Boskoi, wilderness addiction


Boskoi is an application for Android mobiles that allows people to create a checklist of geo-localized spontaneous food in urban areas. Created by Joey van der Bie, Maarten van der Mark and Vincent Vijn the application was developed with Ushahidi, an useful open source platform for collecting, displaying and mapping information on mobile devices. Recently it has been tried in Amsterdam where people have recorded and shared online all edible herbs, fruits, seeds, tubers, mushrooms, birds and other entities found by chance in the hidden corners of the city. To join the community Boskoi, a Greek word that means “grazer” or “pastors”, it is necessary to follow specific guidelines, a kind of ethical standard for the perfect “grazer.” First you have to make sure that the fruitful area found is not privately owned and that it can be used sustainably. In this way it can continue to grow and can be helpful to other people. This sort of collaborative herbarium is not only an effective tool to search for food. It also brings out a need that goes beyond the basic human need to eat. People in the cities are missing the spontaneity and freshness of the wilderness, suffocated by the concrete of the urban space. With Boskoi, people can fearlessly look for it armed with a smartphone, like old dowsers with their magical forked wand in search of water and precious metals.

Chiara Ciociola