Everything has value; nothing is worth destroying.

Meet the mushrooms of Bagnolet. In this neighborhood just beyond the Parisian “ peripherique”, we find an urban Mushroom farm embedded within an overgrown, under-coiffed park. Toward the northwest edge, a derelict little enclave of greenhouses, complete with a mini-cellar. The mayor of Montreuil, initially conflating a scrub-down with demolition, had thought to level it.

COLOCO with their theory that everything has value; nothing is worth destroying. With minimal investment and resources, COLOCO implements the framework to re-activate the site. COLOCO’s role begins with the securing and preparing the infrastructure – here the greenhouse and grotto-esque bunker. Next COLOCO establishes the social network. Interest is gathered and one hundred residents each invest 20 euros in exchange for a share in output. Shareholders maintain the site, care for the mushrooms, and reap their crop every two weeks. Although the project is primarily self-sustaining, COLOCO remains an active, enthusiastic participant on-site, working alongside the members of the community. A neglected landscape has become an activated site of production and social intersection.

– Jennifer Komorowoski

Correction: January 13th, 2012

An earlier version of this post misstated the location of the project. The mushroom farm is situated in Bagnolet, not Montreuil.