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The Pickle Project is a passionate exploration of Ukrainian foodways as a way of understanding sustainability, community and change.
The Pickle Project is a passionate exploration of Ukrainian foodways as a way of understanding sustainability, community and change.
119 backers pledged $5,775 to help bring this project to life.

About this project

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$5,775

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UPDATE: Despite what it says in the premium list at right you will receive a T-shirt if you pledge at the $50 level or above. Our apologies for any misunderstanding.

What does our food say about us? How are cultural values and personal histories encoded in cuisine? What does it mean to be sustainable? Can a meal tell a story? And, finally, what IS the key to a crisp, crunchy pickle?

This project explores these questions and more! And offers YOU the unique opportunity to support the preservation of traditions and cultivate cross-cultural understanding while cracking some culinary conundrums with insights from a country that has been doing sustainable, local food for centuries!

As North Americans become more interested in foraging, local food systems and sustainability, there is a great deal to learn from Ukrainian enterprise and expertise. Ukrainian growers, cooks and eaters have much to share about their approach to food and what it means in a rapidly changing country. Diverse both geographically and culturally, Ukraine has long been known for its bountiful soils and forests. Ukrainian gastronomy reflects not only its history of occupation and immigration but also seasonal rhythms. Because this culture has endured cycles of great bounty and great scarcity, Ukrainians are highly adaptive but maintain an ethic of self-sufficiency and connection to nature. Many still go to the forest to gather mushrooms, store their homegrown potatoes in a root cellar, and carefully guard their mother’s pickle recipe. At the same time, the emergence of supermarkets and fast food joints means that those traditions are changing and may soon be left behind.

The Pickle Project explores contemporary and traditional Ukrainian foodways, introducing fascinating people, practices and places, through photographic documentation, audio interviews and video. This work will be featured on the Pickle Project blog and will serve as the basis for innovative traveling exhibitions and programs in North America and in Ukraine that will encourage community conversations about the interesting and increasingly relevant issues of food, culture and sustainability.

BUT, we need YOUR help to bring this meaningful story to a larger audience, both in North America and in Ukraine, where there is a need to support cultural awareness and diversity. Your support will let us return to Ukraine, with a professional photographer and videographer, to document evolving foodways and diverse traditions in three distinct regions: western Ukraine’s mountain villages, the central heartland and Crimea’s warm peninsula.

We will reward your generous support with a range of fun and interesting prizes drawing on the Pickle Project’s unique work! Check them out in the sidebar on the right.

Visit The Pickle Project blog to learn more Ukrainian foodways, read intriguing stories and try tasty recipes: http://pickleproject.blogspot.com.

Support this project

  1. Select this reward

    Pledge $10 or more About $10

    A hearty thank you on The Pickle Project Blog and in the exhibits, special project updates, and a Pickle Project sticker

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    10 backers
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  2. Select this reward

    Pledge $25 or more About $25

    Full color postcard set with Ukrainian recipes and photos plus a hearty thank you on The Pickle Project Blog and in the exhibits, special project updates, and a Pickle Project sticker

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    54 backers
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  3. Select this reward

    Pledge $50 or more About $50

    Direct from Ukraine, a hand-painted wooden pysanky (egg) or wooden folk carving (your choice), postcard set, thank you, project updates and sticker.

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    25 backers
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  4. Select this reward

    Pledge $100 or more About $100

    The official Pickle Project T-shirt, handpainted egg or carving, postcard set, thank you, project updates and sticker.

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    11 backers
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  5. Select this reward

    Pledge $250 or more About $250

    Your choice from a selection of framed 8" x 10" archival quality photo print of Ukrainian food traditions and all of the above.

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    1 backer
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  6. Select this reward

    Pledge $500 or more About $500

    A pottery bowl from the noted pottery village of Opishne and all of the above

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    1 backer
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  7. Select this reward

    Pledge $1,000 or more About $1,000

    A Ukrainian meal! If you're in the Northeast or upper Midwest, one of us will take you out for a meal or bring you a homecooked meal for up to four people to enjoy while we share our stories of Ukrainian food. Plus, all of the great premiums above.

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    0 backers
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Funding period

- (50 days)