RDFCM hosted a staff exchange in Thessaloniki to showcase urban farming (UF) good practices and inspirational actvities in the region. The visits on 30 and 31 May were attended by Municipality of Beja, CIMBAL and IfLS partners.
CityZen partners visited the 1st Primary School of Municipality of Ampelokipoi-Menemeni, where the students have created a vegetable garden and a greenhouse under the guidance of their teachers. The production of vegetables is available to students and parents who take care of the garden.
Afterwards, the participants visited one of the three Municipal Vegetable Gardens of the Municipality of Neapolis-Sykies. According to the person in charge, the gardens are available for free use to the residents of the municipality. The criteria for the selection of the final users are social and economic.
Partners also visited the Urban community garden «KIPOS3» that is a great example on how unused neighborhood area in the heart of Thessaloniki can be transformed into productive community garden. About 30 families are involved by the majority of them having one to three plots to plant vegetables, fruits and aromatic or ornamental plants. The space is provided by the Municipality, it is a public space, and everyone participates for free. The garden became also a place for meeting and acquaintance between the neighbors and the residents of the area.
Τhe 2nd day of the staff exchange, CityZen partners visited the Urban vegetable garden of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki. Initially, Associate Professor Mrs Maria Partalidou presented to the guests the history of urban agriculture in the Region of Central Macedonia and more specifically in the area of Thessaloniki: how the first urban agriculture practices were developed and how they evolved over time. After a discussion with all partners, the Urban vegetable garden of the Aristotle University of Thessaloniki was visited. The garden operates since 10 years already and has 475 vegetable gardens with an area of 100 sq. m. each.
Finally, the Private urban vegetable garden in the department store «HONDOS CENTER» was visited. The garden area is set up outside the store and includes three vegetable gardens. The products grown there are used in the restaurant of the department store, covering their needs of fresh vegetables throughout the entire cultivation period.