The crisis of COVID-19 has accentuated the difficulties of the most fragile inhabitants of Nantes to access to food and especially fresh products. It has brutally plunged many households into precarious conditions (loss of job, salary, isolation, social and food distress…). In Nantes as elsewhere, many families have had to resort to emergency food aid to meet a basic need: feeding themselves.
The City of Nantes in partnership with associations involved in food aid has launched an urban vegetable plantation in order to redistribute vegetables free of charge to the most fragile families. These nourishing landscapes also have a pedagogical virtue. The aim is to follow the evolution of the crops, to remind people of the importance of the environment, that every season has its fruits and vegetables. The city plans to harvest them in a participatory way, with associations and inhabitants. The second part of the project will be to rediscover and learn how to cook healthy, quality and local food.
With the help of gardeners, and weather permitting, the city expects to harvest 25 tons of ultra-local vegetables for the benhefit of the inhabitants of Nantes by this autumn.
The City of Nantes has mobilised the Green Spaces Unit (Service des Espaces Verts et de l’Environnement) and its community welfare centre: the former has arable land and a know-how to cultivate, the second identifies and helps people in precarious situations. food.
50 identified sites, representing a total of more than 25,000 m² cultivated and spread over all 11 districts of the city, are dedicated to the project “Nantes, Nurturing Landscapes”.
In order to ensure consistency between the different urban vegetable gardens, with techniques and common culture materials and specific signage to properly identify the sites cultivated under this operation, each team of municipality gardeners will receive a planting kit : totem poles will be created with crates, which will then be reused for harvesting (see illustration).
In Nantes Nord, within the URBiNAT healthy corridor, 3 sites will be planted, contributing to feeding the inhabitants of the district with local healthy food. These vegetables are intended for households in Nantes in a situation of food insecurity. They will be contacted by
the CCAS and neighbourhood associations from the 1st week of July.
The households, will receive approximately 25 kg of vegetables (all varieties), as the seasonal harvests come in. The cost for the city is less than 30 000 euros, .e. a cost of less than 2€/Kg. 250 municpal gardeners are mobilized on the project.