We don’t need a museum for conserving varieties, what we want is to grow then…
-Ancient grain farmer Johan Sward, Hadeland, Norway
Here you see a public bakehouse and an ancient grain field- an art project called Flatbread Society by the artist group Futurefarmers. The bakehouse is inspired by a Colin Archer rescue boat to symbolize the act of “rescuing” or conserving ancient grains and the diversity of cultural traditions of bread baking. This diversity is represented by three ovens from different parts of the world- a traditional Norwegian flatbread “takke”, a tandoor oven and a wood-fired stone oven.
In 2012 Futurefarmers sowed a cultural grain field with 9 varieties of heritage grains. These ancient varieties fell out of production in the early 1900s and have been widely forgotten and nearly extinct due to the prominence of industrial grains which are more predictable in production, but have less genetic variation and are therefore less resilient to climatic changes. One way to conserve seed varieties is to keep them in production. Ancient grains have been kept alive through sharing between small farmers. At Losæter these seeds represent our common heritage and are symbols of resilience, diversity and knowledge. Many local farmers and gardeners are actively preserving seeds through seed swaps and the Norwegian Seed Savers association (KVANN) network.
In 2016 the field was sown at the same time som the bakehouse was built. See the magical film about this here:
Read more about urban agriculture in Oslo:
This post is also available in: Norwegian Bokmål