Culture Report: Seeds for Food Desert Change

Arts/Culture

Culture Report: Seeds for Food Desert Change

Seed donations take “grassroots” to a new level. Plus, comic book publishing setting up shop in Liberty Station, Low Gallery’s move to Barrio Logan and more in our weekly culture roundup.

Various parts of San Diego are considered “food deserts.”

For those who have the luxury of living in a neighborhood with abundant healthy food choices, I’ll explain. A food desert is, in simple terms, an area in which it’s easier to find bags of Flamin’ Hot Cheetos than it is to find fresh tomatoes. Among the city’s food deserts are City Heights, southeastern San Diego and Barrio Logan. Food deserts also happen to be areas filled with low-income minority residents.

Barrio Logan residents are taking a revolutionary approach to fighting their status as a food desert with the Barrio Seed Bank project.

Project founder Bob Green, who also runs creative arts space The Roots Factory, says the Barrio Seed Bank is a “grassroots movement with a goal to provide the community with accessibility to ‘clean seeds,’ as well as raising awareness about the failing food system and engaging the community.”

Community members and organizations working on the project collect donations of organic, non-GMO, native and viable seeds and provide them to residents in the neighborhood. Seed donations come from organizations like Native Seeds, Territorial Seeds and All Good Things Organic Seeds.

Currently working out of Bread & Salt, Green and Company are looking to grow in many ways in order to reach those in need.

“We’re currently in the process of acquiring a plot of land across the street from us to start a new community garden. We believe our services will help build a healthier and stronger community,” Green said. “To bring a full circle to our project, we are also in the works of developing a new Farmers Market here in Barrio Logan called the ‘crop swap.’ Here, people will be able to bring their freshly grown crops and trade with other growers. This will also give us an opportunity to exchange ideas, information and provide a forum for the community.”

On Saturday, Feb. 28, the Barrio Seed Bank Project will throw an official launch party from 2 p.m. to 10 p.m. at Bread & Salt. The School of Guerilla Arts will be creating seed bombs and doing some live screen printing.

You’re reading the Culture Report, Voice of San Diego’s weekly collection of the region’s cultural news.

Bye-Bye Low, Retro Robotics and More Visual Art Stuff

• Low Gallery is packing up and moving from North Park to Barrio Logan. Blame it on inflated rents, and bros and beer taking over the once vibrant artistic hub. (CityBeat)

• Ceramics aren’t just creepy baby angel figurines your aunt collects. See some much more interesting contemporary ceramics at the Reshaping the 2% exhibition, which Vanguard Culture describes in detail.

• Brother artist team Jamex and Einar de la Torre are bringing big, retro robotics to Logan Heights. (CityBeat)

• A new exhibition at the La Jolla Historical Society envisions what some of our San Diego’s most iconic buildings could have been, had they received some love. (KPBS)

• A former school in Encinitas may be converted into an arts, culture and ecology center. First, the city will spend some big bucks on an architect. (U-T)

• The Museum of Contemporary Art in San Diego is receiving a bold new renovation and redesign. The U-T talks with architect Annabelle Selldorff.

‘Don Giovanni,’ Telling Clothes and More Music and Performance News

• Women’s clothing tells compelling stories in the play “Love, Loss & What I Wore, written by Delia Ephron and the late, great screenwriter Nora Ephron. (Vanguard Culture)

• Small theaters made a big mark at this year’s Craig Noel Awards, proving that big bucks and big names aren’t the only way to put on a great show. (KPBS)

• The San Diego Opera’s current production of “Don Giovanni” is going modern, but not too modern, according to KPBS. The U-T also talks with Ildebrando D’Arcangelo, who’s making his debut on the San Diego Opera stage as the titular character.

Punk Coffee and More Culture Goods

• Heartwork Coffee Bar is the newest boutique coffee shop to open up in town and its already making a name for itself with its delicious caffeinated (and decaf) drinks, non-snobby attitude and for being owned by some local music legends. Check out my piece on the shop in Vice’s food site Munchies.

• IDW Publishing has moved its offices to Liberty Station. The comic book publishing company isn’t just bringing the water cooler and copy machine with them – they’re also opening a comic art gallery.

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