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A morning in Hallunda and an afternoon chicken coop

September 16, 2012

We began the day by heading to Hallunda, where there was a sort of “NGO day” where about half a dozen NGOs and artisans representing NGOs came to sell various wares to support their organizations. Among the organizations at the festival today was a women’s collective that crafts homewares from recycled materials. The small rugs and trivets below were made using worn t-shirts, and are essentially sold at costs to support future projects for the collective. We bought a small rug and a few trivets for the Open Fittja cafe. We originally went to the festival to hand out fliers advertising Open Fittja, and not only were able to do that, but also wound up meeting a number of women actively involved in local Botkyrka organizations. We spoke with local teachers, librarians at the Hallunda branch library, and women who both pass through Fittja and spend a fair amount of time there. We explained the Open projects taking place over the course of the next two weeks, and invited them to bring their children to the afternoon fikas starting next Monday. One woman who is well-connected to teachers in Fittja offered to scan our flier and email it to contacts within Fittja. Another volunteered to pass it along to a few women she knew in Fittja, too. I should note that public spaces that I’ve seen thus far have been quite gendered, so we mostly encounter either one sex or the other. Being women, it is naturally easier to make inroads with groups of women that it is with men here in Fittja. Of course men and women, boys and girls are invited to the activities over the next two weeks, and it just so happens that so far we’ve only spoken to women about the events.

This afternoon Ariel and I were returning to Krögarvägen 26,  a woman and her daughter were returning from a wildly successful apple harvesting mission. Although she didn’t speak English, we were able to communicate the simple question of “Where do you harvest your apples?”, and not only did she tell us where to find these prolific trees, but she gave Ariel and me each an apple! Here are the apples:

These apple trees are near the lake, and if you walk in the direction of Alby, the next town over, you’re bound to come across the trees. Tomorrow we are headed to the Järna countryside to harvest apples to use in the cafe.

At around 2:00 pm, the folks from Kultivator arrived, along with some friends from Stockholm who helped assemble the chicken coop. By dusk, the coop was completely assembled, and the construction drew curious stares from passersby. Some residents stopped to chat with us about the project, but the neighborhood children were, unequivocally, the most enthusiastic about the coop at Krögarvägen 26.

We invited a few children into the residency apartment, and with Ayhan’s help, explained Open Fittja’s cooking and story telling projects. It’s our hope that the neighborhood kids will attend the fikas, and eventually, it will encourage their parents to join the coffee breaks and Open Fittja workshops as well.

By the time that Ariel and I left for Skärholmen to go grocery shopping, the coop was complete:

Since we’re finding ourselves in Sweden during the height of beet and apple season, we are picking our friends’ brains for recipes that combine the two, and thus far, an apple borscht is the leading contender. Next week residents are invited to partake in any number of beet/apple kitchen festivities: beet apple borscht, beet apple slaw, and assembling beet stuffed apples to name a few. What are your favorite beet apple recipes? How about an apple beet charoset?

Good night!

-Asiya

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