Urban Gardening #1 – Berlin’s Prinzessinnengarten

prinzessinnengarten

We all are urban animals and we want more green spaces in our cities. Most of the Berlin’s urban gardens are open to public between April and September. Last week I popped into Prinzessinnengarten. Thanks to its location in the neighbouring Kreuzberg, my lunch break proved long enough to let me catch some sunshine.

The number of such urban oases is luckily increasing. Prinzessinnengarten definitely belongs to the established pieces of the Berlin’s urban landscape. At least in the hearts of its fans. In practice, all beds are portable, since they are made of plastic or wooden boxes and sacks. This ensures use of only good quality, unpolluted soil, and if needed, their mobility. As in theory, the premises of Prinzessinnengarten had been leased from the state. In 2012 30.000 signatures helped to save it form the privatisation. Currently, there are negotiations regarding extending its public use for the following 5 years. Fingers crossed, as the place is worth it.

It all started in 2009 where a group of friends, neighbours and of course, activists, got together and decided to give this unused littered area just off Moritz Platz in Kreuzberg, a greener future. Community and sustainability are the leading thoughts of this urban project.

Today, Prinzessinnengarten serves as some 6000 m2 large intercultural meeting point for neighbours, passers-by, students, freelancers coming for a coffee from a nearby co-working space, Betahaus, tourists and all those who love gardening. Anybody can actively participate in taking care of the garden by planting vegetables and herbs, watering them etc. Thursdays and Saturdays are the gardening days. If you happen to just visit Berlin, you can take part in a guided tour. Apart from this, the garden is a host to various events and a Saturday flea market (every second Saturday of the month).

There are no private beds, but everybody is welcome to come along, harvest what they feel like eating and buy it. The groceries are of organic quality and are partly used for cooking in the garden’s onsite cafe.

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