The Morning Boat is a new programme of community events and public art in Jersey, produced by ArtHouse Jersey, that responds to local agricultural and fishing practices. As an international artist residency, the initiative aims to generate a reflective and meaningful discourse between international artists on critical issues and real life practices that are central to the island’s economy, social fabric and way of life. Activities focus on local industries that are often referred to as the foundations of the island economy – Agriculture, finance and tourism – and their impact on people’s lives.
The Morning Boat was officially launched on the 23rd of April 2017 with the arrival of the Futurefarmers and the Seed Journey, transporting a selection of rare and historic grains from Oslo to Istanbul on a ship. On board are five artists and farmers, a sailor and two captains. During their stay in Jersey the artists engaged with the local community and a range of bakers, farmers, pigeon fanciers, radio enthusiasts, historians and brewers, to conduct research into the role grains have played in shaping our society and the notion of the commons within agricultural practices. What might be gained from reintroducing grains to our fields? How can we move towards a more resilient, diverse and sustainable local food chain? Where are the openings for co-operative action, solidarity and open source farming?
It was inspiring to observe how so many connections and new initiatives emerged. Meetings with local residents, farmers, school children and entrepreneurs acted as the catalyst for a host of exciting future initiatives, such as the first home grown beer in Jersey in up to 500 years, a potato radio network, an amateur brewing festival, a school scarecrow workshop, a micro-bakery developing a new line of bread and much more.
Special brews, home grown bread, morsing messages and a seed ceremony; A selection of activities that took place during the first phase of the Seed Journey. In preparation for a bread and butter feast to welcome the Futurefarmers, the Jersey in Transition baking group reformed to continue developing cultures and communities of bread making on the island, while artisan baker Rich Howell of Pain de Famille is now speaking with local farmers about sourcing and experimenting with locally produced organic flour to bake his bread.
A special brew and a pact was made with Liberation brewer Patrick Dean, sowing the seed for an exciting new beer in 2018, using locally grown and malted barley. The limited edition special brew is distributed to five local pubs, along with information about the project. Plans are made for a month of amateur brewing activities and a Beer and Bean Crock Festival. The Jersey Amateur Radio Society spent an evening with the Futurefarmers sending morse code messages from farmers to fishermen and sailors out at sea, while meetings with telecommunication experts, historians and farmers led to experiments with potato radio sets and a radio lab that took place during the Jersey Boat Show.
Three local primary schools visited the RS10 Christiania to go on their own adventure, learn about the Seed Journey, bake flatbreads, make smoke signals and meet the captains. They left with a collection of memories, a tattoo and some Finnish rye. Synne and Julius meet with Grace Davies of the Farm School Initiative, to discuss and compare farming practices within educational contexts.
A Seed Ceremony takes place in which three special grains of John Le Couteur's heritage wheat are passed by Charles, Alon and John Le Maistre to the Futurefarmers. The story of these grains is now being sailed around Europe to the Middle East.
The project is constantly developing, and we will soon be updating this page with new information about the Seed Journey's interaction with the island as it continues in 2018.
You can watch a short film about the Seed Journey's first residency in Jersey here: