the ABCo-op

standalone project commissioned by Stichting Herbergen, 2017

The Agricultural Balcony Garden Co-op (ABC) is a participatory research by ALexander Geijzendorffer that combines art, people and agriculture. Through this project, he is trying to define Value in the food system. From start to finish it took the whole of 2017. More than 1000kg of veggies were pulled out of het ground by 80 members on harvest day, yielding even more questions than crops.

The project was supported by 90 ABCo-op members and the generous tips and support from surrounding farmers and other professionals. This enabled the first time farmer to develop his own agricultural machines to apply window-sill-techniques to a farm-size area. The happy end and all the doubts and worries in between can be found in the newsletters, the long reads, the blog and the vlog (all in Dutch).

The main question: how can consumers throw away so much vegetables at home for which farmers receive so little money, while it takes so much effort and resources to produce it? It seems like none of the parties involved is satisfied with the way vegetables are appreciated. Home grown vegetables and urban farming seem to have a much better reputation. Could the solution for food waste and unhealthy diets be found in the Value of the six cherry tomatoes growing on your window sill? Is that Value somehow scaleable? ALexander rented 600m2 of farmland in the heart of the Dutch countryside to work out the answer.

This project was developed during an artist residency at Rianne Makkink and Jurgen Bey.

Photo’s by Alexander Geijzendorffer, Johannes van Assem, Arjen Ronner, Yen-An Chen and Martijn Stroeven.