If we do not do the impossible, we shall be faced with the unthinkable (Murray Bookchin)
Vallcarca is a neighbourhood in Barcelona which, after the failure of the latest urban planning, saw most of its old nucleus being demolished and turned into empty lots.
To this day, the lots are still there, but the neighbourhood has reappropriated them and transformed them into parks, small allotments, vineyards ...
With this Verkami we want to go one step further and make a firm commitment to urban agriculture.
RURALISING THE CITY
"Vallcarca will be rural or it will not be" is more than a simple slogan. We think that the days of cities as we know them are numbered.
During the past few years, climate change has become an ever more present issue, due to increasing temperatures and the growing energy consumption of a cruel system which prioritises profit over life. Agriculture is one of the main contributing factors to these changes, together with deforestation, the degradation of the soil, the depletion of water and the loss of biodiversity.
As humanity continues to deplete natural resources, we must return to that which is most essential, most proximate. In a future without cheap fuel, how absurd will it be to bring kiwis from New Zealand? How will we feed the millions of people living in cities when society collapses under its blind delusions of infinite growth?
We will find the answer at the local level. As was demonstrated by the Cuban experience after the fall of the Berlin Wall, we will have to cultivate in every corner, in every patch of grass, we will have to break open the concrete and make our way to the ground if we do not want to starve.
Given the current context of a global pandemic, the climate emergency and general hopelessness, we believe that it is necessary to bet on projects that bring back hope.
This is why we decided to start this project. WE WILL CREATE A NETWORK OF ORGANIC GROWING IN THE MIDDLE OF THE CITY. We want to demonstrate that such a thing is possible, as well as being necessary.
The orchards will be managed by Desenruna and other collectives that wish to do so. The harvested food will partly go to these groups and, partly, to meet neighbourhood needs such as popular meals or support for vulnerable families from la Xarxa d'Aliments (Food Bank) or el Sindicat d'Habitatge (Housing Union).
WHAT WE’LL DO WITH YOUR CONTRIBUTIONS
The main objective of this Verkami is to finance everything we need to be able to grow food well.
Firstly, we will allocate a small part of the contributions to buy BAGS FOR DEBRIS, to fill them up with all the rubble that urban speculation has left in Vallcarca.
Once the rubble is removed, we will bring the COMPOST SOIL. We will buy 30 tons of fertilised soil to cover the plots we want to cultivate.
Once the soil is ready, we’ll want to start working it. For this, we will acquire HAND TOOLS such as hoes, picks and shovels, IRRIGATION MATERIAL and SEEDLINGS
We will also buy OLIVE TREES.
Olive trees are a symbol of resistance. We will buy a hundred olive tree seedlings and will plant the first olive field in Barcelona.
These are the proportions in which we will use your contributions:
46% Compost Soil ; 9% Olive Trees ; 9% Tools ; 9% Irrigation material ; 9% Rewards ; 8% Taxes and Verkami contributions ; 6% Seedlings ; 4% Bags for debris
We will use part of the money allocated to tools to rent some electrical ones. Although we will work the land following agroecology and permaculture principles, urban agriculture has its peculiarities and sometimes it is necessary to dig through layers of cement, remove rubble from underground or open holes in very rugged places. This is why, from time to time, we will use tools such as the PNEUMATIC HAMMER
During May 68, Parisian folk used to say: Under paving stones, the beach!
We think they were wrong. Under the paving stones, actually, there is the soil that will feed us tomorrow. And the pneumatic hammer is the tool that will allow us to reach it.
We don't rule out the possibilty of resorting to the use of an excavator, if necessary, to continue removing debris or preparing the plots of land. In a neighborhood like ours, where bulldozers have been entering for years only to destroy, we believe that it would be poetic justice to use them to do just the opposite: To Create.
WHO ARE WE?
We are an organized neighborhood. Desenruna, the group that promotes this Verkami, is made up of residents of Vallcarca who are passionate about agroecology with the support from and coordination with the rest of the social movements of Vallcarca. Among others:
We have been working on the neighborhood plots of land for some time, continuously opening new allotments. This Verkami will give a great boost to the work that has already started.
We are launching the campaign in winter to be able to have the land and other resources ready for spring 2021.
We will continue to report through our social networks on all the events that we organize, the collective work sessions and any project related news.