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One Kitchen Garden for Everyone, by Teresa Bello

Various users

Various authors

For a long time food demand grew increasingly, along with population´s growth, productivity and selling earnings. As a consequences food prices continued to decline through 2000. But since June 2010, prices of food commodities (grains, oilseeds, vegetable oils, meat, seafood, sugar, and fruit) have risen sharply again. One of the reasons was that, in 2005, food production was dramatically affected by extreme weather incidents in major food-producing countries. This along with the approval of new policies, world recession, economic and population growth and the expansion of biofuels are some of the factors that have led us in to this crisis. By the year 2012 higher production, declining imports and lower demand pushed export prices down and global food prices continued to fall between February and June 2013, still prices were only 12 percent below the August peak. But between January and April 2014 International food prices increased by 4 percent putting an end to the declining trend of food prices sustained since August 2012. Looking ahead, uncertainty in the international market remains, but through the years we have learned the large impact that food price fluctuation can have.

The initial concept was to design a product that could help families have their own food production, using a common area inside the housing development to grow a community garden with individual beds or containers for each family. Having a local production helps not only with the fight against the rise in food prices but also creates a sustainable system benefiting all phases in the food chain. Another goal was to help establish healthy relationships between the memberes of the community. Having a community garden willl allow people to learn and benefit from each other exchanging knowledge and food, so whenever one member needs help or and specific food product someone else can share with him what he needs.

Benefits: It will be easier to control de amount of production to avoid any surplus. Having a local production will make easier and shorter the distribution, this will allow the consumers to get fresher fruits and vegetables. The community members will know where their food comes from and the way it was grown. The people will be able to learn how to grow their own private garden. Waste generated after the consumption phase will be used for compost.

For a city like Mérida, the concept of a community garden is quite new, also not a lot of people know about gardening, and most of the families living in this type of developments have parents that work, so the idea is to introduce families in to the gardening world and letting them get more and more involve in the hole process as they go. Finally this product will allow families to nurture the seeds of their food in their own homes till they are ready to be transplanted into the community garden where they can get help from other neighbors or the person in charge. The design consists in a modular unit that can be assemble with more units to create different structures. Each unit is able to hold 1 seed pot.