Blog / Negotiating Food

Reaching out & engaging at KHOJ

Source: growingfoodwithkhirkee.wordpress.com/2014/11/17/reaching-out-engaging-at-khoj/

During the process of our intervention with the community spaces for farming and public participation came the idea to keep one day for presenting our progress, inviting dialogue and potential collaborations with more organizations and individuals working in similar areas. The event was integrated with the demonstration on Sreejata’s community art project about women workers of khirkee and neighbouring areas.

The entrance grabbed visitors and onlookers in khirkee with a vibrant seed sale stall. I stood there with a smile asking people if had ever grown their own food and if they would be interested. The seed shop offered lots of seeds and saplings at half price to the dwellers of khirkee. As people walked inside inside they were introduced to the project through a movie on a screen and the aroma of Aloe Vera being pickled by Shraddha. The pickle performance was intended to emphasise on the usability of Aloe Vera, which grows abundantly in many homes in Delhi but few know how to use it.

Upstairs in another studio was the Daily dump, our terracotta compost pot, Ita & Shishti, welcomed people for a conversation on composting with Priyanka (designer of DailyDump). This was followed by an eye opening discussion on food policies, lobbies and GMOs by Lata Jishnu (Senior Editor, Down to Earth).

If you walked another flight of stairs till the terrace, you would have seen a tray with brown balls and a notice saying ‘Aim for the target’. The brown balls made out of Soil, Manure and lots of seeds by Asim Wakif with help from Aastha and Arun, were seeds bombs. What followed was an addictive game of target practice on concentric circles painted across the street in an abandoned – semi demolished 4 story building. Asim’s hope was for some of these seeds to sprout when they’d fall inside will soil and get water during the monsoon. Sadly Delhi this year saw little to no rain but nonetheless, seed bombing was a huge success.

Those who had reached early in the event came with me for a walk in Gandi Park in Hauz Rani where we discussed our initiatives and struggles.

In the process of this event and our growing conversations about food and farming we managed to inspire many at Khoj and in our own families. Many KHOJ staff took seeds and saplings on their way home. I will keep pestering them for photos of the growth. Now we can say that farming fever is spreading outside Khrikee too.