Mangelwurzels, a variety of beets that grow very large in size, were developed in the 18th century as an alternate fodder for sheep and cows. With long-term storing abilities, these beets could be used to feed animals through the winter, when the ground was covered with snow. Through research, I learned about this type of beet as well as a translation of "mangelwurzel" that means "root of scarcity." This series explores the possibilities and finds wonder within material constraints using a wide variety of beets, intentionally excluding the most commonly recognized red ones. Recently, farmers are reintroducing beets as animal fodder, though this time in times of drought, looking back to move forward.

The Root of Scarcity 2013 was commissioned by the San Jose Museum of Arts for "Around the Table: Food, Creativity, Community"
Group Exhibition, November 9, 2013 - April 20, 2014

Giant beets generously grown for me by Peter Jacobsen of Jacobsen Orchards, Yountville, CA.

Photography credit for artwork and installation shots from San Jose Museum of Art's Around the Table: Food, Creativity, Community: Robert Divers Herrick

Photography credit for my foot and giant beets: me

from Jacobsen Orchards detail