Urban garden project
With this project we try to improve the quality of life in neighborhoods by offering nature and environmental education focused on urban agriculture, healthy food and improvement and management of green areas (gardens) around the homes. We focus on families, institutions and schools in a specific neighborhood for a period of 3 years. We measure the results and make a blueprint for another neighborhood.
Family vegetable gardens
The square-meter garden project supports families in the construction and maintenance of a small vegetable garden. An agreement is made with the families for six months. They receive help with the construction of the garden and are allowed to participate in the courses we give. A manual has also been developed with information about sowing, watering, composting, disease control, insects that are good for the garden and the extraction of seeds. This allows people to grow vegetables themselves, even if they have limited space at their home.
After that, agreements can be made for a follow-up such as a cookery course, planting of trees, water harvesting, explanation about drip irrigation systems and constructing a small greenhouse or ornamental gardens.
At various schools in Cochabamba, the projectteam provides lessons about vegetal gardening in theory and practice. The children not only learn the basics of gardening, but also about the value of healthy food, the process of composting, collecting vegetable seeds and making watering cans from waste.
The schools that have already participated in previous projects will continue to receive further support in subsequent years through donations of vegetable seeds and one-time workshops.
Between the schools and the families, home-grown seeds are exchanged to guarantee future quality.
Vegetable gardens in centres
At two centres in the neighborhood, where people are accommodated for a shorter or longer period of time and where a daily meal is provided, we support the construction and maintenance of a vegetable garden.
The residents and the supervisors have an active role in this. The harvested vegetables are prepared in the center’s kitchen and are intended for their own consumption.
After the project has finished, the vegetable garden will continue to be managed by the residents. Attention is also paid to healthy nutrition by giving cooking workshops.
We collects vegetable waste from several local restaurants and coffeshops and make compost. This way we prevent extra pollution on the landfill where this waste normally ends up and the compost is used within the pojects.
We developed a series of cooking workshops on preparing healthy food in collaboration with a local chef in combination with our workshops on urban horticulture. Both kitchen staff of children’s and day care centres (who have a vegetable garden) and parents who participate in our programme will benefit from workshops aimed at preparing healthy food. This gives them the opportunity and support to change their diet to a healthier one.