The DIY Balcony Garden
Based on the principles of permaculture.
The project «DIY Balcony Garden» took place in Ljubljana at the Voluntariat office and at an idyllic community garden in Litija. It was attended mainly by young people living in the city and with little experience in gardening. After providing participants with basic knowledge of Plant Life Cycles, the coordinators illustrated the principles of permaculture and container and vertical gardening. This theoretical session was followed by a learning-by-doing session, during which volunteers had fun planting tomatoes, radishes, leeks, strawberries, carrots and different types of herbs, which they could take home after the workshop in order to start off their own balcony gardens. Everyone was very excited about the idea of having their own veggies and herbs ready in a couple of weeks!
Later, participants visited the community garden in Litija, a concrete example of how even urban contexts can offer spaces to their inhabitants to grow food: what they need to do is gathering friends and neighbours who share an interest in gardening, rent or buy a piece of land on the outskirts of the city and, in a matter of weeks, they will have increased production and self-reliance! In Litija, the participants had the possibility to learn about new plants and see how permaculture principles work in practice, gaining practical knowledge about smart use of available space and appropriate plants for different weather conditions – wind, sun time and moisture availability. They also helped the community with the upkeep of the garden, earning their fair share of the produce (they picked some ripe veggies, which they then took home with them) and had the possibility to design their own balcony garden.
After an intense and exciting day, all of them were very eager to continue gardening and grow their own food. Hopefully this will lead to some more green spots around the city’s gray buildings!
This project was organised by the “Zavod Voluntariat” (Slovenia) with the GAIA MicroGrants financial support.