Using parks, gardens, squares or even the castle moat to grow vegetables that are redistributed for free: this is the “Solidarity Landscapes” project launched in 2020 by the city of Nantes. Pictured in full confinement, the initiative was set up by the municipality to help poor households. Today Nantes has almost 24 vegetable production sites where citizens and city officials are active. An unprecedented and solidarity project that has not gone unnoticed since it has just received an award, this Wednesday, April 6, as reported West France†
The Eco Mayors association, which promotes the actions of local authorities in relation to sustainable development, has just awarded the citizenship prize to the city of Nantes, as part of the Eco Actions Trophies. Each year, these reward innovative and exemplary actions taken by the territories in favor of environmental protection. And this time it was the “Nurturing Landscapes” project that won the award. “A great reward for this useful, supportive and citizen project†† Johanna Rolland, Mayor of Nantes, rejoices on Facebook.
Organic tomatoes, zucchini and potatoes
Originally, this project was to be temporary. Indeed, the city of Nantes had launched an experiment with ‘solidarity vegetable gardens’ in the midst of a pandemic, to respond to an emergency. Objective: To deliver free of charge to families from Nantes affected by the economic and social crisis related to Covid-19. But since then, these nurturing landscapes have spread to all parts of the city West France† City officials and local residents have invested nearly 24 municipal spaces to grow organic tomatoes, zucchini and potatoes to help vulnerable households. “Everything is natural and ultra-local, without pesticides”we can read on the site of the metropolis of Nantes.
“These nurturing landscapes also have an educational value: follow the evolution of crops, remember in which season each vegetable is picked, harvest them in a participatory way, rediscover them and learn to cook them for healthy, quality and local food.”
Johanna Rolland, Mayor of Nantes.
1,500 beneficiary households
Thanks to this initiative, almost 19 tons of vegetables were grown on 7,500 m² of land in 2021, distributed among 1,500 households in Nantes. And the city of Nantes has no intention of leaving it there. The next plantations are already planned and the municipality has made an appointment with its residents during the 48 hours urban farming, which will take place on 14 and 15 May. Because this initiative not only benefits poor households, it is also an opportunity for citizens to get their hands dirty and forge social ties.