In Greece, during the last few years, a demand for transparency around food and a need to eliminate the intermediaries, mainly due to poor quality of products in combination to high prices, has resulted in a boom of collective action concerning the production and distribution of food. On the other hand, the proliferation of movements such as permaculture, locavorism, organic food and raw-and slow-food movements reveal the impact that problems around food have on societies. From an urban point view, these concerns are reflected mainly in the rise of urban farms around the Attica basin. Guerilla farming has set a foot on the Athenian urban scenery and during the last three years has played a significant role in the way that Athenians interact with their city.
Urban farms promote health, environmental sustainability and social networks through learning and companionship. They also embrace sustainable economic growth and thus moderate the fierce impact of economic wane especially for those living on the verge of social seclusion – mainly the unemployed and homeless.
The Athenian guerilla version of urban farming can be seen in efforts like that of Self-managed Urban Agros* in the area of Elliniko, Navarinou Park, self-managed Agros of Tritsis Park and the Botanical Garden of Petroupoli.
Nonetheless, apart from the unsanctioned urban farming actions around Athens and other cities of Greece, there is also the fully-sanctioned version of the very same phenomenon. Since last year, municipalities all over Greece are participating in an urban social farming program as a mean to alleviate the unemployment and the food crisis. In this manner, urban farmers can cover a part of their nutritional needs while earning some money by selling their products to social groceries. These interventions have also extended to school yards and gardens. The most famous Community Gardens of Athens are that of Marousi and St. Dimitrios Municipalities.
What are some experiences you’ve had at a local urban farm ?
*Agros in Greek means farm
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