Today the Feeding Milan Project ran it’s beautiful and engaging market. At this stage, designers have activated several local projects for the Feeding Milan Project and the Earth Market is one of them. The Earth Market held today is a monthly farmers’ market, the first in Milan! The market has been running since December 2009 and is a great example of how community can come together as well as share local fresh food.
Sense of Community
The market had wonderful weather and beautiful happy people walking around enjoying themselves. There was a sense of community and pride of place today. The market is held in an urban context and it is promising to see how an event like this can really assist with building a sense of community between a diverse array of people from different backgrounds and ages.
Local Farmers Sharing Wisdom
Farmers were also given the opportunity to share their produce and connect people in the city to the land that feeds them. The farmers had so much wisdom to share and very beautiful produce which is approved by the Slow Food Standards.
At the end of the day, many people came together for a wonderful convivial late lunch, where people shared stories and the local produce that had been on sale at the market. Throughout the day the large tables were enjoyed by many people you sat to eat their lunch, have a coffee and share great conversation.
Idea Sharing Stall
A best practice Community Centered Design appraoch was taken at the market. The researchers and sustainable design practitioners from the Politecnico di Milano and Feeding Milan Project set up a stall which gave the opportunity to visitors to the market to have a conversation about imporving the local food distribution system in the city and enhancing services such as the market.
The Earth Market is an Asset to the City of Milan
This market is really an asset to the city because: • It connects people to one another in an urban context • It connects rural and urban people so they can share stories, knowledge and produce • It improves the local economy by supporting local business as well as activating an otherwise empty space • It improves the amount of people in the area which also brings new customers to existing businesses in the area • The cultural life and wellbeing of this area of Milan is enhanced because a diversity of people are given an opportunity to come together and share
It would be great to see many other towns and cities taking on a project like this, to support the social, economic, environmental and cultural life of their place.
What is Feeding Milan Project?
“Feeding Milan” (Nutrire Milano) is a research program promoted by a partnership between academic institutions, such as Politecnico di Milano, INDACO dept and University of Gastronomic Sciences, and Slow Food Italy, with its network of local players in the Milanese area. It started from the observation that in the Milanese urban area, the demand for high quality, fresh food hugely exceeds the actual, available production, despite the presence of a large, potential “urban larder” known as Agricultural Park South Milan. This is a 47,000 ha wide area of intensive agro-industry, where only 3% of farms practice sustainable agriculture. Moreover, “Feeding the planet, energy for life” is the motto for Expo 2015, highlighting the importance of land use and food provision in the near future. the main strategy to support the demand is to make agriculture the presidium of the area’s regional quality. This means revitalising local networks, encouraging the sharing of common principles and optimising resources in order to create a new regional system. The emerging vision prefigures a rural-urban area where agriculture flourishes by feeding the city (de-mediation) and, at the same time, offers city dwellers opportunities for a multiplicity of farming and nature related activities.
Thank you to Daria Cantù, Marta Corubolo, Giulia Simeone, Daniela Selloni and Anna Meroni for providing information on the Feeding Milan project and Earth Market.