The town of Andernach, Germany, has replaced its green landscaped areas with orchards for the neighbors, whose fruits can be taken free. The orchards currently cover about 8,000 m2 in the center and 13 hectares on the outskirts of the city. The city council saves a great deal of money as the budget it devoted to maintaining these gardens has been drastically reduced. The project has been dubbed “the Edible City”.
In Andernach they have gone from “Keep off the grass” to “Take what you need”.
Andernach has about 30,000 residents. It is located in the north of the state of Rhineland-Palatinate, in Germany. For some time now, their neighbors have been getting free vegetables and greens from the city’s parks, gardens and green areas, one-fifth specifically. Ecological, local and totally free products.
The City Council finances the maintenance of the orchards, for which it has hired 20 long-term unemployed.
Urban Planning Office official Lutz Kosack was the alma mater of this unique project. He had the city politicians in total opposition, fearful of complaints from neighbors or vandalism. The civility of their community and the drastic reduction of the costs of maintaining the gardens, finally convinced them. Much of the reduction comes from residents, who collaborate enthusiastically and selflessly in the maintenance of urban gardens.
In a second phase, on the land of the town hall on the outskirts of the city, we can also find chickens and sheep raised by neighbors.
Another project they have started is the “Big Bee”, which brings the art of beekeeping to schools. Students have the opportunity to interact, taking care of hives or growing plants rich in nectar to help bees survive , in such grave danger in today’s society.
The edible city project has received many awards for its contribution to sustainable development, healthy eating, and the fight against climate change. A project that is already spreading to several German cities.