Municipal vegetable gardens are very much encouraged by the Municipality of Porto, and the new “Horta Municipal” in Paranhos is being prepared to accommodate 32 plots of land to grow your own fresh vegetables. The opening is set for next March and applications are ongoing. The main concept behind this approach is to boost and inspire vegetable gardens in public spaces by relying more on biological processes and organic crop production within the soil system to recycle and release nutrients. See here for further information.
The new vegetable garden is located next to the Faculty of Psychology of the University of Porto (at Rua do Arquiteto Lobão Vital), and the new community garden is starting to come to life, with preparatory works concluding in about a month’s time. Besides the preparation of this new municipal vegetable garden in Paranhos, the Municipality of Porto also aims at enlarging the “Horta da Oliveira”, in the parish of Campanhã, which will then provide 17 new plots, adding to the already 80 in place.
At present, the network of community vegetable gardens includes 144 municipal plots that provide a cultivated area of approximately 4.500 square metres, adding to another 270 plots by private institutions.
The City Hall encourages people to start vegetable gardens in public spaces as an innovative way of using public space with nutritionally valuable vegetable plants that also contribute to local food security. These initiatives are in line with the municipality's environmental policy of increased interest in organic crop production and the desire to sustain or improve the soil resource.
The Municipality of Porto also provides gardener training sessions in the field of organic farming, jointly with LIPOR, under the “Horta à Porta” project. The training provides useful information on soil conservation, water and resource management, which are crucial for a sustained development.
In addition, these community gardens are also an exceptional space for conviviality of people that share common interests and an optimal way of occupying free time.