Food, food culture, food as culture and the cultures that grow our food

Speaking of the Future…
how ’bout that market?

June 15, 2009

Markt van Morgen / Market of the Future, Freehouse, Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking, Debra Solomon,
Market of the Future poster-child Juli Mata

You’re probably wondering how the future turned out. Last weekend’s was a culmination of the test-phase with FREEHOUSE’s de Markt van Morgen / the Market of the Future, in Rotterdam Zuid’s Afrikaanderwijk. Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking has been experimenting the past months with a Free Kitchen using existing neighbourhood food facilities, food flows and working with local entrepreneurs to investigate what the Afrikaanderwijk would produce if it designed its own food products.

Yvonne Groenhart at the Markt van Morgen / Market of the Future, Freehouse, Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking, Debra Solomon,
Yvonne G. unpacks the Groenhart Family ginger beer, fruit syrups & preserves

The final event was an two-day market and to be clear, Lucky Mi’s involvement was just a part of this enormous FREEHOUSE project. On the first day, there were interventions into the business-as-usual format of the Saturday Afrikaandermarkt, orchestrated by FREEHOUSE and representing every area of this large urban outdoor market. Many of the stalls were re-styled and entirely new, locally produced product lines were unleashed on an eager public. The Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking Free Kitchen held court in the food court obviously, testing out the new market stalls designed by artist Dré Wapenaar. We gave away yummy taste-tests of our pickles & kimchi, an array of hummous with lavash bread from the Ata Bakery, ginger beers & kefir drinks and fruit syrups & preserves by Yvonne Groenhart c.s., and the delicious sambals by Dr. Mau.

Lucky Mi Free Kitchen hummous array at the Markt van Morgen / Market of the Future,  Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking, Debra Solomon,
All natural, all yummy, vibrant hummous

Chef Abdel and Lenn Verjans assist at the Markt van Morgen / Market of the Future, Freehouse, Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking, Debra Solomon,
Chef Abdel and Lenn Verjans plate pickles

Market stalls designed by Dré Wapenaar for the Markt van Morgen / Market of the Future, Freehouse, Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking, Debra Solomon,
Market stalls designed by artist, Dré Wapenaar

One the Sunday, (2nd market day), the ENTIRE market represented the FREEHOUSE vision for the regeneration of the Afrikaandermarkt. Improved products, services and market interactions, a more vibrant Afrikaandermarkt was the result of months of work. The next posts will tell all about the various interventions made by many artists, designers and of course locals looking to keep the Afrikaanderwijk economy in the hood where it can bloom to the benefit of all those that live there.

Alia selling Dr. Mau sambals at the Markt van Morgen / Market of the Future, Freehouse, Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking, Debra Solomon,
Super-seller Alia with Dr. Mau sambals

debra at 17:45 | Comments (2) | post to

Rethinking the
Market of the Future

June 5, 2009

Markt van Morgen, Freehouse, debra solomon,

Market folk, people from Rotterdam’s Afrikaanderbuurt and artists renew one of the Netherlands’ largest open-air markets, the Afrikaandermarkt. My involvement in this mega project is one of the reasons I’ve written so little in this blog the past year. So much to write about, but no time to write.

Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking Flyer by Roger Teeuwen, Debra Solomn,

I’ve been collaborating my Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking project with Jeanne van Heeswijk en Dennis Kaspori’s enormous FREEHOUSE project that has been working with local entrepreneurs and artists to develop a better, more unique, more relevant market for this neighbourhood. The focus of the FREEHOUSE project (the Market of the Future) is to infuse the market with better products and services, developed in the hood, and that actually benefit the hood, the Market of the Future. Oddly, the future officially arrives this Saturday and Sunday in Rotterdam’s Afrikaanderwijk when the Market of the Future opens.

Afrikaandermarkt flyer by Roger Teeuwen for Freehouse, Debra Solomon, and Lucky Mi Fortune Cooking

At the ‘old’ Afrikaandermarket, products come from far, far away; the produce, the fabric, the gadgets, the thingy-thingies. The past year artists, designers and local people have been working together to sketch a product line that hyper-uses and reworks the current materials flow such that folks north of the river have a reason to bike over that pretty bridge to do their Saturday (and Wednesday) shopping.

Some of the innovated products include the Suit It Yourself clothing line, developed and manufactured locally, the Lucky Mi Free Kitchen, (yay!) that breathes new life into produce by making jams, syrups, pickles sauces and other foods and snacks. Unique to the Afrikaandermark is the involvement of market folk selling products of district inhabitants . Hippiydippity young fashion designers share space with the scooter store on the corner, there is a mobile repair-anything and everything service and a camel-milksmoothie stand. Stalls will carry speicalty items for the Turkish bride and vegetables from local kitchen gardens.

New pop-up market stalls have been designed by by artists Dré Wapenaar, Jeroen Kooijmans and Hugo Carpenters. Market folk are known to be critical, and after this weekend, we’ll know if these amazing ideas are worth a repeat.

Freehouse sticker by Roger Teeuwen, Debra Solomon,

Freehouse is a project of Jean of Heeswijk and Dennis Kaspori in cooperation with Kosmopolis Rotterdam and is made possible with cooperation and support of the Dutch Arts Council (Fonds BKVB), European Fund for Regional Development of the European Commission, Pact op Zuid, Housing Corporation Vestia, CVAH and VETRA. For more information about Freehouse, the Market of the Future or image material contact Ramon Mustard (T 010-2134201 / E

To get to the Afrikaandermarkt from Rotterdam Central Station, take the metro to Rijnhaven, get out… and follow the hoards.

View Larger Map

debra at 23:35 | Comments (2) | post to

Gardens and girth,
the real French Paradox

June 1, 2009

The French Paradox - Debra Solomon,
Pardonnez-moi, Monsieur le Voisin

My own observational research about kitchen gardens leaves me puzzled as to how folks that grow kilos upon kilos of fresh produce become so perfectly round. No, I haven’t ‘had the opportunity’ yet to ask, so I’ll have to guess.

Are these gentlemen taking the lettuces home and turning them into candy and doughnuts? One of my neighbours used to be a pattissier so I wouldn’t put it past him. Are these large fellows storing the potatoes and carrots in their root cellar in vats of pork fat, and each day pulling out a handful, wrapping it in a tiny leaf of spinach and then coating this in camenbert and breadcrumbs? What’s the cause of all the girth? These are physically active gents.

Sorry round neighbours for making you the sujet of my first entry in a while, and thank you for watering my gardens while I’m away! It’s good exercise!

The French Paradox - Debra Solomon,
Vous aussi Monsieur le Voisin au Coté du Moulin

debra at 14:13 | Comments (5) | post to

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