Gardens for diversity


Who is behind this?

Mara Sé

Grupo de Acção e Intervenção Ambiental


Idea Sketch | Proposal


Idea pitch

We intend to strengthen a garden network in Portugal and Spain to: preserve the genetic richesses of plant varieties; bring together gardeners from different backgrounds; share ecosystem agriculture techniques; develop ethical, local patterns of consumption; and to increase mutual support.

Where will your idea take place?

Portugal, Spain

Why does Europe need your idea?

Our idea intends to close the gap between two regions that should work closely together but seldom do: Portugal and western Spain. Since we face many similar threats such as economic crisis, lack of future prospects for those living in small towns, desertification, and the invasion of ecosystem-degrading agroindustry, we should work to find common ground and bottom up solutions. With this project we simultaneously promote: ecological, nutritious food, decreased food miles, increased democratic participation, the exchange of ideas between different stakeholders and increased mutual support. Other sectors and organizations across Iberia will also benefit from stronger communicative and participatory democratic practices, since democracy can be seen as the harnessing of a collective wisdom.

What is your impact?

We intend to create a robust western Iberian network of multicultural gardens that will create a sustainable, radically democratic and mutually supportive way of life – a network that will be self-organizing by the end of the project. It also aims to be pedagogical, creating spaces of dialogue and learning. The workshops and meetings will create lasting relationships between members of the network, beyond the project. One year from now, youths and seniors will have shared stories, growers from different places will know about each others' gardens, problems and solutions and many consumers will have visited soil that grows the food they eat. Video documentation and updates on the website will ensure that connections and knowledge gained will continue beyond the project.

How do you get there?

First we'll contact all the gardens in an existing but scattered network to assess the present territorial representation and cohesion, and try to fill in the gaps with new gardens.
Next we'll tour the network to meet people face-to-face, gather video documentation, and carry learned experience from one garden to the next;the tour will also include visits to food delivery points in the areas.
We'll create a map of what we found together with a website with sharing tools; physical maps of the network will be installed in each garden.
A second tour and three regional hands-on gatherings will deepen the relationships between local/regional/international gardens.
At a network-wide final gathering we'll share information, screen the videos we made, evaluate the project and plan for the future.

What is your story?


Who are you doing it for?


What makes your idea stand apart?


€ 50000,-

Funding requested from Advocate Europe

€ 50000,-

Total budget

Major expenses



Mara Sé

Idea created on April 12, 2015
Last edit on Oct. 30, 2017

Write comment