1 HAMP – 1 Ha Aronia Melanocarpa Power Plantation
Research and interventions at “1 Ha ‘Aronia M. Power Plantation’ ” at a former Soviet plantation at the edge of a town, 30km from the Baltic sea in the mid-west of Latvia.
Aronia m. – Photo: Daniel Allen, 2012
In the 1950ies a Kolchoze was founded in Aizpute (Latvia) centered around the production of apple and aronia (melanocarpa) fruits and their derivative products (juices, jams…). In 1991 -after the fall of the USSR, the kolchoze was divided into lots, owned by 18 local people. The Aronia bush and the soil that hosts them are since then ‘unattained’, transforming the monoculture into a more diverse local ecosystem; Aronia M. companion plants appeared, whilst other bushes, trees and mainly wild grasses are gradually taking over.
On August 29, 2011 one of the owners allowed Bartaku to temporarily use 1ha of the plantation for artistic purpose, on the condition that the Aronia M. will not be harmed, until the land will be sold.
From Sept. 17-19, 2011, 85kg of Aronia berries were harvested and transformed at Serde (as part of a residency) by locals, Fins and Belgians into liquid (wine, beer, syrup) and vast foods (candy, jam) according to traditional and experimental methods and recipes.
More about the history of Aronia, see the essay, partly based-upon enigmatic facts: Aronia M. A stand-by power plant in intermediary times (Link)