The Instant Gardens project, developed between 2013 and 2015, was part
of the "County's Educational Project" (in collaboration with the Education
Division of Santa Maria da Feira's Town Hall, Portugal) and involved all
the kindergartens in the region. The project tried to recover some childhood's
educational experiences and carrying it to the public space: a set of activities
and workshops developed with the children triggered beans plantation collective
process that were later moved to a public space installation in the city
— an ephemeral low cost structure assembled from pots and stakes (this
installation was integrated into the programming of Imaginarius — International
Festival of Street Theatre, 23-24 May 2014) and remained active in public
space until July 2015).
Between June 2014 and July 2015 the project was evolving into other forms. The beans were replaced by other species and its authorship begun diluting into different ownership programs. From "Instant Gardens" the installation was named "Shared Gardens" reinforcing a sense of autonomy and belonging. After the dismantling of the structure the motivations remained and leaded to the "Pedagogical Farm Gardens" created from a set of land plots allocated to the population and that work today as Training Centre in organic farming for children.
The project has enabled a sequence of social processes not only on issues related to pedagogy and ecological awareness but also around the idea of city garden, urban agriculture, ownership and activation of vacant places in the city. The continuity of these processes remains today in actions that continue to be developed by the local community with its own autonomy and ownership.
Team: Miguel Costa + Meireles de Pinho
in collaboration with: Divisão de Educação da Câmara Municipal SMF
Location: Sta Maria da Feira, Portugal