Reopened its doors the Luna de Enfrente square, on the corner of Gurruchaga and Soler, in Palermo. It stopped being a playground for boys and became a urban garden, managed and managed by the famous grill Don Julio, located on the other corner, that of Gurruchaga and Guatemala. Now the site will remain open from Monday to Monday, from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.. And according to an agreement that the company signed with the commune, the harvest must be delivered to neighbors and social organizations in the neighborhood.
The opening of the orchard occurred over the weekend. As explained from the City, a first plantation was made on Saturday since “the tasks will be governed by the calendar of biodynamic agriculture.” The square was left open but the formal inauguration – with officials, neighbors and the owners of the grill – will take place in the next few days.
The transformation of this square was crossed by controversy. On the one hand, because there is an underlying theme that transcends this public space. There was a dry square with games for children. This urban garden project radically changes its uses. The games were removed and replaced by huge wooden drawers – where the crops will be placed – and compost bins, where residents can leave their organic waste and, in turn, remove material. In addition, there is a kind of stand where courses and trainings will be held.
Neighbors, neighborhood organizations and NGOs turned to the Justice. They denounce that this change in the use of the plaza violates two ordinances: 43,794, which indicates that the agreements must be approved by the Legislature. And 46,229, which provides that “no concession, assignment, transfer, precarious possession, use permit or change of destination of any space intended for parks, squares and squares can be granted.” In these hours, according to the official portal of the Buenos Aires justice, judicial, the file was opened so that new actors can join the shelter.
On the other hand, the neighbors told Clarion that the plaza was very degraded, unsafe, lacking in maintenance; at times, she was busy with homeless people, or with groups of people who settled throughout the morning; and that it was rarely used. Two blocks away is the Immigrants of Armenia Square. However, many wonder if the solution should come from the hand of a private or is the Condition who must guarantee that a small square does not become a point of neighborhood conflict.
A neighbor even asked: “Couldn’t the uses have been combined? Maybe the games could be improved and made to coexist with the garden. The main problem is that we were not consulted “. Indeed, a poster with information was put up when the media released the news.
The urban garden project is part of a collaboration agreement signed by Commune 14 with Pablo Rivero, owner of the famous grill (According to a prestigious gastronomic portal, it is the best restaurant in Latin America and is number 34 in a world ranking) and a butcher shop that is located in front of the plaza. The agreement will have a duration of 5 years and the company must take charge of opening and closing the plaza and maintenance. You must also assign staff to care for the crop, in which agrochemicals or fertilizers may not be used.
Rivero was devastated with the criticism. He said that it is a donation, that it will not cost the City a peso, that it is his way of giving back “something” to the neighborhood: “I have a hard time believing that this agreement can generate a conflict. Today I am a benchmark in the neighborhood, we are doing well, they know us all over the world, we have the opportunity to give something. I live it like a feat “.
Urban gardens are a new global trend. Its use is spread in all the big cities of the world. Also in Buenos Aires, which since December has a law that was voted in the Legislature. The Environmental Protection Agency (which depends on the Buenos Aires Secretary of the Environment) is in charge of promoting these orchards and developed an Urban Agriculture Manual, where you can find advice and a calendar of crops and harvests. He is also in charge of the regulation of the law, in which they are working. From that office they confirmed that the communes will be involved in the survey of spaces available for the promotion of orchards.
What is biodynamic agriculture, the method that will be used in the Luna de Enfrente garden square? It is a practice in which the influence that astrological elements such as the sun, stars and the position of the planets and the moon have on crops. It also promotes the use of Organic fertilizers. The use of industrial fertilizers, pesticides and herbicides is not accepted. The Association for Dynamic Biological Agriculture in Argentina (AABDA) publishes every year a detailed calendar in which they advise what to plant on each day of the year, based on the movement of the stars. This type of agriculture even has an international certification.
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