Thursday, December 29, 2011

Will 2012 Be the Year of the Pickle? Only with Your Help!

It's official, James Oseland of Saveur Magazine has named pickles as one of his top food trends for 2012. We're happy to be ahead of the curve as 2011 was a pretty amazing year for the Pickle Project and we hope 2012 will be more of the same.

A year ago, we were deep into our Kickstarter fundraising efforts. We still can't say enough about the support we received. From across the world--including Sweden, Japan, Ukraine, Canada and the United States--dozens of you pitched in to help make our effort to document and share Ukrainian food traditions a reality. We truly felt buoyed by all of your good wishes when we returned to Ukraine.
Our two Pickle Project trips this year were each very different, but both were distinguished by the warmth and hospitality of Ukrainian friends and colleagues. Our three weeks in high summer were full of berries, of home-cooked meals, of walks in hills of Crimea and the Carpathians, and of long conversation-filled train rides for the two of us. This fall, returning with Caleb Zigas and Rueben Nilsson, our four Pickle Project Conversations cemented our friendships with great organizational partners the Bulgakov Museum, Eko Art, PIC NGO and the Centre for Cultural Management. We ate, we drank, we found ourselves in conversations that ranged from what we eat for dinner to how to support small farmers. Thanks to the Trust for Mutual Understanding and Shelburne Farms for making this possible.

Back in the US, I had the chance to share the work of the Pickle Project in five different presentations at locations ranging from a Catskills community roundtable to an American Association of Museums presentation in Texas. Lively questions always ensued.
But what will 2012 hold? And how can you help?
We continue to be inspired and driven by the interests, questions and comments from our Kickstarter backers, our readers and the people we engage through the Pickle Project, in Ukraine, the US and elsewhere.

We're working on a number of different ideas--ranging from promoting further exchange, to exhibitions, to projects with young people. We'd love to find ways to bring the Pickle Project conversations to different countries, to learn and share perspectives.

We've got a long list of blog posts from our 2011 visits to keep you up on--everything from Greek food in eastern Ukraine and manti making in Crimea to making currant wine in L'viv-- and the debut of some video interviews. Stay tuned.

But about you--if you're in Ukraine, we'd love your help. We've greatly appreciated our guest bloggers and hope that more of you will consider joining in and sharing family stories, traditions, or what you've learned about village and urban foodways. In particular, Peace Corps volunteers, we'd love to hear from you.

And if you have ideas about what's next for us--let us know. Thanks to all of you for making 2011 an incredible year for the Pickle Project!


  1. Barb--don't know actually--from the Museum of Modern Art in Kyiv--a bit off the beaten path but worth a trip sometime when you're there.

  2. It is really a lovely painting; just look at those parsnips!