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 http://www.almeredezeweek.nl/nieuws/1403484-buurt-tuin-karibu-het-begin-vaneen- 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: http://inspiratie-inc.nl/stichting-inspiratieinc- 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.