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Aug 132013

MEANWHILE in the continuing saga of mapping the area around CSW UJAZDOWSKI (Center of Contemporary Art) here in Warsaw……

WHERE: MEET in the CSW Courtyard — Spotkajmy się na podwórku CSW

Let’s see what sort of useful or edible WILDNESS is growing in the UW BOTANICAL GARDEN. There is a big empty spot on our MAP that lies behind a gate in a very cultivated place known as a Botanical Garden, but what sort of interesting things and adventures await us there? Come and find out! (Please note that it will cost 6 PLN to get in, unless you are very young, very old or a student — then it’s 3 PLN).

Jadalnia Warszawa Map 8


Aug 082012

Nance KlehmCykl Warsztatów: OD ODPADY DO ŹYZNOŚCI
prowadzenie Nance Klehm


UWAGA: Nastąpiła zmiana w planie warsztatów. Sobota będzie “Otwarte warsztat.” Warsztat w niedzielę (Dlaczego i jak budować toalety kompostujące w mieście)  również zawierać temat “ekstremalny kompost na ekstremalne czasy.”

Pozwól zgnić, czyli jak kompostować odpady organiczne
Piątek, 17 sierpnia, godz.: 15.00-17.00. Sugerowana dotacja: 30 PLN.
Liście, resztki jedzenia, papier, tektura, gałęzie, fusy, biodegradowalne przedmioty itp. Te rzeczy mogą zostać zamienione w ziemię, ale jak to zrobić? Na tym warsztacie będziecie mogli zadawać wszystkie pytania dotyczące “brudu” i sami też będziecie mogli się pobrudzić w trakcie budowy stosu organicznych odpadów. Zarejestruj się w tym warsztacie

Otwarte Warsztat
Sobota, 18 sierpnia , godz.15.00-17.00. Sugerowana dotacja: 30 PLN.
W tym warsztaty, zdedycujemy co zrobimy na miejscu. Możliwe tematów: vermicomposting, przemyślenia przestrzeń publiczną. Zarejestruj się w tym warsztacie

Dlaczego i jak budować toalety kompostujące w mieście
Niedziela, 19 sierpnia, godz.15.00-17.00. Sugerowana dotacja: 30 PLN.
Rozpoznaj w swoim ciele twórcę gleby. Dowiedz się, jak zbudować i prowadzić prostą suchą toaletę dostosowaną do gęstego, miejskiego otoczenia. Po dyskusji pokażemy, jak za pomocą termofilnego kompostowania przekształcić twoje odpady (i inne odpady zakazanego n.p. mięso, tłuszcz, i produktów mlecznych) w życiodajną glebę.. Zarejestruj się w tym warsztacie

Rozpoznaj rośliny w swoim mieście
Poniedziałek, 20 sierpnia, godz.15.00-17.00. Sugerowana dotacja: 30 PLN.
Spacer odkrywający roślinność Warszawy, podczas którego będziemy mogli nauczyć się rozpoznawać rośliny, poznać ich botaniczne pochodzenie, historie wykorzystania ich przez ludzi i zwierzęta, a także podzielimy się przepisami na antidotum z wykorzystaniem niektórych z nich. Zarejestruj się w tym warsztacie

Ulica ekologicznaSocial Ecologies




**************** IN ENGLISH *****************

NOTICE: There has been a change in the workshop schedule. Saturday there will be an Open Workshop. The composting toilet and extreme composting workshops will be combined and take place on Sunday.

Conducted by Nance Klehm

Let it Rot 101: Composting organic waste
Friday August 17, 15.00-17.00. Suggested donation: 30 PLN.
Leaves, food waste, paper, cardboard, branches, coffee grounds, biodegradable utensils, etc. These are all things that we know can become soil but how to do it? This workshop is the place to get dirty and ask those dirty questions as we discuss and build a mesophilic compost pile out of organic wastes from Warsaw’s waste stream. Register for this workshop

Open Workshop
Saturday August 18, 15.00-17.00. Suggested donation: 30 PLN.
We will decide on the theme and activity on the spot, depending on who is there and what we want to do! Possible themes: vermicomposting, rethinking public space, or another foraging expedition. Register for this workshop

Dry toileting in an urban setting: the whys and hows
Sunday August 19, 15.00-17.00. Suggested donation: 30 PLN.
Reconnect with your body as a soilmaker! Find out how to build and operate a simple dry toilet appropriate to a dense urban setting. We will also discuss and demonstrate how to safely compost your waste, as well as other extreme waste such as meat, fat, and dairy products, through thermophilic composting into nutritious, life-supporting soil. Register for this workshop

Monday August 20 15.00-17.00. Suggested donation: 30 PLN.
This is a guided walk through
 the spontaneous and cultivated vegetation of Warsaw’s urbanscape. Along the walk, we learn to identify plants, hear their botanical histories, stories of their use by animals and humans, and share antidotes of specific experiences with these plants. Register for this workshop

Jul 132012
Collecting jurassic water

Collecting Water from the Old Ones

In Warsaw, there are public water wells called Woda oligoceńska. Oligocene water. The Oligocene Period, I’ve learned since, occurred about 30 million years ago. Basically these are very deep wells, running more than 200m (650 ft) deep. They are housed in cute little buildings, and because it took me two years to be able to say oligoceńska, I always called them Dom wody, Water House. (But when I said Water House, not one person had any idea what I was talking about.) One can take the water all year. In the winter, you go into the house. In the summer, you tap the faucets on the outside of the house, as seen above.

In my neighborhood there are three such wells, though sadly, one of them has been closed for several months. We do not buy water. We go to the well. It tastes delicious. Someone else told me that her grandmother warned, “You must boil the water from the well before you drink it.” This never occurred to me. Two years and I’m still living, so I guess it’s O.K….

Because there is no water at the Railroad Garden, and no structure to catch it from, I haul it from the well. It’s about 2 or 3 blocks.  I used to use my bike, on which I could carry eight 5-liter bottles: three on the front, three on the back, and two on each handlebar. Now, I have a wheelbarrow and can carry 60 l (15 gallons). My arms are bulging. Soon I should have a bike cart and I’ll be able to carry 90 l (24 gallons). One liter of water weighs one kilogram. Brilliant, that.

One time an old lady came in and asked me, “Is it yellow or white?” White meant the water was good. It was white.

Jun 292012

SOMEONE is / THEY are fixing up the dryer-suszarnia-gazebo structure. Hurrah. I like to think that someone read my mind about repairing this thing, but probably it’s just a coincidence.  Yes, it must be a coincidence because they aren’t PAINTING IT RED like I wanted them to. The guys fixing it up say they don’t know why they are fixing it up. No plans, they say. The pigeons are gone. Here is what it looked like on June 29, 2012:

Dryer fix up

Dryer fix up

May 172012
Composting with anarchists (and dogs)

Composting with anarchists (and dogs)

Yesterday I went down to SYRENA, Warsaw’s friendly local squat, to help build a compost bin. There are 14 or more vegetarians who live and/or eat there. A lot of their food is dumpster-dived, although nowadays the term has been upgraded to freegan charmingly rendered in Polish as freeganski. So they have a lot of waste. But like good anarchists, they have difficulty organizing themselves to do anything about it. So huge piles of rotten food may be found lying about…

I arranged a few months ago to take their waste. They were going to deliver it to me at the Railroad Garden once a week. The first three or four weeks after we made the arrangement, they didn’t call, respond to my emails, or show up. That’s partly because they were supporting a raid on another friendly, local squat and partly because they couldn’t organize themselves to do anything about it. Eventually I got a call to meet them at a certain time. That time came and went. Well, let’s say that eventually we met up, but it was getting dark. They had an enormous amount of waste. Maybe 200 liters, I’d say. We buried it like a stolen treasure as night fell, fell, fell.

Well, they decided to deal with their own waste and build a compost bin. Great! When I arrived, one tired woman was disassembling a pallet. Eventually others were russelled up. Some people set to work to build the bin; others helped to rip up paper; a few more started to sort through the various garbage piles, separating compost from organic waste from garbage. But after a couple of hours almost everyone seemed to have magically disappeared, except me and a very resourceful, energetic guy named Gibbon. There were another couple of guys, but this is what would happen: I’d put a shovel in one of the guy’s hand, and he’d shovel a couple of things. Then he’d get a phone call. Then he’d lean on his shovel for a while. Then he’d sort of wander off as he chatted on the phone, leaving the shovel behind. It was very funny.

Fortunately, Gibbon and I finished the thing. Then we went inside where I was served the most delicious homemade lightly salted (małosolne) pickles I’d every eaten in my life!!!!

Apr 262012
Foraging in Plain Sight

Foraging in Plain Sight (photo: Agnieszka Kowalinska)

Great time! So great! The greatest! Cool people, places, kids, sunshine, conversation, walking, cooking, food! My only regret was that I didn’t get to check out the other people who were doing things at the Praga Cultural Center that day.

Here is a list of what we collected and some pictures from our Earth Day Foraging Expedition.

What we collected:
Mlecz  / Dandelion – leaves for salad, flowers for juice
Pokrzywy / Nettles (of course!) – for a salad with parsley, leeks, and walnuts
Babka / Plantago – for salad and also for omelets and pancakes
Wierzba / Willow – young leaves and catkins for salad
Pięczornik Gęsi / Silverweed – leaves
Tasznik / Shepard’s Purse – leaves, flowers, stems
Dziki Szczaw / Wild Sorrel – leaves
Ziarnopłon / Lesser Celandine (A real European plant!!) – leaves, flowers
Koniczyna / Clover – leaves
Krwawnik / Yarrow – young leaves
Podagrzycznik / Ground Elder – leaves
Jasnota róźowa / Dead Nettle – flowers and leaves
Gwiazdnica / Chickweed – flowers and leaves
Bluszcz kurdbanek / Ground Ivy – flowers and leaves

Sławek and I think that Warsaw needs 1) a map of wild edibles, herbs, and medicinal plants in Warsaw, and 2) an online encyclopedia of what these edibles are, what they are used for, in both Polish and English, with photos. Well, until we can figure out how to use Boksoi I am making this map on Google Maps. Here are some photos! Thanks to Centrum Promocji Kultury and my awesome partner Sławek Sendzielski.

Wild Food Walk! Dzikie Jedzenie! Spacer

Wild Food Walk Dzikie Jedzenie Spacer

Foraging in Park Skaryszewski

Foraging in Park Skaryszewski (photo: Agnieszka Kowalinska)

Baby Willow Leaves and Catkins are Edible

Baby Willow Leaves and Catkins are Edible (photo: Agnieszka Kowalinska)

Are Dandelions Really Edible?

Are Dandelions Really Edible? (photo: Agnieszka Kowalinska)


Dandelions are Delicious!

Dandelions are Delicious! (photo: Agnieszka Kowalinska)

Our beautiful wild greens salad

Our beautiful wild greens salad (photo: Jodie Baltazar)

Dandelion Juice

Dandelion Juice (photo: Agnieszka Kowalinska)

More Dandelion Juice, Please

More Dandelion Juice, Please (photo: Jodie Baltazar)

Everybody loves to eat wild food!

Everybody loves to eat wild food! (photo: Jodie Baltazar)

Apr 232012
Composting humanure

Photo from

Join us on Tuesday at 16.00 at the American Embassy in Warsaw, where Chicagoan Nance Klehm will be giving a presentation via video. You’ll have to RSVP with your name and the name of your organization to either or Nance will be here in August, so this is a good chance to see what she has done in the US and get us thinking about what she could do here in Warsaw.

Ambasada USA zaprasza na wideo-konferencję z:

Nance Klehm, architektem krajobrazów i konsultantką ds. terenów zielonych oraz projektowania systemów ekologicznych

Pani Klehm cieszy się międzynarodowym uznaniem, a artykuły na jej temat pojawiały się w „Time Magazine”, „Chicago Tribune” i w Reutersie. Stacje radiowe i telewizyjne, w których emitowano jej wywiady, to program „Weekend America”, KRCL w Salt Lake City, BBC Radio Canada, Chicago Public Radio, KBOO w Portland.

Temat: Ekologia w przestrzeni miejskiej. Jak w niej żyć aby chronić środowisko naszych miast?

Urban ecology is how we live with and protect the environment in our cities?

24 kwietnia (wtorek) o godz. 16:00

Budynek ambasady USA przy ul. Pięknej 14a

Po 40-minutowej prezentacji p. Klehm (bez tłumaczenia na j.polski) planujemy pytania i dyskusję.

REJESTRACJA: Ze względu na fakt, że nasze „studio” może pomieścić nie więcej niż 25-30 osób, bardzo proszę o potwierdzenie chęci uczestnictwa drogą elektroniczną na adres: lub podajac imie/nazwisko, instytucje/m-ce pracy.

W ramach planowanej prezentacji pani Klehm przedstawi realizowane przez siebie projekty (opisane poniżej) oraz zwróci uwagę na potrzebę kształtowania społeczeństwa ekologicznie świadomego i odpowiedzialnego za swoje otoczenie. Omówi wdrażane na lokalną skalę w wielu miastach Ameryki modele produkcji żywności, recyklingu odpadów i wytwarzania energii, skupiając się na następujących przykładach:

Ground Rules w Filadeflii – w jaki sposób lokalne „centrum gleby” zarządza odpadami organicznymi, prowadzi dwujęzyczne (w języku hiszpańskim i angielskiem) warsztaty nt. użyźniania gleby oraz organizuje poświęcone ekologii i środowisku spotkania dla społeczności lokalnych.

Pacific Garden Mission w Chicago – jak powstały i jak są wykorzystywane dwie szklarnie o powierzchni 2,5 tys. stóp kwadratowych; program obejmuje również szkolenia dla jednego z największych w Chicago ośrodków pomocy społecznej, prowadzącego schronisko dla bezdomnych (200-300 stałych rezydentów oraz do 1500 jednorazowych gości w skali roku).

City Repair w Portland – innowacyjna organizacja typu „non profit” pomagająca mieszkańcom Portland w transformacji miejskich i osiedlowych przestrzeni w obszary ekologiczne i przyjazne mieszkańcom oraz umacniające więź między człowiekiem a światem przyrody.

Anabolic Garden w Los Angeles – realizowany w California State Parks (Los Angeles State Historic Park) projekt rozbudowy ogrodu, w którym są uprawiane rodzime dla tych obszarów, jadalne i użyźniające glebę rośliny.

Apr 182012
Tasznik - Capsella - Shepard's Purse

Tasznik - Capsella - Shepard's Purse

Are you ready to eat some dandelion (mlecz), nettles (pokrzywy), capsella (tasznik), lime tree leaves (liście lipy), baby sorrel (szczaw), and chickweed (gwiazdnica)? What other treasures will we find to eat in the earliest days of spring?

On Earth Day, Sunday, April 22, at the most wonderful cultural center known as Centrum Promocji Kultury in South Praga, Warsaw, there will be a great day of events. Sławomir Sendzielski and I will be leading a Foraging Expedition in the area the Cultural Center — parks and abandoned spots — looking for greens for an early spring salad. There are also many other activities, such as a Recycling Workshop, Films, Sprout Growing and more. Information (in Polish) here:

EXPEDITION at 2-3:30pm
Join us for an expedition to find the wild edible plants of South Praga! We will look for and collect fresh spring plants. Then, back at the Center, we’ll prepare and eat a big, delicious salad! We’ll leave around 2 and return around 3:30. Please bring a bag or basket to collect the goodies, plus a bowl and a fork to eat them with. We will have dressing and homemade bread to accompany it.

EKSPEDYCJA w godz. 14.00-15.30
Dołącz do ekspedycjiw poszukiwaniu jadalnych dzikich roślin na Pradze Południe! Będziemy szukać i zbierać wiosenne świeże rośliny. Potem,w CPK, przygotujemy i zjemy dużą pyszną sałatkę! Wychodzimy o 14.00 i wrócimy około 15.30. Proszę przynieść torbę lub koszyk do zbierania roślin, miskę i widelec,którymi będziesz jeść. Mamy sos do sałatki i chleb domowy!

Mar 022012

I live in a little neighborhood-within-a-neighborhood designed by a fellow named Zasław Malicki. It’s thanks to him, and a few others, that this part of Warsaw has so much green space. They say the buildings are different than others of the communist era, but my eyes have a hard time seeing it. They look the same as any other 20th century housing box. Same as you’d find from Białystok to Wrocław and everywhere in between. Now, I can tell the difference between a 1950s communist building and a 1970s one — the later are the same height, but have more floors. As the state when bankrupt the ceilings got lower. However, even post-communist buildings look hideous to me. They have a few more indentations, and more up-to-date cheap materials, but they are just as awful to my eyes.

It’s the space between the buildings that I like, and the traces that remain — traces of an attempts to use public space in a meaningful way. Right outside my building there is this curious structure:

The Dryer

The Dryer

What is this, you say? Why it’s a DRYER. I’m told it was designed as a communal place for drying clothes. How was it supposed to be used? Nobody knows. There is a room below — what is in there? Nobody knows. Nobody every used it for drying. In fact, nobody ever used it for anything. The only bodies that use it are the pigeons.

Well, I have this idea to use it. To clean it out, and paint it up and use it for a community meeting spot. Check back in the next months and see how it’s going!

Mar 012012

Starting this Sunday and every Sunday, I invite you to the reclaimed allotment, which is now called Railroad Garden, to share work, environmental education, fresh air, and more. This is an open invitation. All you have to do is show up. I will be there every Sunday except for April 1 and April 9. I also will send out reminders each week. The allotment is in Rakowiec.

11:00 am – 2:00 pm
where: Pixxe – Railroad Garden

If you have saws, orchard saws, clippers, pruning shears, please bring them! Kitchen waste for compost is ALWAYS WELCOME.

In March we will be
-pruning and trimming nut and fruit trees — walnut, hazelnut, apple, cheery, plum, pear
-removing vines that are strangling the trees
-cutting out dead trees
-cutting out ash trees which are blocking the sun
-removing bushes which are encroaching on the elderberries
-throw out garbage, always fun!
-burn and chop wood and branches as necessary

UWAGA: Zły Polski Nadchodzi.

Niedziele na działce

Zaczynąc w najbliższą niedzielą (i co tydzien), zapraszam na działce (nazwa: Ogród przy torach), aby podzielić się robotą, edukacją ekologicznej, świeżym powietrzu, i więcej. To otwarte zaproszenie! Po prostu przyjść… Będę tam co niedziele (oprócz 01.04 i 08.04). Jest na rakowcu.

11.00 – 14.00
gdzie: Pixxe – Railroad Garden

Jeśli masz, proszę przynieść: piła / piłka, sekator i zawsze możesz przynieść odpady kuchenne do kompostowania

W marcu będziemy:
-przyciąć drzewo owoce i orzechy — orzech włosky, orzech laskowy, jabłonie, wiśniowe, słiwa, grusza
-usunąć winorośle, które są duszenia drzewa
-wyciąć martwy drzewa
-wyciąć jesienów (dzrewa), które są blokując słonce
-usunąć krzewów, które są naruszania Bez Czarny
-wyrzucać śmieci, zawsze zabawa
-palić i posiekać drewno / gałąży, w razie potrzeby

Oct 202011

My Gentlemanly Neighbor

The allotment next to mine is cared for by an old man. Is he seventy? He is very trim, and I think he’s quite handsome. He has never said a bad word to me, that I know of. He’s always saying, “Dzien dobry, pani!” and making small talk of the sort I can usually manage, like about the types of trees, amount of sun, vegetables, flowers, and being away. We were both away for much of the summer. He clued me into Pan Kale, who is in the allotment on the other side of him.

I like him and he likes me. That’s real nice. Maybe he likes me because I removed a source of trouble for him — this plot was a hangout for garbage-dumpers, drinkers, trash burners and that sort of lot. One of the trash heaps I cleaned up was right next to his fence, so I’m sure he appreciates that it is no longer there.  I often see him sitting on his bench and looking at his flowers. He only grows flowers.

Of course lately he’s been cleaning up and getting ready for winter just like everyone else. When I first met him he seemed worried about the way I slung my jacket over the tree. He said, “Keep everything in your pocket or someone will steal it.”

A few days ago I came to the garden and noticed the gate was wide open. It turns out I forgot to put the lock on. The lock was still hanging there from the chain, unlatched. Inside, everything was in order. That’s good, because it wouldn’t have fit in my pocket.