De Tostifabriek Art installation
Today we think rarely about where it comes from and it is often difficult to trace the origin further than that. Our relationship with food (and it's production) has greatly reduced as a result of people increasingly living in the city. Questions are being more frequently raised on 'Where our food comes from', the safety of food, and the environmental impact of our eating habits.
De Tostifabriek was a project, started by Sascha Landshoff and Vera Bachrach, that deconstructed the toastie (bread, with ham and cheese), a typical Dutch snack found in nearly every cafe and bar. In conjunction with a larger community inspired collective of projects by Mediamatic, it took place on the VOC kade in Amsterdam. From February through to September 2013 we invited people and school groups to come and see where their food comes from, help out with the difference things involved and celebrate each part of the project we completed.
Within the first two months a team of friends built a 75m2 field to grown grain (to make bread), sheds were constructed to house two pigs (for the ham), and two cows (for milking, to make cheese).
Through the summer, we took shifts in looking after the animals; milking the cows, making cheese, showing children round the 'farm' and answering visitors questions on what we were doing, and had countless interesting conversations on other peoples experiences with food and farming.
The finale culminated in a festival of a few thousand people on the site on the Tostifabriek and everyone lining up for Tostis. De Tostifabriek team are taking a little rest from farm life, but interesting in future opportunites to question the city.