Garden Variety Soda Fountain


In 2017 I received a a Rocket Grant Research and Development award for the production of Garden Variety Soda Fountain, a mobile soda fountain vending cart. GVSF had its first tasting event in the Early Street Garden in the Rosedale Neighborhood of Kansas City Kansas on August 18, 2018. On that hot summer afternoon, attendees tasted Sour Cherry Kombucha, Blackberry Jun, Pickle Kefir, Basil Kefir, and Pineapple Jalapeno Kombucha, and toured the gardens to identify the plants used in the sodas.

My relationship to the garden began with the help of: the Rosedale Development Association, Kansas City Community Gardens, the Giving Grove, and Seed Savers KC. Through these partners, I found an incredible network of gardens, gardeners, and orchards in Kansas City. I also found a dedicated group of gardeners to teach me really valuable (and basic) things about planting, tending, harvesting, and seed saving. The soda fountain is a tribute to the intersections of these people and communities and those who share a passion for creativity from seed to soda.

GVSF was born out of an interest in creating transformational flavors from local garden ingredients. Beverages are the focus of GVSF because of their ability to transform common flavors into surprising elixirs. GVSF was envisioned as a contemporary soda fountain, a free gathering place of inclusion where we can talk politics, art, fermentation, and gardening. Modern sodas were developed by pharmacies as a way to sweeten bitter medicines such as cocaine, pepsin, lithium, and caffeine. GVSF is serving medicine in the form of naturally fermented probiotic drinks, sunshine, garden greenery, and conversation.   

GVSF was produced with a 2017 Research and Development Rocket Grant from the Charlotte Street Foundation and the Spencer Museum of Art with funding from the Andy Warhol Foundation for the Visual Arts.