Challenge / Goal
This action was an initiative of the Popular University in Cáceres, who manage a circular agro-food laboratory in Cáceres as well as the municipal orchards. The orchards are located in municipal land were citizens grow their own fruit and vegetables, both for sale and self-supply.
The orchards are home to a dry farming initiative which seeks to adapt to the local climate in Cáceres and the lack of water that climate change implies. Thus, potatoes, cereals, olive trees, vine, onions, etc are grown there exclusively. The growers wished to start their own composting to obtain ecological, handmade fertiliser in more significant quantity. Previously they used compost originating from a cattle farm in the outskirts of the city, but this material was not resource efficient, due to the resource intense nature of animal agriculture and the need and costs of transportation.
The city wanted to test the feasibility of this composting initiative with a view to replicating and scaling up for the other orchards, parks and gardens in the city. This action on a small scale would provide valuable information to inform the development of future related initiatives. The intention was to demonstrate that it does not make sense to fertilise green spaces with chemical fertiliser when organic material from the city (leaves, grass, branches) is wasted.
Stakeholders also wanted to maximise the impact of this initiative by inviting educational centres to bring their students, so that they can be inspired by this action and replicate it in their own community.
The project placed great importance on its societal educational objectives. A key element of this was to raise awareness amongst children about the municipal orchards of the city, harvesting techniques, as well as the general role and benefits of circular economy activities and sustainable development.
It was hoped that by organising such a social innovation experience would lead to a growth in participatory and integrative bonds with civil society.
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