Plant Mansion in Snow, Fall 2015.
Weeds Summer 2015
The Plant Mansion garden and orchard, Summer 2015
Relocating a mature peach tree to a full sun location, Spring 2015.
Bare root currants and fruit trees potted up and waiting to be planted out.
Weighing produce to understand yields, summer 2015.
Dilly Beans 2015
Black currant vinegar experiment in color, Summer 2015
Miller Neighborhood, Gary Indiana
In late 2013, an experimental edible landscape was envisioned for the post-suburban wild of the Miller community in Gary, Indiana. How much food can a suburban lot actually produce? How might this new kind of productive landscape change our understanding of farm, suburb, wild? Inputs and outputs are tracked and weighed, so that over time site metrics can be understood.
How much food can a suburban lot actually produce?
What began as a research project reflecting these land use questions, the Modest Modernism project has evolved into a fully cooperative model of conservation. This model promotes conservation of built features and the landscape, and generates strategies to co-exist with the non-human “users” of the dune and swale ecology, which surrounds the midcentury, modern homes in Miller.
The Modest Modernism edible landscape served as a private laboratory for the public Fruit Futures Initiative Gary, also begun in 2015.
the Plant Mansion, a hacked hoophouse, protects the fruit trees and vegetable garden from small mammals –infrastructures
Woody fruits and nuts including: pear, quince, cherry, sand cherry, currant, gooseberry, apple, elderberry, crabapple, strawberry and hazelnut have been planted in the 2015 season. An existing mature peach tree has been relocated to a sunnier location. This micro-orchard surrounds the "plant mansion”, a hacked hoophouse, meshed enclosure, erected to protect the vegetable garden from deer and small mammals. The fruit trees are also caged; fruit “infra-structures”.
Modest Modernism is the third experimental dwelling project undertaken by artist partners Frances Whitehead and Jim Elniski. These Art + Architecture dwelling projects have explored multiple dimensions of the Art of the Everyday.