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2022: URBAN GARDENING _workshop

For the last couple of years, we have experienced periods of living at home in terms of inclusion, which turned it into a host for all our activities. The home-factory creates new practices and habits, our home culture changes. This gives the opportunity to trace but also to invent living practices with self-action, solidarity and sharing of knowledge and materials among the inhabitants. The “agro-urban” environment of Volos provides suitable ground to combine urban life with agricultural practices. The “Urban Gardening” workshop, will open a discussion field on the subject of our relationship with the plant world, cultivation and feeding and at the same time evolve cultivation and gardening practices. Participation in the workshop will give the opportunity to discuss and produce new plant microenvironments in the open space area of the Department of Architecture of University of Thessaly, or even in participants’ house yards. The ambition is at the end of the workshop to form an ethos of production and not just consumption, for the formation of the house and the metabolism of home / urban life.

Workshop programme

Does the seed make the tree or the tree the seed? In this workshop, we will try to observe and feel the cycle of nature (sowing – cultivation – harvesting – exchange / consumption – storage / preservation and from the beginning again). How we ourselves are part of these alternations and how we can create an urban / home garden. Every day we will start with a little theory and continue with cultivation activities. The program includes a series of short lectures, documentaries and audiovisual material, on-site activities and practices, walks and visits. We will need: notebook, clothes we don’t care about getting dirty, hat, sunscreen and happy mood!

1st day
In the beginning, was it the soil?
Lecture: Our raw material, a living organism. We see it, smell it, study it, work it, use it.

Action: Preparation of soil for sowing, at a selected point in the open space area of the campus. Construction of a compost bin.
(#soil_types, #soil_health, #on-site_search, #ground_cover, #compostation)

2nd day
Or was the seed in the beginning?
Lecture: Seed / sperm / fruit / core or database. This tiny unit that carries a huge amount of information is (also) our food. Sowing as resistance, circularity and seasons: cultivation-collection- exchange-planting.
Action: We will make our own seed starter units. We will plant in the area we prepared the day before.
(#seed_types, #plantings, #field_sowing, #preservation_techniques, #zapatistas)

3rd day
Or was it water in the beginning?
Lecture: Water and constructions. Ways and techniques of watering. Patents and improvisation. The gardener as a bricoleur.
Action: We will become bricoleurs ourselves and walk in the nearby area to collect raw materials for the construction of the garden. We will return to the campus and experiment in agricultural constructions, with the materials we gathered.
(#water, #watering, #construction, #bricolage)

4th day
Let’s see how they do it.
Lecture: Issues of self-sufficiency, resistance and peaceful disobedience.
Action: Visit to urban gardens of Volos under the guidance of Thalia Marou. Discussion and exchange of knowledge with urban farmers.
(#urban_gardeners, #urban_garden, # self-sufficiency)

5th day
Final “taratajum” ritual.
The closing ceremony. We plant trees on campus. Cooking and transforming energy. Collective cuisine and feast. Live music with traditional instruments (bagpipe, drum) from the youth band “Yunive Nive”.

Trainers: Electra Naoum, Tasos Makris, Eleni Diamantouli Advisors: Zissis Kotionis, Phoebe Giannisi, Alexandros Psychoulis