Europe´s Vegetable Garden - PhMuseum

Europe´s Vegetable Garden

Julián Garnés García

2010 - 2014

The gardens of Murcia form a green belt around this city in the south east of Spain. It is an emblematic place for the people of the area, created by and for agriculture, and it also is a source of pride. Known by many (still) as “Europe’s vegetable garden”, its traditions are celebrated in this regional capital. But the 1970s saw a great reduction in the size of this farming area, given over to new urban and industrial development. Consequently, agriculture as an economic activity in this region has almost become a thing of the past. There are still a large number of small orchards and vegetable gardens, but they are more of a sacrifice than a benefit for their owners, and many end up neglecting them or building homes on them for their children. In this context, a new landscape is being created based on this farming tradition, reinventing the landscape in an improvised and random way, and that escapes the control of city planners and politicians. Plants are taking over, and suddenly the citrus orchards are turning into jungles where orange flowers bloom amongst creeping vines. Industrial buildings, new construction, run-down homes and residents seem to float over a green mantle that is as distant from urban planning as it is from agriculture.

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