Community Garden: for healthy and sustainable lives

By Young Journalist Victor Hugo Pereira. Translated by Brenda Hada.

For SDG2 – Zero Hunger, SDG12 – Responsible Consumption and Production and SDG15 – Life on Land

In 2012, during the Environment Week, a group of students from State School President Kennedy, Belford Roxo, gathered to develop a project on composting by collecting organic waste and making the experiment on a small site created by them at school. Years later, what started as a simple class work is nowadays a reference in ecology to the city.

Current employee of Belford Roxo Municipality, Marcelino Araujo, 52, was one of the students who participated in the initiative at that time and still today, even after graduating, he continues to help the community garden.

“It’s a therapy. The person who comes here to visit once do not want to leave. It gives a great pleasure.”

In addition to growing vegetables in nature (such as lettuce, beets, cabbage and chicory) for the school’s own consumption, the space is also frequently used by students of the Environmental Science Course to the realization of several academic and ecological activities. One of them is the tree seedling cultivation of the Atlantic Rain Forest, such as Jacaranda, Pau-Brazil and Purple Trumpet trees.

“The city of Paraiba do Sul was here and took over two thousand seedlings for reforestation” said Araujo.

While it is not necessary a lot of space and grocery costs are minimal, the most difficult part in the creation of a community garden is the lack of volunteers, so teachers play a fundamental role for the appointment of students in high school.

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“There are many pleasures in life, but taking care of a site, following the whole process… it is very satisfying. But unfortunately our society cultivates different values. I hear people who look at the grid saying ‘this guy is crazy, comes here, gets nothing, works like a foolish old guy in the garden, just to see the site becoming green?’ They don’t know the value it has.”

 

During every saturday morning, the garden doors in State School President Kennedy are open for all those who wish to support and learn more about the project. The garden has also a Facebook profile, click here to learn more.

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