Community garden in Madrid: HuertAula Cantarranas

Since we at Agrohuerto came across the Network of Community Urban Gardens of the Community of Madrid (ReHd Mad!), we decided to learn a little more about some of these organic gardens in our city. After the success of last week’s post Community Garden in the Cebada Field, we continue to visit other gardens in this network of networks. This week, together with my colleagues Álvaro and Lucía, we have approached the largest urban garden of the ReHd Mad!: Cantarranas

HuertAula Cantarranas –

What is Cantarranas?

Cantarranas is an urban garden encompassed within a Teaching Innovation project approved by the Complutense University of Madrid (UCM), which, for the time being, has an annual grant from it. The project was promoted three years ago by professors from different faculties of the UCM interested in Agroecology and in the important work of urban gardens for city dwellers.

The organic garden is next to the UCM nurseries, next to the rugby field and just behind the Faculty of Information Sciences.

Next to the rugby field we find the HuertAula Cantarranas –

The name is given by the Cantarranas stream, a place with a lot of history. During the Battle of the University City in the Civil War, this place was the border between the national and republican forces. Getting to know the picturesque Quince Ojos Viaduct can be another excuse to go down to see Cantarranas

As I have already mentioned before, it is the largest urban garden in the ReHd Mad!This means that it has become the central garden, also sharing its space with other gardens. Let me explain: HuertAula Cantarranas has a greenhouse that it shares with other urban gardeners so that they can use it to place their seedbeds. They also collect and store the manure from the cattle sheds of the Veterinary School, and use it as fertilizer in HuerAula Cantarranas but also in other orchards of the ReHd Mad! who request it.

Is it just an orchard?

The answer is no. Cantarranas is a HuertAula as they call themselves. This means that it is a space for organic farming, which serves to learn each of the participants.

Who participates?

When we were there, we found three centers:

IPP (Institute of Psychopediatrics «Doctor Quintero Lumbreras»), CRL (Hortaleza Occupational Rehabilitation Center) and CRPS (Arganzuela Psychosocial Rehabilitation Center)

These centers find in Cantarranas, a place where they can carry out work prior to integration into the labor market. As an example, a group made a wonderful tool shed over the past few months. In addition to being able to develop activities and workshops different from those they could carry out in their centers.

Construction of the tool shed by CRL de Hortaleza

We might think that all this is difficult to organize. But it’s not like that at all. Everyone who participates in the garden can attend the assembly that takes place monthly where planning and organization are developed. And on the other hand, they have a blackboard that is in the center of the greenhouse where the weekly activities are found and they also have a much more direct and faster email contact.

They told us that the people who come have a high degree of autonomy since they know what to do without any kind of problem. Everyone is aware of what to do when they go.

Assembly in the greenhouse
What activities do you offer?

Being a huertAula, most of the activities are training.

They hold monthly workshops in which experts in different fields make their knowledge available; in addition, to make open talks in which the same users share experiences.

The theme of these workshops is very broad and some of those that have been carried out are about the knowledge of medicinal plants, compost production at home, toxicology and food allergies, mushrooms and fungi, occupational risks… Maybe for the realization of the workshops A pre-registration is requested that can be easily found on the web to have a better organization and order, although in some it is only enough to go down at the scheduled time with the desire to learn

The Conference on Agroecology and Peasant Movements is another of the offers that you can find in Cantarranas. In addition, these annual conferences allow university students to validate for credits and this is another way to make themselves known more on the Campus. Oddly enough, despite being in the center of the University, many of us did not know this space well.

They also participate in the UCM summer camp, have the collaboration of a social educator, participate in Science Week, receive visits from schools and collaborate with free pedagogy centers such as Tartaruga… and it is a space to generate new academic works and research projects. An example, when entering the farm you can find ecological architecture. A student made a pergola with fallen branches and trunks. Very curious!

Ecological pergola

All this information about workshops, activities, conferences… you can easily find it on the web page of the HuertAula Comunitaria de Agroecología «Cantarranas».

In following reports we will tell you what methods they use and what steps they follow to grow organically. If you are interested in their ecological methods, you can read the post Ecological management in HuertAula

We encourage you to come closer!

Related posts

Deja una respuesta

Tu dirección de correo electrónico no será publicada. Los campos obligatorios están marcados con *

Botón volver arriba