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 project Hortas TOP.

The project

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

This project also aims to raise awareness of the efficient use of water, to raise awareness of the importance of healthy and organic food, to promote the Mediterranean diet concept and to enhance the use and valorisation of endogenous resources.

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

This activity will be carried out in all schools in the region, which are involved in the challenge of implementing the vertical vegetable garden concept, with pre-school and 1st cycle 2nd year students. The success of this project can be measured by the involvement 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, alongside the acquisition of technical and practical knowledge, to develop social and emotional skills that include critical thinking, creativity, self-knowledge, cooperation, communication and openness to new things, among others, necessary to promote autonomy and independence, the relationship with others and the world around them.

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