Fresh vegetables to help those who are in need: this is the goal set by “Paysages Nourriciers“, the program with which the Nantes administration (France) has decided to provide free vegetables to those families affected by the economic and social crisis linked to the pandemic.
50 vegetable gardens will be prepared and made available throughout the city, with 25 tons of vegetables to be distributed free of charge to people in difficulty.
In the last few days dozens of courgette plants have already sprung up in the city castle’s ditches and the most disparate vegetable gardens have been grosn along one of the city’s main boulevards.
“Associations that normally provide food aid have seen the number of requests grow exponentially. There are many families who no longer have access to healthy and quality food, many have lost their jobs, the precariousness of the moment affects us all, “says Mayor Johanna Rolland.
Since the beginning of June, dozens of plots of land have been developed by officials of the municipal green spaces department across the entire city.
With these gardens, the administration hopes to grow about 25 tons of vegetables by autumn. The harvests, which will be followed by 250 gardeners and community volunteers, are expected between July (for summer vegetables) and October. And not only that, these nourishing landscapes will also have an educational purpose: it’ll help citizens follow the evolution of the crops, remember in which season each vegetable is harvested, collect them in a participatory way, rediscover them and learn how to cook them for healthy local dishes.
At the beginning of June two large plots were planted near the municipal nursery with the help of volunteers from the EmpowerNantes association and young farmers. They will provide potatoes, 500 pumpkins and beans for the fall.
Seasonal vegetables for the summer (such as tomatoes and courgettes) and for the winter (sweet potatoes, squash, beans and corn) will also grow in the flowerbeds of parks and gardens in some green spaces belonging to the city: Cours Cambronne, Place Mangin , in Port-Boyer, the Pablo-Picasso road, Lucie-Aubrac school, Cité des Congrès, town hall gardens, Accoord de la Meta center in Bellevue, Crapaudine, Gaudinière and others.
In total, 50 solidarity gardens scattered throughout the 11 districts of Nantes will provide free vegetables without any type of pesticide.