Feb 2, 2021

The urban food garden keeps growing!

Chard from the Urban Garden
Chard from the Urban Garden

Since the inauguration of the urban food garden in Villa Arauco back in October, it has been producing amazing vegetables for the families taking part in the project but also contributing vegetables to the social kitchen which provides well-balanced meals to more than 100 families and elderly people of the neighbourhood. On average, the families of the food garden have reported collecting between 1 to 2 kilos of vegetables each per month with the garden in total producing about 15kg monthly of vegetables. The great food garden leading ladies have also received a cycle of training courses to help them make the most of their section, with all commenting that the courses have been really useful and that they have learnt a lot. 

We are also pleased by the great positive feedback we have received from the participants about how the food garden has provided them with not only new skills but also contributed to them coming together closer as a community and developing their own self esteem. As one of the participants comments:

“The benefits of the food garden is the creation of community and personally also like a therapy for the soul” 

The impact on the health of the participants is also key with all participants declaring that participating has led to an increase in their consumption of salad leaves and vegetables considering a recent study by the National Health Institute of Chile highlights that only 15% of Chileans eat the World Health Organizations recommended 5 portions of fruit and vegetables per day. 

A new training program, School for All, has also just started with 15 local participants taking on a 6 months training in Gastronomy, Permaculture and Innovation to promote the development of complete and holistic profiles to work in the gastronomy industry whether in restaurants or also as entrepreneurs. Here the students use the established food garden as an example of what can be achieved and to learn of the different plants and their requirements. 

Finally, we are starting on the development of a new project in the Puente Alto district where we will be creating a food garden to benefit a group of elderly communities who have high levels of social and economical vulnerability. We are also finishing to evaluate another project in Renca based in a community centre with the participation of a mix of families from the surrounding schools and nurseries.

We are very grateful to all of you for your support and hope that 2021 will bring lots of new opportunities for you,

All the best,

The Cultiva Team

One of the participants asking questions
One of the participants asking questions
Students of the School For All in the urban garden
Students of the School For All in the urban garden
Lettuce growing!
Lettuce growing!
Tomate plant with fruit.
Tomate plant with fruit.
Oct 5, 2020

Villa Arauco Food Garden will be ready in days!

Team working on the planting beds
Team working on the planting beds

Dear Supporters,

We are really pleased to be able to share with you the progress we have made with our project. There have been some ups and downs and some complications linked to the health crisis but we are pleased to announce that we have completed the first community design of the food garden of the Villa Arauco sector of the La Pintana district, one of the most vulnerable in Santiago. This garden will initially count with the participation of 10 families mostly conformed of highly empowered and entrepreneuring women of the community who have been highly active in all the steps of the process.

The design created with the families includes 125m2 of planting beds, set up in such a way as the optimise and make the most of the space available in the community centre but also ensuring a high level of accessibility to people with different levels of mobility, including raised beds. These beds are considered to plant various crops that will be rotated according to harvesting times and seasons. The community also chose to include one section with medicinal plants and culinary herbs that can benefit the community as well as a border of native trees and shrubs, to promote pollination and create shade, as well as some fruit trees. 

We have already held the first workshop focusing on the topic of soil and how to maintain and promote a nutritious soil in the food garden and are happy to announce that this coming Friday 9th of October, we will be carrying out together with the community the final touches to the garden and will plant the first seedlings and trees! We are also pleased to share with you that in this project we have also partnered up with Comida para Todos who will supplement the food garden and related workshops with a cycle of cooking and entrepreneurship courses to help them generate not only produce for self-consumption but also as a potential source of income through the production of high quality homemade conserves or other yummy treats. 

Once completed and after an evaluation of improvements that can be made in the process, we plan to start before the end of the month the process with two other communities in order to set up as soon as possible the food gardens there.

We share with you some pictures of the workshop, the ladies leading this community and the progress so far and plan to share with you the photos of the inauguration soon too!

Thank you for your support,

Hope you are all well,

Cultiva Team and the community of Villa Arauco

Learning about different types of soil
Learning about different types of soil
First workshop with the female leaders
First workshop with the female leaders
 
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