The project

Referring to the unofficial twinnings that reflect Berlin’s current immigrant population instead of the official equivalents of the city, the project explores the city’s long tradition of urban horticulture and reveals ideas of health in the widest sense: as balance and imbalance as well as on a societal and personal level, looking at how people navigate and share resources within a city.

lunedì 11 aprile 2011


Other students and I with my family opened this place in July 2009. I wanted to become a father and have a job where I had not to work too much and could bring my kids with me. So, after living few years in Cuba, that has a very intense model of urban agricolture, I tried to do quite the same in Berlin. We cultivate all the different kind of vegetables you find in the supermarkets, but we use organic seeds to show our children how they grow and how better they are. Then we try to have a huge variety of kind for each vegetable. So we have 15 kinds of potatoes, 20 different kinds of tomatoes, 7 different kinds of carrots, 25 different kinds of ments, and some exotic things like 6 cm long beans from Africa. Some of the old women got cultural connections growing vegetables when they where young in Russia or Turkey or somewhere else. They have brought seeds or even plants with them from there, which they knew from their past, and which they wanted to have here as kind of piece of home. Many people have Turkish, Danish, French, American, English, Palestinian, Arabic, Indian, Swedish or Iraq ancestors. We have a very open system, so you do not have to become a member to partecipate.
Robert Shaw, British-German

In Germany we are not aloud to cultivate and sell herbs for medical purpose, so we do not cultivate any kind of these but we have got some things which are more for health. If you got a cough you can take a thyme tea or we have healing plants like comfrey.
Robert Shaw, English-German

Indigenuous people use some bushes for their health, but I do not know them. The same for our Chineses immigrants that have many traditional medicines using plants. However when I am sick I take fresh honey, ginger and garlic. They make me feel better.
Emma Rugg, Australian

We have rugbrød that is a very dark bread which is very healty because it is rich in whole grain and dietary fiber and contain little or no sugar, and is thus considered by many Danes as a healthy alternative to whiter types of bread. I never tried to bake it myself because it is a very long process, but my father does and it is always nice to come home and have the homemade smørrebred.

Ida Davidsen, Dane

I could find mangos in Berlin or kiwi from New Zeland, however they are not very fresh and it's not very good for the enviroment to buy foods that have been travelling half the world. So I do not like to buy them.
Emma Rugg, Australian

There is a popular Australian story that became a cartoon where a little koala - Blinky Bill - eats leaves from eucalyptus trees and these leaves have some medicinal benefits as his appendix can neutralise the toxins of the plants.
Emma Rugg, Australian

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