In October, when our surroundings were brimming with colorful leaves of the fall season, we had a fruitful discussion around the theme of “Education for Sustainability” or EfS. We explored whether and in what ways education – a critical part of any society – can be one of the main drivers for a green and meaningful local economy that supports local food initiatives.
The discussion on Education for Sustainability:
- Julia Dalmadi from Future Food Institute presented their joint learning program with the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO). It includes the “Digital Boot Camp” with practical exercises, hackathons and learning material supported by FAO. The upcoming Boot Camp starts on 20th November, 2020. The participants are also encouraged to engage in their local communities while learning. You may check their ‘learning journal’ here.
- Shane de Leeuww shared his approach to educating small kids at Taeks e.V. He talked about how they educate young children about the environment without scaring them with loads of information. In their Kiezgartens and Spielgartens kids learn through playful interactions about how things should work and what to expect in their surroundings. Shane mentioned how the practices that are usually taken for granted are brought to the kids’ attention. If you have kids up to the age of 6 years check out Taeks e.V.’s website here: (https://www.taeks.de/)
- Joana Kappes, a school teacher in Berlin, shared the challenges of involving the families of the kids into the activities around the sustainability practices. Sometimes parents can be running short on time or resources which may make them opt for quicker options that might not be so sustainable. How we can support parents in accessing more sustainable options is key in EfS on a larger scale.
- Nadja Flohr-Spence, founder of Sustainable Food Academy spoke about their work. Some of the key challenges they focus on are: how to reconnect people to food; what sustainability is and how is it applied in our daily lives; and how to transform your company into a sustainable company. In a lot of organizations there is no structure to learn sustainability through design methods. Sustainable Food Academy provides lectures, workshops and tours regarding the innovative sustainable practices in the food business.
- Nina Blankenstein from GemueseAckerdemie spoke about their startup that works to get kids to know their food better. Their mission by 2030 is that ‘every kid must know how to grow a vegetable’. Their focus is more on teachers/institutions and inspiring them to do agriculture with school kids. She pointed out that it’s so important to connect this know-how to the curriculum because these topics can be learned very easily by practical or hands-on learning, as emphasized by the other speakers.
- Antonia Schulte from EF Education First introduced us to the activities and opportunities offered by EF, and discussed how they are continuously looking for partners to grow their exchange offerings, especially to include more sustainability-focused programmes like urban agriculture. You may check suitable possibilities on their international website here.
What were our key takeaways for student programs
- For young kids, getting involved with trees leads to a deeper connection to food and a stronger understanding of its connection to health (of human life and planet)
- Changing personal preferences or habits of people is one of the main challenges. It has less to do with access to education as it does with their habits
- Corporate organisations need more structured forms of education about sustainability
- The most effective ways of learning are often the ones that are practical and hands-on
- Also, it is important to provide ways for proper digitalisation of these educational practices
Throughout our discussion, we came across some practical solutions that different participants and organisations could offer. We also would like to share our share of contribution in the field of education for sustainability.
What Farmlyplace has to offer in Education for Sustainability?
We acknowledge the tremendous importance of practical and hands-on education. Hence, we are immensely happy to share our educational program from the Farmlyplace Academy at the Kiezfarm.
Who is it for?
Our education program is designed for groups of students or participants from institutions who are interested in the following topics:
- Urban farming and hydroponics
- Zero waste
- Farm from home
- Culinary options with urban farming
- Hands-on learning at our community farm
What do participants learn?
Participants can get to see the entire life cycle of plants and how to grow them in a controlled environment. They get to do hands-on learning through an educational tour at our Kiezfarm at Pestalozzistrasse 66, 10627 Berlin.
What activities can the participants expect?
Check out this short video to know more about the program and the step-by-step execution of activities:
About the monthly Food in the City meetups:
Come and see the monthly meetup on every last Wednesday of each month: Farmlyplace hosts ‘Food in the City’ for You! These meetups provide an opportunity to network in a relaxed manner. In every meetup we invite food in the city advocates to talk about a certain theme in relation to their innovative work and to discuss the challenges/opportunities they face. The meetups are a space to generate new ideas and collaborations around the future of food and the local food economy.
A benefit of networking in such a local manner is that you get to know more about how you can help or play a role in the local businesses/organisations around you. Farmlyplace is based in Berlin, however anyone is welcome to join the online format of meetups from anywhere in the world. Our blogs will keep you updated with our key takeaways from these meetups and hopefully inspire you to learn about similar businesses/organisations in your community!
How to participate?
All you need to do is to fill in this form and get in touch with us. You may request a customized educational program according to your requirements. We are pleased to welcome any of your queries at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About the upcoming meetup:
In November, we are looking forward to having a discussion at home for a second wave of Corona-regulations, join us to discuss a topic near and dear to our hearts: Architecture And Urban Design for food production! Let us imagine together what buildings could look like now and in the future if they incorporated urban food production into their design concept. Join us at on 25. November at 19:00 – Hope to see you there! 🙂
This post is also available in: Deutsch (German)