In Toulouse, urban agriculture is on the rise

the essential
Over the past five years, urban agriculture has exploded in Toulouse, as evidenced by the development of shared gardens and wasteland of vegetable gardens. A growing trend.

In recent years, urban agriculture has developed in France, and particularly in Toulouse. Shared gardens, these community gardens are a good example. Very often located at the foot of buildings, they “promote cohesion and trust among the inhabitants”, according to the Chalets group. “We have about ten projects in Toulouse and neighboring cities. The gardens allow tenants to exchange with each other, create bonds and ease tensions. »

Same story for Toulouse Métropole Habitat (TMH), which in 2018 launched its first vegetable garden at the foot of the Izards tower. “We carry out two types of actions: shared gardens managed by the tenants themselves and urban agriculture sites. It is then the service providers who take care of the gardens, the tenants can participate if they wish. Thanks to four vegetable gardens, TMH tenants benefit from 3.2 tons of organic vegetables free of charge per year.

Students are not forgotten: the Toulouse Crous offers shared gardens at the foot of five of its residences. Workshops are also organized throughout the year to teach students about permaculture and gardening.

For Jules Wilkens, a doctoral student in sociology and a specialist in the subject, “all actors today take possession of shared gardens, one of the forms of urban agriculture. The map of the Partageons les jardins association demonstrates the extent of the phenomenon: virtually no district or city of greater Toulouse has been forgotten.

“Everybody Gets It”

“We have created around sixty gardens in the department in ten years and now we create around twenty a year. Private, community; everyone grabs it. The need for nature and the inhabitants’ social ties is very strong, especially after the confinement ”, abounds Alice Thouvenin, project manager within the association.

The role of communities and municipalities is decisive in the development of these urban agriculture projects. At the end of June, the county council also organized a consultation day on the subject.

Proof that these experiments are developing: in May, on the site of the former Badiou college, a temporary urban agriculture project was launched with the Régie de quartier Reynerie Services and Milpa, an association that develops professional urban agriculture. The works were carried out by people in integration on land loaned by the municipality. “The first vegetables will be harvested by the residents at the end of July,” said Guillaume Chochon, co-founder of Milpa. It is a real farm in an urban environment that will serve as a support for educational events. Sales will be organized at low prices for the inhabitants. »

Resources to learn about shared gardens

The Toulouse-based association Partageons les Jardins supports participatory gardening projects in partnership with local stakeholders.
“We help the associations that have an agreement with the town hall of Toulouse, says Alice Thouvenin, project manager. The gardens have just been inaugurated in Lapujade and Sait-Martin-du-Touch and by the end of the year three gardens will see the light of day in Bourbaki, Izards and Cartoucherie. »

The interactive map listing all known gardens in and around Toulouse is available and has recently been updated. This autumn, the departmental council will publish a guide to shared gardens to make them known to the inhabitants of Haute-Garonne.

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