Andernach has created something new with the “edible city” concept. Andernach motivates its citizens to help plant and maintain urban vegetation, for example by planting fruits and vegetables that anyone can harvest. This makes people more aware of the seasons and the natural rhythms of planting, cultivating and harvesting. Well-known examples of nuts waiting to be gathered are walnuts, chestnuts, and almonds but also plants such as artichokes, potatoes, chard and green cabbage are popular. Planting these edible crops helps make healthy food available for everyone. The edible gardens are located along the old city wall in the city centre.
The motto in Andernach is picking allowed. Vegetables such as carrots, beans, fruits and berries, herbs and flowers are planted in the public green areas, which results in a completely new vision of urban green. Every year a new type of plant is highlighted. In 2010 101 different varieties of tomatoes were planted in the castle garden, in 2011 100 different types of beans and in 2012 20 onion varieties; 2013 was the year of the cabbage. A small vineyard with various types of grapes, which can also be sampled, is located directly adjacent to it.
Like Andernach’s city centre, the Eich district can also be considered a green city; a 14ha permaculture garden has been planted here. In Eich they work according to the ecological fruit and vegetable cultivation principals without the use of pesticides and using only mineral fertilizers. Various types of plants that grow well together are planted on the same field and mulch is used.
Rare livestock breeds can also be found here. The products are sold directly in the city centre for a reasonable price. Once the city’s gardens have been harvested, there is always a fresh supply of fruit and vegetables from Eich.
Advantages of the edible city:
- Promoting forgotten fruit and vegetables
- An example of sustainable cultivation methods
- New value in public spaces
- Improvement of the city’s climate through more green surfaces
- Lower cost of maintaining green
- Active and involved citizens