Born from the need to educate future adults on living a healthy, balanced life in harmony with nature, Melcul Verde (The Green Snail) is a unique edible schoolyard project, developed by Slow Food Iași, in partnership with a local producer – Verde Bun (Good Green) – provider of heirloom seeds and agricultural know-how.
Each year, school children, coordinated by teachers and Slow Food Iași members and volunteers, will grow vegetables and herbs in their own schoolyard, and, before the summer holidays, will gather and eat the crops.
“As adults, we see the effects of a fast lifestyle, and how leaving behind everything natural, local and seasonal affects us every day,” wrote the organizers. “We buy more and more imported produce and tons of fast-food. We care less and less about the source of the ingredients we consume every day, and then we are surprised when we find out about the growth of obesity rates and diseases that could be avoided with a healthy diet.”
“Moreover, we are constantly reminded that traditional agriculture is slowly dying (and often we are a major cause of this). We complain about the lack of taste in food, while we reminisce about delicious childhood homemade meals.”
Slow Food Iași believes that a radical change in mentality and attitude towards food is a must and starts with children. Children should be encouraged to return to nature. At the age of discovery, with vivid imaginations and a wide-open mind, children embark on Melcul Verde. By literally getting their hands dirty, they learn how seeds become the vegetables that they commonly know from supermarkets.
During the first year of the trial project, the children will not only learn how to cultivate a clean vegetable garden, they will also understand the relationship between soil and food. What’s more they will develop an appreciation for the efforts invested in a healthy meal.
This trial project has been made possible through funding obtained during the Cercul de Donatori Iași (a local community funding event organized by Fundația Comunitară Iași) – some funds have gone towards building modular suspended beds for cultivation purposes in the school yard.
In the first year, Melcul Verde is being implemented in two schools – Liceul Miron Costin and Grădinița și Școala Paradis, with the aim to grow exponentially every year, at the local and national level.
- The project: http://slowfoodiasi.ro/melcul-verde/ (in Romanian)
- Follow our progress on Facebook
- #MelculVerde via Instagram and Twitter
Melcul Verde is inspired by Viața în Grădina Verde (Life in the Green Garden, by Slow Food Turda) and Alice Waters’ well-known Edible Schoolyard project.