community garden

Odeonstraat, in the city centre of Almere, is the new location of a developing community garden. It started as a large piece of wasteland and great ideas coming together. Surrounded by the 72 households of building cooperation Alliantie, new homes for 72 households, we are developing a new community garden.

“Yesterday we rescued a fruit tree, some thyme plants and Jerusalem artichokes a previous inhabitant of Odeonpark left behind. They were almost buried by the construction workers but we saved them! First plants for Odeonpark: CHECK"

The project has been created with and for Young People & their families from the refugee and migrant community in Almere. In our city of Almere and other cities in Europe we read the critical remarks in respect to newcomers, fostering an environment of fear and mistrust towards people in search of a new home. The project is aimed at supporting the integration of newcomers in Almere (about 2000 new registrations in the past 2 years) whilst making positive headlines highlighting the many great contributions and the positive impact of diversity on the city: see for example nieuwe-stadstuin.

BuurT-Tuin Karibu invests in community art and community gardening as an effective way to connect people, who did not know each other prior to this initiative.

Secondary school pupils from the "World School" ASG Meergronden and students from the University Aeres Almere actively participated in this project, as well as those involved with buddy projects of Inspiratie Inc. & Stichting Kim.

Together we made a start in transforming a neglected area of Almere in the City Centre into a beautiful community garden, BuurT-Tuin Karibu. Please also refer to our video from one of these action days with interviews from some of the participants and collaborative partners: deed-weer-mee-met-nl-doet/

As you can see in the video with a big team of volunteers we already completed making a willow hut, one Hügelkulturbed, paved part of the round patio, planted a bunch of donated plants and we did some traditional Dutch hedge 'laying'....

“Yeah! After months of planning, talking and meetings the design for the community garden at Odeonpark is done! The team at Inspiratie Inc has already started the garden surrounding BuurT-Thuis Karibu, and when the construction crew is done with the houses it's time to plant the rest!

Odeonpark is some seriously marginal land, while the rest of Almere is heavy, fertile clay this piece of the city has been used as a soil depot. This part of Odeonpark is the 'worst' part, there used to be a school here and all the soil is just white construction sand.. We will improve the soil using compost, hügelkultur, manure from a local petting zoo and of course green manure plants. The plan is to turn this area into a high production site that supplies the kitchen of Karibu with quality produce that the chefs can turn into exquisite meals for the restaurant. To keep the costs down only certain areas will be improved using compost, manure and hügelkultur and the rest of the area will be planted with appropriate crops that can deal with the sandy soil and/or provide fertility by fixing nitrogen and generating biomass that can be tilled in.

As usual in Permaculture design the problem is the solution here: in the sandy soil we have the chance to grow crops that can't grow anywhere else in Almere and this marginal land houses some rare plant species that thrive on the poor soil. Luckily nature doesn't actually need us and is already fixing itself, check out the lush clover fixing nitrogen.”

Through ongoing workshops and Action Days, we will be planting a herb spiral, many trees, create willow sculptures, and make meaningful ceramic objects. The project will be underpinned throughout by themes of memorialisation; of honouring the ancestors and exploring their legacy. Through the sharing of signi ficant histories, we will create shared knowledge, which will become the glue that holds people together.

At the project site, new houses have almost been completed for students and this project will help to make sure that the newcomers feel welcomed and a part of their new city. With our help the current neighbouring residents were active in the transformation of this shared area, to the benefit of all.

In order to support the expenses of this project one of the international Work Awayers Catherine Holbrooks, a student of Literary on a London University, who worked in the various community gardens is still active raising funds on our behalf. Have a look and keep supporting: Just giving crowdfunding.


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community Garden

Elementary school Al Iman is one of the first-found Islamic primary schools in the Netherlands. Since 1990, it is a Dutch-based Islamic school open to all children, regardless of their social and religious background. The school has about 360 students. The students come from all over Almere: Almere City, Almere Buiten and Almere Haven.

Inspiratie Inc supports the creation of a small playful garden in the school. A Willow hut and flowers were implemented and children enjoy daily play whilst the hut is growing stronger. Large mosaics made with the pupils of all six school classes are placed outside the school building. We are at present busy with the preparation of a parent and child festival in Stedenwijk, in order to further develop and strengthen our growing bonds with this area of Almere.

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Community Garden

Located in Almere Haven, this community garden is founded in the middle of a small backyard in the centre of Almere Haven.

It now has become a place for neighbourhood barbecues, two picnic tables to sit on and chat with fellow neighbours or read a book whilst little children play safely in the enclosed space.... a willow hut, an apple tree, flowers.

Children play and even help water the garden and parents tell about it proudly via Facebook, but also local shopkeepers, such as the VLA cadoewinkel/ VLA shop to recycle presents help out with toilet and other facilities. Together the neighbours and volunteers met weekly for 3 of the winter-month every Tuesday in the local community cafe with thanks to the partnership with Doeners Dreef Zorg.

We have completed 50 workshops with a group of ca. 20 Havenaren & their friends we developed ideas about how to further shape the garden and meet the needs of the community. At present the small garden is filled with yellow flowers and the pathways are clearly shaped and covered with woodspan. Unlike before dog owners respect this little oasis.

We also decided on introducing further plant diversity, such as

  • Flowers that grow every year
  • Strawberries
  • Autumn flowers
  • Raspberries
  • Boskoop Glory grape
  • Ginko biloba 100 cm 
  • Buddleja, butterfly bush
  • Artichoke
  • comfrey

We called on the expert tuition of permaculture designer Irene Moutthaan, who helped to make a design from which to implement the ideas in the coming Spring and Summer. We also worked hard on a text & design for a nice wooden board, so that more people understand how to connect to our gardens. We attended 2 social cafe's and met with representatives of the Wijkteams in Almere Haven in order to further deepen our collaboration within the area of Almere Haven and we agreed on a collaboration with the Meergronden/Wereldschool.

We also attended several meetings with respect to the Voedselbos Uithof and the partners associated with this permaculture initiative, and we presented the project in Amsterdam agreeing on a future collaboration with BuurT Bankjes in order to encourage new local partners. We are also hoping to further extend the collaboration with the shop owners from Almere Haven in support of local community cohesion. We hope you too will support our efforts to take the next step towards waste free & green neighbourhoods.

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community garden

The Akwaaba Community Garden has recently been re-named Acceptus Community Garden: BuurT-Tuin Acceptus and is at this time a growing educational and playful place for the surrounding people in the neighbourhood and especially children and families from the refugee centre and the nearby schools Oli fijn and Aventurijn, and Taalcentrum Almere. All are enjoying the use of this garden several days each week. Some of the most active community gardeners have received the Green Pin in honour of the beauty that has been created in and around this forest garden, see also:

"A girl with deep brown eyes and a large chocolate milk mustache running through the grass. On her head shines a beautiful tiara of autumn leaves. She softly sings a Dutch song about Mother Nature. It's raining but she laughs.”

This is a beautiful introduction of the article written by the Oranjefonds journalist, which we also shared to emphasize the impact of healing community gardens, during the city makers congress in Rotterdam with an audience of 900 people.

"Think of it as another way of implementing youth work”. Outside in the fresh air, the hands sometimes literally burrowed into the earth, people from the neighbourhood can meet each other in an accessible way.

The gardeners are children, young people and their families who are still relatively new in the area, or migrant families with a multitude of challenges within mainstream society, but also other local people such as Indian Priya Panigrahi: "Despite my PhD in Bio Informatics I could not find a job in the Netherlands, because I did not speak the language. Looking for a bit of social relevance, I decided to come here as a volunteer. Seriously, this is the best choice ever. It gives immense satisfaction to see the children smile again. And in addition, I found a whole new family here!"

The Burundian refugee Thomas Bangurabona found buurT-Tuinen, community gardens more than 'a little distraction': “Some kids just wanted to fight, they were so angry. Due to our projects, where art and nature are skillfully placed at the centre of play and creativity: I really see the children change.This not only gives me a good feeling, but also hope. Because children are the foundation of our society.They are our future.”

Monique Faase, project coordinator of the children's group, said: "A while ago we made a very large ‘dream catcher’ , and we gathered below it all together. After we shared our fears and nightmares, all the little ones spontaneously started to whisper their dreams into it. How beautiful is that?”

More than 60 volunteers were actively involved in more than 350 indoor & outdoor workshops. We worked consistently on this forest garden and updated our knowledge of permaculture. Many different trees and bushes have been planted. We also visited several permaculture projects in the Netherlands in order to further our update our knowledge of plants, adapted to the climate in the Netherlands.

With the help of international students from Aeres Hogeschool we built a large herb spiral and with the help of students from the international school we made a labyrinth in the form of a turtle.

We also did a special permaculture weekend, where we built 3 permaculture “huegel-cultuur” planters so that children in a wheelchair can easily take part in the planting, watering and harvesting activities.

The Acceptus garden hosted several special events every month, but also during normal days, many people enjoy the flowers and shapes in this community garden.

Every Friday we facilitate a special program of nature education for children and their parents, and people come from far afield to take part. For many the archetypal yearlong theme “mother earth” belongs to ancient times and rituals gone by. With much love and care under the guidance of theatre maker Sameena Khan, the children and families from the refugee centre of Almere and their many artistic friends have been able to take aspects of this and mix it with own ideas to create a Mother Earth. and that is relevant to every living being's past, present and future. We would really enjoy sharing these discoveries with you.

Have a look at the video, which we made to remember and share this project with a wider audience: v=exzwPOUNhGA

As you can see in the video, many people from local schools, neighbourhoods, in the vicinity of Almere, Muiderberg, Amsterdam etc joined us on this intimate and interactive journey. Everyone playfully and emotionally participated on this pilgrimage with mother earth and her children.

This experience has tantalized everyone's senses and left a deep impression in the hearts of many. Young and old walked with us through this outdoor experience. Many allowed themselves to be carried through the rich imagination of all the artists, nature lovers, citizens of Almere young and old and citizens of this world who have contributed to this project. Also this theatrical collaboration was honoured with a Green Pin in 2016. Please refer to the article Go Greener Floriade“.

We worked together with the Discus and Living Systems, who are helping us with seeding a lot of young plants in their small greenhouses, which we will transplant in the gardens, as soon as the plants are strong enough to face the elements.

We have also purchased a shipping container in order to organise tools and garden equipment in a more sustainable way.

We learned how to inject wood with mushroom spores, to harvest them for our community kitchens. Neighbours donated strawberry and tomato plants and we were cooking daily for our helpers and visitors.

Young People from the international school Almere & ROC TOP helped to make the turtle labyrinth. Here is a video impression of the day: v=uEIx_D2rNVg

One of our interns Rutger Smeets, who is a minor in philosophy, world religions and spirituality at the University of Utrecht researched the need for silence and meditation. Almeerder Yanick van Nielen, one of the active volunteers:
"Door veel mensen wordt het bewandelen van een labyrint gezien als een meditatieve oefening. Ondanks de vele wendingen is de bedoeling van een labyrint niet om de weg kwijt te raken, maar juist om de spreekwoordelijke, spirituele, weg te vinden. Door de afbakening van de paden altijd 75cm van elkaar verwijderd te hebben, zodat hier met een rolstoel overheen te rijden is, hopen wij aan de inclusie van Almere bij te dragen." The work continues in the next project year, more 3D elements will be added, and publicity will be made to connect this labyrinth with other labyrinths in Almere and beyond.

The collaboration with the nearby 'Forest of the Unmovables' with respect to remembering our ancestors counts as a yearly highlight. Here you can read how this tradition started: herdenken-familie-in-bos-der-onverzettelijken herdenken-samen-met-almeerders

De Almeerse kleinkunstenaar Caroline in’t Veld en de Syrische muzikant Madhat Quattaf stonden met hun band tijdens de kinderherdenking op het podium. Op uitnodiging van Inspiratie Inc hebben zij een kinderkoor van Syrische kinderen samengesteld om het nieuwe lied for het eerst te zingen. Het vredeslied met de titel 'Deze taal verstaan we allemaal' wordt tweetalig gezongen en heeft maar liefst 3550 viewings from the live stream op facebook and that lead to many other performances, such as this.

We are also named in the press release from the local newspaper Dichtbij.

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Visiting Address

Odeonstraat 580
1325 AL Almere Stad
Telephone: +31 36 5258775

IBAN NL 58 RABO 0128990678
Chamber of Commerce nr. 50226428
RSIN nr: 8226.21.502
VAT nr. 822621502

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