a micro-farm in the middle of the city to cultivate ties in the neighborhood

a micro-farm in the middle of the city to cultivate ties in the neighborhood
a micro-farm in the middle of the city to cultivate ties in the neighborhood

Market gardening in the heart of the city: this is the challenge that a micro-farm in La Rochelle (Charente-Maritime) has been taking on since January 2024. The places, which combine local agriculture, social ties and professional integration, are inaugurated this Friday, May 24, 2024 as part of the 48 hours of urban agriculture.

No more bitumen, and room for turnips, cabbages and all other kinds of vegetables at Parc Condorcet, in La Rochelle in Charente-Maritime.

Inaugurated this Friday, May 24, 2024 as part of the 48 hours of urban agriculture, a micro-farm, named “Fertile Dunes”, has emerged in the heart of the priority district of Villeneuve-les-Salines. Since January, there have been several objectives: offering vegetables grown on site for sale, while recreating social bonds and respecting the environment as much as possible.

The micro-farm indeed applies the principles of permaculture. “We try to do everything by hand, with the most reasonable use of water possible. We create places on which we will plant, which will never move and of course, with zero chemicals”explain Chloé Moulis, esupervising the micro-farm. “We works with the earth rather than against it. If a plant grows in rich enough soil, it can be quite self-sufficient.”

The micro-farm employees also use the concept of companion plants. “Garlic will prevent ants from coming to build their anthill here. We will harvest the garlic in August and then the strawberries”underlines Chloé Moulis.

>>

One of the first strawberries from the micro-farm!

© France Télévisions

On the plot of 700 square meters, in this sunny day, five employees are busy. Among them, Anne-Lise Drouet who, at 35, abandoned the job of prison counselor for that of market gardener. “After a maternity leave for a year, I couldn’t see myself working in an office again.” says the young woman.

I wanted to put my hands on the ground.

“We are in an urban environment, and I wanted totake the project to its origins.”

The micro-farm won a call for projectsFertile neighborhoods launched by the National Agency for Urban Renewal. Today, the Diagonales neighborhood management is piloting the system, which is very small in size compared to traditional market gardening. Another contribution is the creation of local jobs, under integration contracts, for local residents. The working conditions are also suitable. “I’m working 36 hours is more like 24 hours for a traditional employee. The employee with the greatest number of hours works 28 per week and we don’t work weekends.” describes Chloé Moulis.

TO READ : Two districts of La Rochelle rehabilitated thanks to renovation work

“We have five employees including four women, we are quite proud to be able to feminize this activity”, welcomes Vincent Enard, ddirector of the Diagonales neighborhood authority. “We are iinstalled in the Condorcet park which welcomed walkers, but presented little interest. The economic activity here brings more and more curious people, and residents who come as employees.”

Among these inhabitants, Sophie Dubois had never put her hands in the ground. Today, she could see herself working as a market gardener. “I didn’t know anything about it at all, normally I work in catering. I learned a lot of things, it’s nice”she projects. “I like plant my vegetables, see that they grow. At first there was nothing at all, it was just dirt.”

>
>

No more asphalt, make way for land, in the middle of the city!

© France Télévisions

Originally, it was necessary to dig up the soil to be able to add soil and compost. This heavy work is starting to bear fruit because the first vegetable sales will be organized.

Beans and turnips will be sold to local residents, with double pricing to be accessible to the most modest households. From May 28, 2024, two sales will be organized, every Tuesday and Thursday from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.

The micro-farm is expected to expand soon. UThe neighboring former sports field will be converted into a new market gardening plot, with a greenhouse of around 700 square meters. Gardens should also be open at least one day per week for volunteers. A new way to cultivate social connections.

-

-

PREV Formula 1 | Norris wants to confirm at Barcelona but fears the rise of Mercedes F1
NEXT Memorial Cup: Owen Beck and the Spirit head to the final, dominating Moose Jaw 7 to 1