close by to listen to ourselves say

“I remember getting my grandmother’s canned tomatoes off the shelves of her basement larder – it was a little spooky”

As the site creators and owners say: “We have made a label, inspired by the San Francisco Little City Garden’s magnificent and voluptuous cabbage – http://www.littlecitygardens.com/ – and Stacy Doris’s poetry — http://bit.ly/wixP36 –. On the site there is the generative cabbage. The cabbage leads to ruminations and facts about vegetables, plant organization and food production standards, the politics of gardening, and the complications of the organic and sustainable debate.

We have invited collaboration in the dissemination of this garden exploration by asking people around the world to place labels on produce in their own neighborhoods.  Currently, we have participants putting labels on produce in farmer’s markets and supermarkets in Australia, Brazil, China, France, Greece, Germany, New Zealand, the UK, Spain and in many cites in the US.

Should you wish to contribute please contact underplotsproject@gmail.com.

To find local food in your area, check out Pick-A-Pepper!

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