The urban farm of the district of Blosne (ubicated in Rennes, French city) will soon be installed on a 2900m² wasteland lot. It is located in an underprivileged neighborhood in central Rennes. The goal of this neighborhood farm, which is overseen by the “Les Cols Verts Rennes” association, is to facilitate the regions’ urban transition.
Ideally located near a cultural center, school, and daycare center, this farm will invite residents of all ages to participate in friendly workshops and events on permaculture, sustainable development, and biodiversity.
With this phased approach, the Cols Verts Rennes association, which is a member of the Cols Verts network, is pursuing several goals:
– Using urban agriculture as a tool for raising awareness and teaching residents about food.
– Creating a community center within a neighborhood of around 1,900 residents that can host workshops and events about food and agriculture.
– Reconnecting residents with their environment by bringing nature back into the neighborhood and reframing it as a place for friendliness and togetherness.
– Creating a very short food supply chain in which the producers and consumers come from the same neighborhood. Producing high-quality fruits and vegetables and selling them at low prices to residents. Giving them every reason to consume healthy, fresh, and seasonal products grown without chemical inputs.
– Training the unemployed about emerging professions in urban agriculture (gardening in small areas, small-scale livestock farming, fruit trees, and apiculture).
Before actually “digging in,” the association decided to build ties and inform the beneficiaries of the project by organizing:
– A volunteer discussion meeting to raise awareness about the project and recruit motivated volunteers.
– A walk through the neighborhood to promote food-related initiatives.
– Collaborative events based on food and urban agriculture.
– Children’s workshops about food and agriculture.
This project is inspired by the Dutemple neighborhood farm located near Valenciennes. This admirable project headed up by the Hainaut Cols Verts helps people re-enter the job market, fosters a sense of community, and increases residents’ food independence.
This project was supported by the Louis Bonduelle Foundation during its winter 2017/2018 call for proposals.