Urban and school gardens, a sustainable alternative for food security.

in Educationlast year (edited)
Dear readers, the FAO (Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations) has been pointing out for some time now that food security has become a transcendental issue worldwide, since it has generated a food crisis caused by inflation problems in some countries, which increases the price of food. This situation has forced many institutions and governmental entities to pay attention to the production and distribution of food.

IIn this sense, one of the countries that has been hit by inflation levels is Venezuela, where food products increase their value periodically, which sometimes causes families to be unable to afford the entire basic food basket. In addition to inflationary problems, Venezuela has been a country that for many years has depended on oil income, which has caused other sectors of importance to the country, such as the agricultural sector, to be neglected. Although this situation has improved slightly, it is necessary to design and implement sustainable strategies to redirect the sector towards its development.

It should be added that in order to alleviate the aforementioned problems, there are sustainable alternatives such as school gardens or urban gardens that promote agriculture outside the spaces commonly used for food production, which can help communities to have available different crops such as vegetables, fruits and medicinal plants that allow for good food and nutrition for families.

Specifically, the experience of school gardens and urban gardens is part of a participatory approach based on the scheme of learning by doing, where the actors involved in the process such as the people of the community use sustainable conservation technologies, increasing soil fertility, as well as crop diversification, all through a teaching program that can establish some institutions such as universities or government institutions.

In order to establish these productive agricultural spaces in urban spaces and schools, from our perspective, the following objectives must be met.

  1. Promote the planting of vegetables or any other crop.
  2. Conduct a diagnosis by means of a survey on the types of crops they wish to establish in the orchards.
  3. Conduct theoretical and practical workshops on the establishment, management and harvesting of crops.
  4. Conduct theoretical and practical workshops on the preparation and application of organic fertilizers.
  5. In schools, give talks on the importance of school gardens to school representatives and teachers.

This type of educational programs will allow to take advantage of urban spaces that are underutilized and transform them into productive spaces where healthy food is generated that can be used by families, concerning this, a few days ago we observed information that indicated that for the coming years NASA proposes to establish gardens in urban areas to meet the levels of consumption, if true, we consider it a wise decision in terms of maintaining food security of the population.

Dear readers, we are sure that this type of educational and productive projects will not be reflected in only one aspect, the work done has great economic, environmental, social and educational importance, since it seeks the production of agricultural products in a sustainable way, using local resources of the sector, which translates into cost reduction and use of available resources, protection of the environment with the minimum use of chemical products, diversity and consumption of healthy food with zero residues of pesticides and fertilizers, among others, and timely training that translates into theoretical and practical learning, so that the members of the community know and apply the different agronomic and agroecological practices that the gardens need for the production of healthy crops.

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Sounds good but I have my doubts. Usually, you can't beat specialization. Now people are outsourcing their clothes washing, their clothes drying, their ironing, even people who cook at home want the ingredients to arrive at their home at the precise quantities and with clear instructions on how to make them into a meal with the exact macronutrients they need. I somehow doubt that growing our own food will be cheaper and more efficient than someone else doing it for us. If there's inflation or other issues, maybe there's better ways to deal with them, cos we're in a really sad state if we need to start growing our own food and buying our own chickens in order to survive.

Hello my dear friend @alexanderalexis, thank you for leaving your valuable comment, in the publication I certainly did not say that the inflation of a country can be solved by making gardens, but it is also a reality that there are countries with precarious conditions and produce our own food is an economical and healthy alternative.

I have had the experience of making school gardens in areas near where I live, and I can certify that the investment was not much and for the maintenance was made with endogenous materials, ie fertilizers made by me, I felt much satisfaction when I saw the school canteen harvest the vegetables for the elbaoración of meals for students.

On the other hand, at the time of executing this type of project, training is provided to those who wish to start with these alternatives. For example in my home I have vegetable gardens, I grow vegetables, I have some fruit trees and that does not prevent me from fulfilling my work as a university professor, field engineer, blogger among other responsibilities that I may have. I know that not everyone likes agriculture and prefer to have everything at hand as is the case in urban areas, so I present it as an alternative for food, I'm sure there will be more than one who wants to join.

I know many friends from different parts of the world that although they are not professionals in agriculture, they grow their own vegetables.

I conclude by pointing out that this is not a solution to all the ills at the level of food, but it should be included in the agricultural strengthening projects of the countries, not only rural but also urban spaces should be used to produce agricultural products such as vegetables among others.

See you later brother, thanks for visiting my blog, have a great week.

Note that these projects usually bring a lot of fun to the participants. This feature must not be underestimated, in my opinion.

Have a nice week-end!

Hello dear friend @lemouth, you touched on an important aspect, the fun that is generated when learning by doing, in the case of the escoares gardens the children have a lot of fun planting and maintaining the crops, they create an incredible sense of relevance for the plants they grow, the facilitators also take away a very satisfactory experience.

See you later brother, have a great weekend.

I totally agree with was you wrote. This is also how we proceed with our own children.

My week end was kind of fine (cf. COVID). I hope yours was a good one too, and that you are getting prepared for the upcoming one. Moreover, I apology for the late reply. I had too much work on Monday-Wednesday, so that I had to stay a bit far from the chain [end of the university year moments of life, if you see what I mean].

Hello friend @lemouth, if we understand what you mention in the university environment at the end of the semester there are always many occupations necessary to successfully complete each period. We also had an excellent weekend and our week is being productive.

We hope you end up having a great week, see you later!

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