The Schilderswijk (or Painters district) is a stone and asphalt dominated area in The Hague, the Netherlands. In this neighboorhood you’ll find al lot of low income households and imigrants. But it is also a resiliant neighboorhood, with very engaged people fighting against the negative stigmatisation and for a better living.
We live in this neighboorhood, and we wanted to do something to make it better.
So we launched a new project: The Hanging Gardens of the Schilderswijk.
A project which aims to make the Schilderswijk a greener and better place to live, and to connect and engage the citizens through gardening.
On June the 27th we organised a pilot workshop together with community center ‘De Mussen’.
During the workshop children made their own miniature gardens, helped by their parents, people of ‘De Mussen’ and alderman Joris Wijsmuller, who turned out to be a skilled carpenter.
On April 19th we participated again in the ‘Blijf weg van het Malieveld‘ happening, an ongoing experimental exhibition/workspace between 11 and 12 at the Malieveld in Den Haag. Other participating artist were: Topp&Dubio, Kees Koomen, Ellen Rodenberg and Leontine Lieffering.
Today we continued with our project ‘Sowing for a Better Future’.
We planted radishes, carrots, marigolds, sunflowers and red peppers along the borders of the field.
We’re curious to what will happen!
Today we’ve started a new project: Sowing for a Better Future.
During this project we’re going to sow and plant fruit and vegetables everywhere in our environment.
Due to draughts and other climate related effects, food prices, especially fruit and vegetables will rise with an average of 35% this year. The oils prices will also rise, implicating the costs of food transport will also contribute to the increased food prices.
Put that on top of a financial crisis, when more and more people are out of a job, or are facing a decline in income, and we have a serious problem on our hands.
In stead of complaining we went out to do something, so we’ve decided to sow heirloom seeds of edible plants in our environment. This way we also hope to spread non-GMO vegetation in our environment.
Not just for our limited budget, but for everyone. We hope that other people will follow and turn our mono-cultured neatly clipped parks cultivated solely for aesthetic reasons into vegetable patches.
So the plants are there to be harvested for anyone who can find them. Because we’re not making little gardens in urban environments, but we’re sowing between existing vegetation. We’re sowing near to trees, bushes, public benches, places a sowing machine can’t reach.
This way hope to avoid over-enthousiastic Parks Department people with shuffles and mowing machines. The upside is we think they are relatively save, the downside is the plants are not that easy to find. Because how do you recognise a radish in the wild or distinguish a carrot from other members of the Flowering Plant family without digging it out? And mind you, there are some deadly poisonous members amongst them.
A lot of people (ourselves included) haven’t got the knowledge anymore to recognise edible plants. Some people can’t even recognise a raspberry when it grows on a bush and is not conveniently packed in a plastic box.
So it’s a good reason for us to polish our practically non-existent knowledge of our native plants!