Urban Roots

Community Garden beginnings in Tortosendo

Outside the city of Covilha, the town of Tortosendo is developing an exciting grassroots initiative in conjunction with a primary school, a housing association, a youth group, and the local authorities to transform a piece of unused land into a community garden.

Quero Ser Mais project director, Antonia Silvestre invited Mount of Oaks to deliver a training session on the basics of Permaculture design.

The full day workshop included a presentation of permaculture principles to a large audience. The major of Tortosendo opened the event with an inspiring desire for this project to be a pilot for something that could awaken the notion of community participation.

A mixture of small group work and facilitating discussion about clever design principles proved for an interesting morning session….

In the afternoon the youth group connected to Quero Ser Mais, the group who will take responsibility for the initial design of the garden took part in several activities that would draw out their ‘needs’, ‘resources’, ‘limits’ and ‘next steps’.

We employed the technique of ‘world cafe’ to increase discussion and idea sharing…

One of the aims of the session was to inspire the youth to create the connections between their environment and simple ways they could improve it. We brought along many examples of ways they can transform waste, produce or ideas into something more useful!

The sessions were dynamic and fun. We are looking forward to working with this group again – when they come to Mount of Oaks for a hand-on experience in the garden.