Sparrow and Finch Gardening In the Bamberg Market Gardeners’ District, where traditional values meet an ever-changing world

In the Bamberg Market Gardeners’ District, where traditional values meet an ever-changing world

The city also has an extensive history of urban gardening. It includes the ability to grow and harvest crops and passing seeds on through generations. This is so valuable that it was listed in the German inventory of Intangible Cultural Heritage in the year 2016.

Land use issues for traditional uses

Unfortunately, the horticulture industry has declined dramatically in Bamberg in the last few decades and the quantity of market gardens for commercial use decreasing to 20 or 30 gardens today. This is because of the unfavorable competition conditions that are a result of the geographical layout that is the market Gardeners’ District: the limited areas for cultivation restrict the possibility of mechanization, irrigation costs are much more expensive than in the countryside as well as there are very only a few parking spots. In the end, huge areas of the city’s open spaces have been sunk into disuse, despite protections provided under the Bavarian Monument Protection Act.

Onion ( Allium cepa) in full bloom in Bamberg’s Market Gardeners’ District. Hannah Roehlen/City Bamberg Author supplied

The changing social-cultural practices

In spite of its medieval roots and legal requirements, the commercial agriculture of market gardens in the Market Gardeners’ District has experienced a decline in the number of gardeners to the point that government worries about its viability are being expressed. To make matters more complicated gardening enthusiasts do not have a common identity, but are divided between two historic fraternities that mirror parish divisions. There is an intense loyalty to the fraternity, whereas their lack of collaboration and a lack of trust in collaboration in the presence of “outsiders” go on.

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The 2012 edition of the Bavarian State Garden Show together with the funding from the National Investment Programme for World Heritage Sites have resulted in positive changes. It is the Bamberg Gardeners’ Interest Group was formed to promote and strengthen cooperation among gardeners. Parallel to this, a new player joined Bamberg’s horticulture urban horticulture system:

The Bamberg Liquorice Society was established by 2009, with the aim to revive cultivating the old plant. It stopped being commercially grown in the late 1960s, which broke a link that had been in place for more than many years. Bamberg. The Liquorice Society’s offerings include tea. They can be purchased locally, but aren’t competitive nationally.

Heritage Garden Heritage Garden, established in 2012, is an innovative idea to preserve urban horticulture areas. In this instance the plot that was left uncultivated following the death of an commercial gardener was let and was turned into a collection of more than 30 unique local varieties of vegetables which are perfectly suitable for the conditions and soil. The group has discovered old recipes that mention the ingredients they use to ensure that recipes from earlier recipes are rediscovered. Some stakeholders believe that the study and sharing of information and the attributes of recipes from the past will inspire commercial gardeners to cultivate local vegetables again after their decline during the common usage of Bamberg.

The aim for The Transition Town (TT) organization, which is a collaborative Self-Harvesting Gardens founded in the year 2016, is to increase the sustainability of cities through food production. Contrary with other gardens, such as the Liquorice Society and Heritage Garden The Self-Harvesting Garden pursues a more politically-oriented agenda, helping to facilitate the shift of society towards a post-growth structure. As part of its mission the group leases out fallow plots from a commercial gardener, assists in training TT participants, as well as also manages their plots at a minimal cost.

Connecting commercial gardeners to new civil society organizations to revive urban horticulture, which draws on an extensive horticultural history.

Food production and urban development

Urban horticulture typically operates within the short food chains, and the production activities are various community-related goals. In Bamberg, the instance of a relic of medieval market gardens that were commercial has shown that it is possible to combine urban development and food production while preserving the best aspects of the local culture.

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