‘Harvest the city’ – Berlin’s grass roots initiative

Stadt macht sattWhilst the western population lives in a world of abundance, hunger is high on the agenda in other parts of the world. And nor can Europe escape: in Germany alone more than one million people depend on food donations from social services providers, and simultaneously, several millions tons of food are being wasted. In the future, climate change is expected to aggravate the problem yet further.

Stadt macht satt (“Harvest the city”) is an initiative in Berlin that tries to solve these problems on a small scale, and answer the questions: “How can we use food resources in the city more efficiently? How can urban gardening bring food production closer to the people that are physically and mentally separated from nature?”

Anja Fiedler, founder of Stadt macht satt, offers strategies and practical solutions to these questions. As an expert in sustainable development education, she provides know-how on urban gardening, and where fruits and vegetables can be harvested for free. Over several workshops, she shows how something tasty can be produced from food that would otherwise have been wasted. Practical construction manuals on miniature gardens can be downloaded from the website, along with links and information.

Stadt macht satt starts educating early in life, by collaborating with schools and working with children. It also collaborates with foodsharing to collect and distribute unwanted food from supermarkets, and works with ‘culinary misfits’ a catering company which collaborates with organic farmers to use veg and fruit rejected by supermarkets for their misshapen appearance. It also lobbies and networks to promote policy change towards a sustainable society.

The initiative is of measurable economic value: In the year 2013, waste saved was valued at up to 100 Euro per week. This included 10.5 tonnes of apples harvested from public ground. The passionate commitment of the project was acknowledged by UNESCO in 2012 and 2013 for its exemplary educational impact.

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Picture: © Anja Fiedler

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