In Berlin, there has always been a form of urban farming. Like much of Europe, during rapid industrialisation and urbanisation of the 19th century people were given allotments, which in Germany are dubbed “Schrebergaerten”, usually situated along the outskirts of the city. At the time they were a necessity, and governments’ response to a malnourished population in an attempt to provide food security. However, in more recent times they have become somewhat of a luxury. The focus shifted from food security to a “city retreat” culture. However, with the growth of sustainable urban farming and community building a new form of urban farming has developed in Berlin – the Prinzessinengarten.
The borough of Kreuzberg has always been known for cultural and social movements, and general resistance to all things mainstream. As resident’s got fed up with the lack of greenery in their community they killed two birds with one stone by developing this urban farm. Nomadic Green (Nomadisch Grün) is the non-profit that manages the project. A true “from the community for the community”. The garden doesn’t belong to anyone and the land is leased from the city on a yearly basis, which means mobility is oh-so important. Produce is grown in crates, cartons, old packaging and frankly anything that can hold some soil.
The garden supports itself through sales of produce, but also grants neighbours the opportunity to plant their own. Apart from creating a space to grow food sustainably, Nomadic Green has created a public urban space, complete with a Cafe and “Gardenkitchen”, serving one dish over lunch and pizza in the evenings.
Initiatives like this make a “utopian” future seem more likely. Imagine a future where every single open speck in a city is planted with lush, green gardens and food production and this is no longer the responsibility of large Agri-corporations.
For more info go to: http://www.prinzessinnengarten.net/