To cultivate in the city in Brussels, the garden is on the roof of the supermarket

To cultivate in the city in Brussels, the garden is on the roof of the supermarket

It is certainly an unusual space for a vegetable garden: in Ixelles, in the Brussels-Capital Region, there is a vegetable garden on the roof of a supermarket. And not small: fruit and vegetables are grown on an area of ​​800 square meters, on the ground in the open air and in greenhouses. The copious harvest is ensured by more than sixty species of plants. The unique hanging garden is part of the L[ag]UM, funded by the European Union and implemented by the City of Ixelles, the social economy company Refresh and the Agroecology laboratory of the ULB, the Université libre de Bruxelles, as part of a research work on the sustainability and multifunctionality of urban agriculture.

The Refresh association takes care of the garden, which takes care of it the production of small fruits, vegetables and aromatic herbs, which can exceed two tons in weight of the harvest in a couple of months, and the sale of the products. Part of the vegetables is intended for people in needanother part ends up in the dishes of the Refresh restaurant in Ixelles, where the menu with numerous vegetarian and vegan proposals, as well as for omnivores, changes every 15 days , cooked by a team of people in professional training.

@SPRB @YannickCoppens supermarket rooftop garden and greenhouses

"It's impossible to get cheaper and more local!" say the leaders of the association, who also underline how the dishes offered are always prepared from seasonal vegetables from the supermarket's roof garden. The people, especially young people, who cook and serve at the tables in the restaurant are the same ones who take care of the garden, theirs is a socio-professional reintegration program: a project that offers a complete experience that goes from farm to table.

Interviewed by Belgian national television, the vegetable gardeners-cooks' assistants say they hope that the L[ag]UM spreads, that it grows and that other similar ones are born in other spaces set among the rigid and stone shadows of the buildings in Brussels. In short: cultivate the city, in every sense. On the other hand, the bio-intensive fruit and vegetable production project on the roof of the supermarket in the Gray/Couronne district aims precisely at this: to involve citizens by making them aware of the various issues concerning urban agriculture and its many dimensions, from commitment to sustainability impact on the city. AND connected agronomic research helps to develop new solutions as regards rooftop gardens: containers for plants, substrate to use, parasites to deal with and the most suitable tillage.

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