Visit to the “Esta es una Plaza” orchard in Lavapiés

Good morning everyone, today I come to talk to you about the visit that Dani Horcajo and I made back in June to Esta es una plaza en Lavapiés. This self-managed garden was one of the first urban gardens created in Madrid. In this article we show you the garden of Esta es una plaza and the video we made during the visit.

Visit to a community garden in Lavapies

We made the visit on a Wednesday and a Sunday, they are days in which the orchard staff meet for their work, and I could say that the first day was null and somewhat disconcerting, let me explain:

We arrived there with all the enthusiasm to discover a new place, we had heard a lot about This is a square not only because of the orchard but also because it is already a recreational-tourist reference in the Lavapiés neighborhood, such as the Reina Sofía museum. We entered and quickly met three people belonging to the group that runs the garden.

My surprise was enormous when one of those people called me a SPY for wearing the camera on my head and gave me a good rap for recording there… This person, who said he was a documentary filmmaker, I think he misunderstood his profession.

Recording in a public place means that many people of all ages appear in your frame, but the objective is to show the practices and management of an orchard to create a didactic document that certainly does not seem like espionage to me. Bad, it was not a good reception and we were very pressed while we walked through there.

Orchard perspective This is a square

Things did not go for the better when after a while they told us that they could not explain the activities and management of the orchard, one of the capable people was in a hurry and the rest did not feel strong enough to do it, possibly they felt cut off by the camera. echo the person who felt spied on was very careful to always be behind my back, which was quite uncomfortable for me considering that the space is not enough to lose sight of her.

Anyway, the first day didn’t go well, but we would try again.

Day 2 of the visit was a joy, we were received by Roberta, a woman who has been there almost from the beginning and had no problem explaining everything to us perfectly, as well as telling us the history of the square and all the administrative difficulties that she has been overcoming. In addition, there was no sign of the documentary filmmaker and the activity of the day was theater sketches, which I am personally passionate about because I have been doing it almost all my life.

Here I leave you Dani’s article so you can learn a little about the history of this place and my report so you can get to know it better from the inside: The garden of Esta es una Plaza

As you have seen, this is a square with a very well set up and managed garden. There are terraces with species of all kinds, irrigation is drip and efficient, they cultivate aromatics at the beginning and end of the terrace to prevent the entry of pests and diseases.

Personally, I was very struck by the fact that they opted for the conservation of native species by creating a wild garden. This garden consists of leaving a space so that species brought from vacant lots could grow freely and thus be able to conserve this natural flora of Madrid, which among so much asphalt and ornamental park is becoming a complicated task.

Perspective of the interior of the dome-greenhouse.

Thanks to the work of these people, the space is now a complete success since the main attraction of the space at first was the orchard, it was one of the few that there was at the beginning. Currently I could say how one more visitor than Esta es una Plaza is a model park for the city of Madrid that is sustained by the work and awareness of the neighborhood’s residents.

In each neighborhood, in each lot there should be a space of this type, a place to take the children to play and in the process they see where the lettuce comes from, people respect the space without contaminating it, small groups act in a family setting etc.

All of this creates social awareness, a neighborhood atmosphere, favors personal civility as everyone has to take care of a delicate space, personal relationships are created between people who share passions such as horticulture or theater and children can learn a multitude of things while they are playing.

Another novelty of the orchard This is a square.. An insect shed

There should be more initiatives of this kind because I think it is the family park model of the 21st century and it is a pity that so much bureaucratic struggle is necessary to offer the citizen a playful, public and educational space.

A strong greeting.


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