Photo: Emma Lynch, for the BBC.
Known as “gardens of the poor,” they originated in Europe about 150 years ago at the height of the industrial revolution when cities, municipalities, and monasteries provided plots for the urban poor to grow food for their families. These gardens proliferated by the thousands in Germany and other European cities during the second half of the 19th century.
Now they are spreading throughout the world with over half of the world population living in cities since the year 2000. The rapid urbanization of formerly sleepy rural centers has caused urban poverty, alienation, and other problems, bringing about natural, manmade, and technological risks which threaten the livelihood, health and lives of people.
In the Philippines city of Cagayan de Oro a ten year project called the Periurban Vegetable Project has been bearing fruit … and vegetables for urban poor. Run by Xavier University College of Agriculture (XUCA), based in Cagayan de Oro and funded with EU money, the project aimed to open its sixth garden project by the end of the year.
Meanwhile in Caracas, Venezuela they have been busy emmulating the organic gardening revolution of Cuba by opening up the The Organoponico Bolivar I garden, which occupies 1.2 acres in the centre of Caracas and is the first of its kind in the capital.
You can see photos of their hard work here.