Estefania Guerrero Delgadillo, Ana Palacios, Raisa Enríquez, Estefanía Guerrero, Maite Mendizábal
Instituto Tecnológico de Monterrey, Mexico
According to the National Council for the Evaluation of Social Policy Development (CONEVAL) in Mexico, food poverty is defined as: “the inability to obtain a market basket, even if all the available income in the household were used to buy only the goods in said bundle”.
In 2018 Caritas Monterrey Food Bank showed that the percentage of people living under this type of poverty is 25.2%. This situation was only aggravated due to the Covid-19 pandemic, however, the magnitude of the damage caused has not been accurately measured. The projects that the government of Nuevo León is carrying out are of a welfare nature, which has stalled the growth of their scope.(“Pobreza alimentaria en crecimiento en Nuevo León Cáritas de Monterrey”, 2018)
The United Nations Organization establishes that for Food and Agriculture the creation of urban gardens and physical contact with them is proposed as a solution to measure global problems and in the community about obtaining our food in a tangible form. Additionally, the use of urban gardens increases the consumption of fruits and vegetables, physical activity and also becomes a source of food without pesticides and contaminants for citizens.(“Organización de las Naciones Unidas para la Alimentación y la Agricultura: Huertos urbanos son ahora un derecho en la Ciudad de México FAO en México 联合国粮食及 农业组织”, 2017)
This is why “La Cosecha” is proposed as a prototype of orchards to be reproduced in more communities. The materials used were selected considering their economic accessibility, the necessary treatments to resist exposure to the elements, the durability of the objects created and their ability to be recycled.
This system is composed of four stages, simulating a real ecosystem. Starting with the rainwater collecting phase, through the recreational tables and the roofs of the pergolas; a fountain keeps the water free of impurities and keeps it moving to prevent stagnation. The next stage consists of sowing the seeds and monitoring their correct germination before being transplanted to the third stage, where they are cared for to ensure optimal growth. The corresponding planters for each stage were designed to assist in the process, they have adaptable heights to meet all ages and abilities, as well as spaces to store gardening tools. The final part of the process is the harvest of the food, where people can see the result of their efforts: a sustainable food source.
The urban garden was conceived as an adaptable system where the communities are taught through workshops about the native plants of the region, the correct seasons to plant them and the care they require. As a long-term goal, we seek that those who are the future of our communities understand the importance of the environment and the benefits of urban gardens. In the case of Mexico, being able to implement “La Cosecha” would imply a radical change in its food distribution system to move from a welfare system to a self-sustaining one.