“La Traversine” is the name for an urban pedagogical garden of 300m2 located on the roof of the Bercy school in the 12th arrondissement in Paris. It is one of the 30 projects selected by the City of Paris for its competition “Parisculteurs”.
[Traversine], a name that symbolizes a gateway towards other cultures,
as a North-South “agri-cultural” exchanges.
Located on the roof of the Bercy school, in Paris in the 12th
arrondissement, this terrace, originally intended only to serve as a passage in the event of evacuation, has today been transformed into an experimental and educational garden.
Designing Hope conceived an urban vegetable garden gathering several approaches to sustainable agriculture (agro-ecology, permaculture), already implemented by the association with children in Burkina Faso, South Africa, Swaziland, and Senegal.
By using the program “Communicating Classes” chosen by the school of Bercy, and the equipment of relay classes in Africa, the activities around La Traversine encourage the exchanges of experiences, and the activities realized around the garden.
Playful activities for children, organized in small groups during the extracurricular time in collaboration with the educational team, echoe with those carried out in the schools of the other countries.
We approach various themes: the soil, the seed, the cycles of life of a plant, the compost, the auxiliaries, the methods of culture.
We sensitize the children to the valorization of the resources of the school for the fertilization of the garden (composting of the leaves, branches of the trees of the courtyard, remains of the canteen).
Finally, we encourage them to try some plantations at home, if they have a balcony, or if they can access a garden somewhere with a family member, encouraging recycling, composting, and giving them seeds or plants, as we do in Africa.
The garden located on the terrace, required wooden structures made of Douglas as weel as pieces made of steel.
The Key Hole
It is a circular raised garden, comprising in its center a compost, whose nutrients are diffused towards the cultures which surround it.
Its name literally keyhole, comes from its shape. The lower part of the Key hole was designed to receive dead wood, to lighten the structure on the one hand and to provide an insect shelter on the other.
The Key-hole is surrounded by 7 trapezoidal shaped wooden elements, forming a flower inspired by the mandalas, which constitute a central element of permaculture gardens. It hosts market gardening seasonal crops.
Different levels of fruits
An alignment of 11 wooden elements of 2m long each with double levels of culture, host berries, according to the principle growing in layers: double row of strawberries in the foreground, then other berries in second level (raspberries, currants, blackcurrant, blackberries) , and others fruits climbing on ropes stretched at the back (kiwis, grapes).
A meeting place with children, surrounded by elements where are planted perennial (honeysuckle, jasmine, vine yard) and seasonals (squash, pumpkins) climbing on ropes to create a shaded space.
Designed to store the leaves and branches recovered from the trees of the school yard.
It is surrounded by 2 bins, and also surrounded by a metal structure accomodating climbing cucurbits, to create shade for the compost.
The village of mini greenhouses
It consists of 4 mini greenhouses of 1m20 side shaped as small houses making a playfull area for children. The roofs of the houses, made of plexigas and stainless steel, can open in the summer.
This space is surrounded by wooden barriers, offering a double level of cultivation for strawberries and aromatic herbs.
The flower beds
2 large beds are filled with various perennial flowers, offering a bloom throughout the seasons, promote pollination.
Other experimental elements will be added over the months.
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