Sourdough starters are popping up on trees in San Francisco
Quarantine is making us all weird—but also helpful
You probably don’t need me to tell you that people are going nuts for sourdough right now. Everywhere you look (and by everywhere, I mean Instagram, obviously), people are pulling freshly baked loaves out of the oven and lovingly tending to their starters (the mixture of flour and water that ferments and therefore allows sourdough bread to rise).
Starters are easy to make but they take patience (and feeding!) in order for them to be ready to make a delicious loaf. Enter: San Francisco. Generous folk all over the city are sharing their starters for others to bake their own loaves with. And this sharing medium is distinctly old-school: via trees. That’s right: you can now pick up a starter from a tree in the Californian city. Or maybe even a telephone pole.
It all began, as many of the best things do, with a well-meaning post on Nextdoor.com. The post offered up an active starter named Godric (yes, people name their starters) to anyone who might want to do some stress-baking. Godric was hung on a telephone pole in Bernal Heights.
The idea took off, and a Google Maps was created, showing the locations of the various starters that people were sharing. The anonymous creator of the map wrote: “A nutritional and long-lasting treat, perfect during these times of anxiety, uncertainty, and limited grocery runs. With many of us left with a bit more free time, it is nice to fill it with sharing (safely) with others and baking!”
Now, you can find pots and packets of sourdough starter pinned to trees and poles across SF. Some of them are labelled ‘Godric and Godric’s siblings’ while other starters are ‘non-Godric descendants’.