Urban Cultivators in Romita: Sembradores Urbanos
Sustainable Cities Net: Posting from the UCLG Congress in Mexico City 18-25 November
All photos: K. Archdeacon 23-11-10
“Sembradores Urbanos is a nonprofit urban agriculture demonstration center and outreach group in Mexico City started by three women living in Mexico. There vision is to transform urban soil into green, productive, and sustainable spaces. They opened the The Center for Urban Agriculture Romita, one of the first urban agricultural community spaces in Mexico. The center demonstrates a variety of urban agriculture and organic gardening techniques as well as serving as a space for workshops and courses. Sembradores Urbanos helps give talks at schools and businesses, puts on community movie nights, and helped start the Barter Exchange Merkado de Trueke in Plaza Romita. They also help install gardens in homes and apartments, hospitals, and juvenile detention centers with local volunteers.”
VEIL colleague Dianne Moy made sure I knew about Sembradores Urbanos before I came to Mexico City, so I visited the site yesterday afternoon. More than three years after the launch, the demonstration projects have increased in diversity, always following a simple, effective approach – making it, naming it and illustrating it – which is lucky because my Spanish is non-existent. This tiny corner of Romita is hidden away in a typically dense neighbourhood, so the gardeners here struggle with the same issues many city-dwellers face – small spaces, limited sunlight, polluted rainfall and nowhere for deliveries of compost or other bulk supplies.
(I noticed a jar of seed-bombs on the shelf there – will have to keep an eye out for guerilla gardens around the city.)