“Financial leverage and advice for the project »: Activ’Cités is proud of its urban market gardening project and partnership with ECT. The creation of the urban market gardening area by ECT will be completed this autumn after a month of transfers of inert soil, earthworks and the application of fertile substrate.
What is the project of Activ’Cités for the Grenay site ?
Activ’Cités is a community organization that works to improve the living environment of the inhabitants of the municipalities of Bully-les-Mines, Grenay, Mazingarbe and Sains-en-Gohelle. That is precisely what the organization set out to do by creating a vegetable farm in this estate of Grenay, which is a priority regeneration area. With a dual objective of social support and economic revitalization.
In concrete terms, what are your ambitions ?
First of all, to create bridges towards employment, with about ten people per year on fixed-term rehabilitation contracts. Secondly, to drive social cohesion within the neighborhood, with the participation of volunteers in market gardening activities and urban ecology events. Then, to develop a short loop of inclusive nutritive farming: local produce that costs less. And also to create a dynamic for the inhabitants of the neighborhood to cultivate their own vegetable patch.
What will the market gardening activity consist of ?
The activity will start in 2024. It will include growing a dozen species or varieties of fruit and vegetables that are usually produced by market gardeners, using more sustainable growing methods. We also want to plant an orchard. Within 3 to 5 years, we aim to move towards organic farming.
How do you analyze your partnership with ECT ?
This partnership was a financial lever. It has made it possible to turn the central plot over to farming and make the market gardening project viable. We are very anxious to promote the circular economy: the inert soil from the construction industry has been repurposed to create farmland, and fertile soil has been recreated by mixing it with plant waste compost.
ECT also advised us on the organization of surfaces and paths to optimize future market gardening. Lastly, we have joined forces to fight against the invasion of the site by Japanese knotweed.
Activ’Cités, a community organization
Activ’Cités is a local voluntary organization that works to rehabilitate people in difficulty in the Lens-Liévin area, particularly the cities of Bully-les-Mines, Grenay, Mazingarbe and Sains-en-Gohelle. It offers activities involving maintaining green spaces and improving the living environment, while supporting community initiatives.
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