Growing fresh herbs and veggies in the shadow of the Berlin wall

Sometimes you see something that makes you REALLY excited. Maybe I’m just a nerd, but this community garden in Berlin is really cool. Community gardens always fascinate me. But this one’s a bit different.

Not just because it’s in the shadow of the Berlin wall. But because they’re growing everything in plastic crates. And sacks. But it’s the crates that are cool.

From what I understand they’re using recycled bread delivery crates. The crates are stacked on top of one another, four stacks to a standard timber EU pallet. The top ones are used for growing and the underneath ones are used for — wait for it – COMPOSTING!

And that’s the genius thing. So simple, so obvious. But I haven’t seen it done like this before on any scale. Saves space obviously, and it’s a smart way to raise the work height of the whole garden. Possibly even above snail height??!

I haven’t picked up any reference to Bokashi in any of this, but it’s the obvious next thought. The combination would work brilliantly I imagine. It would be easy to “dig” cured Bokashi buckets into the lower compost crates, the process would attract worms (I assume? Do cities have worms?), and the compost is self-watering and self-draining.


Has anyone been here and had a look? Berlin is high on my wish list so if they haven’t upped and moved before then I hope I’ll get to see it someday. But meanwhile here’s a couple of pictures (here and here), gives you the idea.

For our Swedish readers, Prinzessinnengarten’s website has a recent film clip from Swedish tv on the Press page (I tried to embed it here and failed…). The current issue of the Swedish garden magazine Hem Trädården (no. 5 2010) has an article on the Prinzessinnengartan project, which is where I picked up the layered compost angle as they don’t refer to it elsewhere.

Needless to say I’m really keen to give it a go myself at home — got the pallets lined up, it’s just a matter of tracking down some crates! And waiting for spring…

In combination with Bokashi this could be just the thing to get a garden going quickly in a kindergarten or school, maybe even at the local senior village. Obviously outside a café, and definitely outside any block of flats with a spare patch of gravel or asfalt.

Get’s you excited just thinking about it!

btw, I found the garden on google maps, it’s quite fun to surf in and see how incredibly urban it all is.

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