For me Nature = Art. Being a gardener allows me to have a close-up relationship with nature. And nature never fails to impress me with its mysteries, logical systems and pure experience. I am the proud owner of my own urban farming project. That is the hip term, some of you might also know it as an allotment. Read more about it here. Traveling between Amsterdam and Frankfurt leaves me too little time to take care of my plot, but I was lucky enough to find a very reliable and able person to step in. The plot not only provides me with fresh organic produce but also allows me to add to my ‘abundance’ project. Inspired by the old paintings in the Rijksmuseum I photograph my harvest. This is one of those moments when nature shows its beautiful face and I can never resist immortalizing the luscious beauty.
Urban gardening is hip in Amsterdam. Driven by the philosophy that gardening will have positive effects on social cohesion, healthy eating and fitness, or directed at closing the gap between producers and consumers, experimenting with sustainability and providing nature education, these initiatives have taken the city by storm. Due to the economic crisis a few years back, building homes and offices partly came to a halt and plots became available for alternative projects supported by the municipality. Although the goals are a bit ambitious, there is no lack of enthusiasm and the participants obviously enjoy their projects. And they give a boost to the general look and feel of the city.
Much to my surprise I learnt this week that the Rijksmuseum (where they have the old paintings displaying rich vegetable scenes) has opened their gardens to the public. Amongst the statues and greenery there is a renovated nineteenth century French greenhouse filled with ‘forgotten vegetables’. These vegetables and herbs are transformed into restaurant food by the resident cook.
One of my favourite urban gardening initiatives in Amsterdam is the River of Herbs. A beautiful name, River of Herbs is a community initiative which aims to encourage the growth of insect pollinated herbs throughout the city.
Northern Amsterdam, or Upper Amsterdam (the hip term), is transforming into one of the most modern areas of the city as I explained in an earlier post.
The Voedseltuin (Food Garden) is a collective garden where neighbours provide food for thier own use, for a restaurant and for the Food Bank. NoordOogst is a n urban farming project experimenting with small scale sustainable agriculture and education. FoodCoopNoord aims to increase both the understanding and the availability of local organic produce, organising a direct link between producers and consumers. And there are two ‘Playgardens’ (Speelvogel and Bloemenkwartier) where children take care of the veggies and fruits. Click the link underneath the image to see an overview of many of the urban farming initiatives in Amsterdam.
More of my photographs can be found at both my Instagram and Flickr accounts.