Today at Gardenprue we wanted to collect some initiatives on urban gardens that are changing ways of living the city.
Projects that make you stop to think for a second and get out of the “modern” maelstrom (to say the least) in which the vast majority of us are immersed.
URBAN GARDENS ARE CHANGING MINDSETS
The Internet is a world of information that is updated every second. The information bombardment is so overwhelming that what we read is forgotten overnight and even on the same day.
I am sure that you are not able to remember what you read or saw yesterday on the Internet (news, YouTube, blogs …) and if you remember it, it will be a bit difficult for you to remember.
It is an inherent thing that the Internet carries with it for good and bad. Information is updated and revised much earlier, but everything is more volatile .
What does this have to do with urban gardens?
This reflection so hackneyed and obvious, is nothing more than a prologue to justify what was discussed in today’s post. Collect, bring together and summarize the initiatives that we read –in this case– about urban gardens .
There are many and more and more, each at its own level, each with a different scope. Bigger or smaller, they all have something in common and none have agreed on it.
It is not just knowing what is grown, but establishing a very different philosophy of life or at least leisure.
BROOKLYN GRANGE: NEW YORK ROOFTOP GARDENS
We have already talked at length about this rooftop garden initiative which currently has more than 20,000 m2 of cultivation in New York buildings for local sale and distribution solely to reduce impact and carbon footprint.
An initiative that in the future could transform the most cosmopolitan cities and the society that gives them life. Imagine a Central Garden (understanding garden as an orchard) instead of a Central Park. You can see here the article dedicated to this initiative.
AN APPARENTLY SIMPLE IDEA, A PROJECT OF GREAT MAGNITUDE
Its president and co-founder, an industrial engineer with the simple and at the same time complicated idea of growing vegetables where cement and steel reign.
Neither more nor less than in New York. If you’re thinking of Central Park, I’ll tell you how cold cold. The idea of Brooklyn Grange is to cultivate on the roofs of buildings with a clear objective:
Ecological urban gardens that produce serious amounts of product to supply businesses, restaurants and ordinary people with a small detail. The supply will never be further than 5 km around . With this, the already known carbon footprint is greatly reduced.
The idea is very good but carrying it out had its buts. The building to choose had to be a well-waterproofed building with sufficient structural strength to support the weight of the earth.
They then had to carry bags of soil up the stairs of the building to create the substrate on the roof of the building.
Even if the building supports the load well, the soil should not be too heavy and in Brooklyn Grange they use a porous and light stone base with compost that provides everything the plant needs with a low soil density.
AND THE POLLUTION OF THE BIG CITY?
It is true that there is pollution but they say that it is the same that you breathe second after second every time you inhale air when you live in a big city.
They also affirm that the most problematic of pollution are the heavy metals that remain a few meters from the emission of cars, so that a 7 or 10-story rooftop surely has better air quality than the one at ground level.
We particularly think this is debatable to some extent because smog clouds reach quite high altitude.
BROOKLYN GRANGE RESULTS
They were profitable the first year of implantation in 2010. Today they have almost 2.5 hectares of rooftop land in Brooklyn where they grow tens of thousands of kilos per year of horticultural products such as tomatoes (the main one), lettuce, peppers, cabbages, Swiss chard, carrots, and new projects such as laying hens and even organic honey. During the winter they grow cereals.
All this on rooftops! They organize dinners and events on the rooftops, have agricultural training workshops and of course educational days and workshops for young children and adults.
The very idea of imagining collecting the eggs from the layers or caring for and collecting your own lettuces with the image of Manhattan in the background, is at least bucolic. If you want to know more information about the project, go to their website BrooklynGrangefarm.com
INCREDIBLE EDIBLE IN UK
A project that started in Todmorden, a small town in the UK. Its founder, Pam Warhurst has an idea: Promote the consumption of local produce .
Use public spaces to plant fruit trees and vegetables without measure through volunteering so that everyone can enjoy learning and taking home the best of urban gardens.
If you say this as it is, incredulous people may think that this is living in the world of happiness, in the gummy bear house on Lollipop Street (as our dear Homer Simpson used to say). Well, it could be, but the facts are the facts.
Incredible Edible has spread at speeds close to the speed of light throughout the country (there are more than 30 places in the British Isles that carry this project forward). We leave you the presentation of Pam Warhurst .
LA GREEN GROUNDS. LOS ANGELES COMMUNITY GARDENS
Just a few miles from Beverly Hills is South Los Angeles. Neighborhoods whose food education is limited to fast food and little else, making a society sick, limited in basic and healthy food resources.
LA Green Grounds. An initiative whose co-founder Ron Finley intends to use part of the more than 26 km2 of unused land in Los Angeles to create community gardens that supply the stomachs and minds of many people.
As we mentioned at the beginning of the post, it is seen once again how the creation of urban gardens is not limited only to obtaining food. There is a spirit of learning, effort, and discipline in gardening.
Phrases such as “if children grow cabbages, they will eat cabbages” demonstrate the educational nature of these projects. Ron Finley’s presentation is worth watching .
SHARED GARDENS: YOU CULTIVATE, I LEAVE THE LAND TO YOU
Spain also has a lot to say on these issues.
Shared gardens is another great project in our country that puts people in contact with land who do not know what to do with it and people who want to cultivate and lack that land, sharing the harvest.
The best synergy possible nationwide to find a place to grow if you don’t have one. Or give up your land if you don’t know what to do with it. Its bases: organic farming, promotion of barter and local consumption.
These are just 4 examples scattered around the world.
There are many, many more. In Spain there are city councils and associations that promote, provide spaces and rent urban gardens for self-consumption, either for leisure or for necessity, with many objectives.
Local consumption, reduction of the water and carbon footprint, learning, discipline, knowing how to take care of something and share it, consumption of fresh ecological products.