Municipal vegetable gardens help struggling families in Nantes
25 tonnes of locally grown fresh vegetables will help 1000 vulnerable families affected by the Covid-19 crisis
- June 19, 2020 17:30
- Aseniya Dimitrova
A new action aims to help the most vulnerable families of Nantes to survive the coronavirus crisis. The local gardeners will cultivate no less than 10 000 plants on the municipal territory, with the objective to provide these families with locally produced fresh vegetables.
25,000 square metres for solidary planting
The name of the project translates as “nourishing landscapes” as it aims to transform 50 municipal sites into fruitful vegetable gardens. The initiative was born as a result of the sudden stop of economic activity among the most vulnerable populations, caused by the coronavirus and the related impact on their health. Its authors are the agents of the Service of green spaces and the environment (Seve) and the Communal centre of social action (CCAS) with the City of Nantes.
The initiative has already started by transforming two 1.8 hectare plots, planted with the help of volunteers from the EmpowerNantes association and young farmers. As many as 50 similar sites will spring up throughout Nantes, including at the City Hall gardens. Straw, compost and vegetable plants were already delivered so that planting can take place between 15 and 19 June.
All 11 districts of Nantes will soon host solidary vegetable gardens. Image by City of Nantes
The authorities expect to harvest no less than 25 tonnes of fresh vegetables, that will then be delivered to 1000 households. Depending on the species, the vegetables will be harvested between July and October, with the support of local residents and volunteers from Nantes associations.
“The crisis has precipitated many homes in precariousness: loss of job, salary, social and food distress… Food aid associations, which see more and more families flocking who no longer have the means to feed themselves and to access healthy and quality food, sound the alarm" explained Johanna Rolland, Mayor of Nantes for the municipal website.
But these gardens also have an educational purpose, as they help citizens follow the evolution of cultures, understand in what season each vegetable is collected and how it is harvested. They constitute a way to rediscover vegetables and to learn how to cook them in a healthy, high quality and locally-grown meal, reminds the mayor.
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