In Berlin's Kreuzberg district there is a luscious, self-sustained urban garden that is social, ecological and also mobile. Prinzessinnengarten is a not-for-profit open organic garden dedicated to engage people and exchange knowledge and work, while promoting sustainable living. The garden was started as a pilot project in the summer of 2009 by Nomadic Green, on a site that had been a wasteland for over half a century; now, it has been transformed into a paradise for growing vegetables within the multicultural German capital.
Inhabitat writer Ana Lisa Alperovich visited Prinzessinnengarten and talked to Marco Clausen, who together with Robert Shaw created the fantastic blooming space. Clausen told us how they were inspired by Cuban’s ‘agricultura urbana‘ philosophy of growing their own food and meeting people to turn the 20,000-square-foot empty space into what it is today. By growing vegetables in rice bags, plastic crates and milk containers they have created a dynamic system where they can bring the plants with them if a change of location is needed.
Prinzessinnengarten is a platform for people who want to do something; anyone can pop in and help in the urban garden with whatever might be needed at the time, getting a whopping 50% off at the cafe! In addition to the massive garden full of organic loved vegetables, there is also a wooden ready-made library that nurtures visitors with plenty of gardening books. The site also features a temporary building made from locally found recyled materials for working outdoors, that could also be taken down and transported in no time.
A cute plant shop at the garden sells live herbs and potted plants. A cafe-restaurant made from a recycled shipping container sells fresh food from the garden’s produce and is a great opportunity for visitors to enjoy the whole cycle from planting to harvesting to eating the food that is grown on-site. Prinzessinnengarten is also kid-friendly and it features the fantastically-shabby ‘Park Inn’ playhouse and kids’ replica of the Fernsehturm Berlin Tower.
Prinzessinnengarten welcomes and encourages people from all over he world to bring new ideas into the garden and hopes other community gardens will bloom around the world. Clausen told us how they once made a Japanese vegetables garden space for a Japanese cook that made some special dinner event. As in nature, the more diverse the mix of people they have, the more beautiful, healthy and rich the garden will be. If you are in Berlin or planning to go, please do not miss this fantastic green space. Check out the Calendar of Events or just pop in to discover how Berlin blooms!
Photo © Ana Lisa Alperovich for Inhabitat