Before my first day with The Association of Urban Farming I was a complete newbie to all things agriculture, this includes both Urban and traditional. The biggest takeaway I’ve taken from my short time here (about a week) is for the possibility of turning what seems like very little into something beautiful. From putting in work on thriving farms hidden away on apartment rooftops, and seeing the transformation of concrete covered play areas in schools, the possibilities seem endless.
One of the sites I visited this week was at a local school within southern Tel Aviv, Ha'Yarden Elementary. These children had a fenced in, totally concrete area to play in before Urban farming stepped in.
Check out the slideshow on the right to see how the space has changed.
The organization utilized its sustainable techniques to create a plush green space for the children to play in. Shouldn’t this be a joy that all kids should have access to? Urban agriculture gives children in grey cities the opportunities to play within, and learn to appreciate plant life. Seeing this transition opened my eyes to the good this association is doing right within their community.
In addition, a hydroponic system was created right in the school’s courtyard (pictured below).
I believe this teaches the kids a valuable lesson about creativity and the importance of innovation by creating and environment where life can flourish in a less than ideal place. The kids at Ha'Yarden assist in the upkeep of these systems, which teaches them responsibility and aims to give them a sense of pride. These projects also introduce agriculture to children who may have had zero experience with it.
This venture engaged with the children in order to educate them on how a transformation like this could be made possible with minimal resources. Below is a project that interacted with children by recycling old plastic bottles and turning them into thriving plants.
These are just a couple examples of projects that are being implemented at one of the schools within Tel Aviv, giving a sneak-peak into the good this organization is setting out to accomplish. Throughout this summer I’m hopeful to continue learning how this company transforms the city while sparking community engagement as it goes.