Tonight: A Panel Discussion on Cities and ‘Weediness’ at Silent Barn in Bushwick

Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer
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While foraged food is having its moment in fine dining, the rest of the world has yet to start paying attention to the hearty species that persist between cracks in the sidewalk. Ellie Irons and the Bushwick Food Co-Op are aiming to change that tonight, January 19, at their panel entitled “Problem Plants: Weeds in Ecology, Art and Culture.” It goes from 7:00 to 9:00 p.m. at Silent Barn in Bushwick.

Irons is an artist and teacher whose work thus far has focused on combining urban ecology with a variety of artistic mediums. She selected panelists for the event based on past collaborations (she’s worked with the Center for Strategic Art and Agriculture to cultivate a garden project turned art show, how cool is that?) and common interests. “Relegating much of the spontaneous plant life in the neighborhood to the category of ‘weed’ and ignoring it is a missed opportunity to work in concert with these tough, city-dwelling ‘companion’ plants,” Ellie explained to us.

The panel consists of an ecologist, a biologist and a sculptor, and according to the website, they will “attempt to slow down and look closely at the companion plants that share our streets…. What do these tough, adaptable species gain and lose from living in a city? What do we gain and lose when we ignore, tolerate, nurture or destroy them?” You can learn more about the panelists and read the full event description here.

Photo credit: Ellie Irons and Dan Phiffer

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