Food Union was founded in 2014 and is one of the Pod’s citywide social activism programs that exists to create conversation and action around the common language of food. On their ¾ acre plot of land, Food Union grows products for The Pod cafe, holds a variety of ‘soil to table’ workshops and hosts monthly musical gatherings with an emphasis on seasonal activities.
Their aim is not only to build a sustainable vegetable garden that encourages the growth of food and biodiversity, but to also share skills that their members can take home and emulate. Anyone in the city is welcome to join their ever-growing community.
As part of Coventry City of Culture, Food Union has been awarded funds to deepen their roots within the city and aspires to build a Green Future that celebrates Coventry’s natural heritage and hidden nature. As part of this, they are running a series of ongoing projects that can be found below.
- Research & Heritage: This will entwine all our green future projects exploring themes of gardens and asylum, gardens and solitude, and gardens for gardening’s sake. We will nurture transcultural conversations about seed heritage and food sovereignty, while working with Historical Coventry Trust, The Garden Museum, The Millennium Seed bank and Coventry Archivists.
- Green Growing: Unearthed: To deepen transcultural and intergenerational dialogue through a ‘Live and Dye’ medicinal garden that celebrates the quintessence of ‘weeds’ for their heritage as natures healers. Along the way, we’ll weave in other partners including Phytology, Invisible Dust, The Garden Museum Coventry University, Coventry Cathedral to Unearth a shared manifesto exploring soil culture and seed heritage within a city centre context.
- Green Growing: Allotment Cultures: We will grow the common ground between three allotment associations that are less than a mile apart, while creating corridors of civic and eco care between and within the spaces. In doing so, we hope to build a triangular economy of skill share, tool share and a union of food that will have a lasting impact within the city’s food growing communities.
- spaces[in]BETWEEN: continuing with the themes of underGROWTH and Disappear Here, spaces[in]BETWEEN looks to share the chosen routes of Coventry based artists/writers. The project looks to create an interface between artists, writer & film makers and will have a spaces [in]BETWEEN resident videographer and scientist that will provoke comparisons between incidental and cultivated space.
The film will be presented as part of the Green Futures programme in the coming months.
- Alternative Art Lab:
- Tools of the Trade: A collaborative relationship between crafts people and artists that explores the interface and juxtaposition of practice while focusing on themes of heritage, sustainability of materials and ethics.
- Master Gardeners: Capturing Coventry’s food growing heritage though stories of people who have held allotments in the city for 25+ years in an aim to promote and protect the cities investment into distinct food growing communities. More details about this exhibition will be announced soon.
- Tools of Appreciation: A craft and art exchange that creates something extraordinary, inspired by the stories of the city’s food growers. A metal worker and fine artist will work together to develop an imagined tool that might for example aid wildlife gardening.
We hope to see you at our events with Food Union and make a collective effort to a greener Coventry.
Commissioned by Coventry City of Culture Trust for #GreenFutures, supported by the National Lottery Heritage Fund and Severn Trent Community Fund