The Hyde Park Art Center and Cream Co. (Chicago) welcome your participation in General Economy, Exquisite Exchange (GEEE). GEEE introduces an ongoing post-retail museum shop and rooftop tomato garden at the Art Center where neighborly value has become the operative currency and creative bartering has become the dominant mode of exchange. GEEE brings to life a local culture sustained by the give and take of neighborly ritual, by the surplus of seasonal gardens and local kitchens, and by the exploration of post-retail systems of value.
GEEE provides a site for the exchange of homespun, indoor and outdoor gardening materials (seeds, trellises, houseplants, &c.); immaterial support (dialogue, advice, recipes); inanimate pleasures (collectibles, homemade favorites, books). Knowledge might be exchanged for seedlings, and seeds for a good story, zinnias might be exchanged for tomatoes, and a glazed pot for some cucumbers or for a rusty but still worthy trowel. Bring plants, home-made gifts, re-giftables, gardening books and cookbooks, recipes, or any other thing you’d be willing to surrender to, or share with, a neighbor. Enjoy an evolving array of plants and neighborly gifts including, during April, seeds, seedlings, houseplants, herbs, Amish Friendship Bread starter and homemade tomato soup, and, during May and June, shrubs, perennials, annuals and herbs. In August and September, weather-permitting, pick your own black cherry tomatoes.
Everything will be available for sale at cost, or for exchange (like-for-like or by GEEE-change). Our costs are our costs (yours and ours); free to us is free to us: anything GEEE receives for free you can receive for free (including seeds from the GEEE Seed Library and seeds donated by Seeds of Change through the Sowing Millions Project).
Additionally, the artists behind GEEE offer a free 5-week course in early summer, called Gardening and GEEE-keeping. Participants learn how to grow and harvest tomatoes with hands-on experience at the Art Center’s rooftop tomato garden, and learn how to plant, care for, and propagate a low-maintenance garden on the Art Center’s grounds. Those who join the class can also look forward to instruction in how to design a container or garden, using the GEEE-cycling station to plant or make self-watering containers for herbs, annuals, and fruit-bearing plants.
GEEE operates on an honor system and exchanges can be made whenever the Art Center is open. If you’d like to have a person-to-person exchange, a GEEE member is available by appointment.