Junior City Farmer Schönbrunn

3rd Prize 2012

Country: Austria

Region: Vienna

Sector: Civil Society / Social Economy

Fields of action: Poverty, Non-formal education, Health

Project owner: City Farm Schönbrunn – Förderverein für Gartenbau und Gartenpädagogik

Responsible person: DI Wolfgang Palme

What is it about?

In the heart of Vienna, under expert, age-appropriate guidance, children and pre-teens aged between 4 and 12 plant vegetables, harvest, cook and eat together, play in a miniature (fairytale) pine forest, and frolic through nature among fruit trees, ...the children come from different backgrounds and there may be social and/or language barriers, physical or mental impairments. The aim is social learning through cooperative action, following the flow of biological cycles, while engaging all the senses. Ten groups a week of around 20 children are possible, either regularly or at pre-arranged specific times, by institutional arrangement with kindergartens or schools, or privately with parents or guardians. At the end, the children always take something home with them (in a flowerpot).

Appreciation of the Jury

Land lying fallow is transformed into the collective experience of a garden setting for children and pre-teens from the city; in this way, untapped potential is used to accomplish social, integrative learning. It is achieved not as the obvious goal, but in a ‘by-the-way’ fashion. Emphasis is placed on understanding nature’s cycles. Social engagement is also fostered as a result. The possibility of design and layout becomes a lived experience and the opportunity to open up to oneself and to others. A great diversity of things grow both in nature and in the social sphere...There is rest and movement, freedom and quiet. This is a simple, but varied project. We hope the structural basis for the widest possible dissemination of the Junior City Farmer can be created.