Following the transfer of experiences, ideas, knowledge and best practices of the partner regions, which were presented throughout the CityZen project, CIMBAL, in partnership with CEBAL - Centre for Agricultural Biotechnology and Agro-Food Alentejo are developing the Hortas TOP project.

About Hortas TOP project

Hortas TOP integrates different actions related to urban agriculture in extracurricular activities in schools in the thirteen municipalities of the Baixo Alentejo during the school year 2022/2023, promoting the vertical cultivation of local aromatic plants. These activities help to stimulate children's interest in the area where they live and strengthen their sense of belonging. It also aims to promote direct contact with nature, in particular the germination of seeds to produce plants realted to the healthy diet.

The project also aims to raise awareness of the efficient use of water, the importance of healthy and organic food, the concept of the Mediterranean diet and the use and valorisation of local resources.

The Hortas TOP project was launched on 18th January 2023 at the São João Baptista School Centre in Beja, as a result of the partnership between CIMBAL and CEBAL, within the framework of the Project + Educational Success in Baixo Alentejo.

This activity will be carried out in all the schools in the region, which will take on the challenge of implementing the concept of the vertical vegetable garden with pre-school and first and second year pupils. The success of this project can be measured by the participation of 1165 students and 64 classes from the 16 existing groupings.

The vertical school gardens will be a tool to contribute to the promotion of school success through the introduction of knowledge in a "hands-on" concept (learning by doing), which allows, besides the acquisition of technical and practical knowledge, the development of social and emotional skills, such as critical thinking, creativity, self-awareness, cooperation, communication and openness to new things, among others, necessary to promote autonomy and independence, relationships with others and the world around them.

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