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Apr 122014

uo_logoTomorrow is the first event for Uprawiajmy na Ochocie, a series of workshops for Ochota residents.

We will be learning about how to get started with growing food in your apartment and on your balcony. Lots of possibilities from the easiest (onions in bottles, sprouts) to the more difficult (tomatoes, peppers). All you need to bring is a container (pot, bottle, old shoe??)

It all starts at 11 am in the common building at the Zelmot Allotment Gardens in Ochota (where Pixxe Garden is located). There may still be time to sign up.

If you can’t make it, there are still two more workshops in May!


Jan 072013

Jodie Baltazar

A filmmaker and photographer named Piotr Małecki has been making beautiful little photo-film essays about Warszawians, and he recently finished one about me. I find it (that is to say, myself) a bit melancholy: a tiny bit of hope amid mounds of difficulty and sorrow. Or is that simply melodrama? You decide.

Be sure to watch all of Piotr’s other movies (subtitled as necessary). They are gems.

Aug 012012
Pixxe Garden - Public Entrance

Pixxe Garden – Public Entrance

Pixxe has a new garden! It has been given the most original name: PIXXE GARDEN. It’s located in Rakowiec on the border of Szczęśliwice in Ochota, Warsaw, Poland.  GPS 52.198990, 20.967910, to be precise. We still have the Railroad Garden, but the main activities will now take place at the Pixxe Garden.

It will be open to the public for the upcoming SOIL GARDEN PROJECT, but there is an awful lot of work to do to make it ready for more ambitious activities. I’m hoping that with this new, more accessible, and less primitive garden (for example, it has water), we will be able to open up on a more regular basis by next spring. As such, Allotment Sunday / Niedziele na działce won’t be happening for awhile — it will be more like Codzienne na działce — everyday at the garden! So if you want to stop by, please let me know. Everyone is always welcome and there is always something to do.

Though the Pixxe Garden is not squatted, it also sort-of is. I thought I was beginning to understand how the allotment gardens work here, but now I have discovered a whole new in-between type of garden, called tymczasowy, or temporary. The Pixxe Garden is tymczasowy.

As I have written about before, there are “official” gardens (the Rodzinny Ogród Działkowy or ROD / Family Garden Allotments) and then there are “unofficial” gardens, like the Railroad Garden, which is basically a squat. ROD are gated communities. You must be a member and have a key to gain access. What is interested about temporary gardens like the Pixxe Garden is that sometimes they are located WITHIN an ROD, but are legally “unofficial”. This particular stretch of land abuts an “official” ROD and was taken by people in 1980. They have been temporary for 32 years! So the Pixxe Garden has one “Public” entrance, on Racławicka, and one “Private” entrance from within the ROD Zelmot. This dual status suits me well. I like being in between. And afterall, the city owns the land in any case!