East End jam was inspired by an unexpectedly fruitful walk around Stratford (east London) in July 2014. On the ordinary light industrial and residential streets of the city I found plums, elderberries, sloes, apples and blackberries in abundance. I picked these and made a range of jams, then led a walk entitled ‘Stratford Jam’ showing people where the fruit trees and bushes could be found, and gave them the jams to eat.
From that starting point the project has developed, with support from the London Legacy Development Corporation, and UCL Culture. In 2015 I led a participatory walk and jam making workshop which fed into the ‘Harvest Stomp’ festival a celebration of local food growing at Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park on Saturday 19th September. In 2016 and 2017 the project grew further – engaging a number of different groups with the foraging walks and jams workshops (please see the blog for details).
In 2018 we hope to grow again – working with a range of organisations, groups and individuals to share knowledge about the edible city, encourage people to make use of common resources, and eat jam!
There are many precedents for this type of art-food-walking work, here are some that I know about:
Norma D Hunter’s Bite on the Side
Stalker (Italy) Public Oil and Nomadic AgroCulture projects
Ceri Buck’s Invisible Food
Melissa Bliss’s Nomad’s cafe
BASH’s Wild Food Walks