Something that we never did during my studies in agriculture was questioning the act of cultivation itself. I have a lot of doubt about (call it) farming although I have a lot of desire towards peasantry as well. Both doubt and desire is hard for me to orientate myself in sometimes. I come to think of the cottage core movement circulating on the internet, where youngsters aesthetisize and dream of a queer community in the countryside opposing capitalist hegemonies once and for all. In reality they rarely take the step. I can relate to the romanticisation wrapped in inaction. Still, it is not an easy step to take, there are many obstacles which are very real when you don’t have any savings for example not to mention access to land. Anyway, something that I felt the urge to do was to embody the act of cultivating something as a way to carry thoughts through action, and identify the questioning which would undoubtedly emerge if I allowed it.

Luisa read me a text called advise for young farmers and in that text many sentences resonated with me but especially one stuck with me: ‘make a garden before you build a house’. Maybe it is because I have been subscribing to an uprooted and precarious lifestyle for the last few years, as many artistic practitioners, and therefore thoughts about dwelling have been particularly present. For me, the sentence also articulates a need for understanding and connecting with the environment, the soil, the critters dwelling there, before you decide on where to situate oneself and maybe this act is a far more severe kind of homecoming.

JvE seemed like a good place to initiate a garden and other things too, especially because I had no actual monetary risk involved, which is exceptionally privileged because most young farmers have to indebt themselves when they start farming. Another thing is that the garden had been left in abandonment after the former head of nature lab left the Academie, and I felt a silent invitation to mitigate an intentional act of caretaking to this tiny plot.