EGNATIA EPIRUS Foundation
Metsovo Center for Children’s Creative Activities
Metsovo Centre for the Elderly
Metsovo Children’s Library
“Use Don’t Waste” & “Waste-Less is More” are century-old secrets hold by the elderly in the mountainous Metsovo! Our central vision is as simple as that: encourage the younger generation to make the best use of the local resources inspired by local traditions. Self-sufficiency, waste prevention, reuse and recycling used to be at the heart of the community daily life. SEEDs will demonstrate that lessons from the past supported by scientific knowledge can improve our tomorrow in a sustainable way.
In the picturesque mountainous town of Metsovo in Epirus, in the Pindos area, North-western Greece.
Metsovo is a rural community of 3500 inhabitants. Due to its isolation and hard winters, the inhabitants had to ensure their survival by being self-sufficient. Every family had a vegetable garden where they produced everything they needed and had ways of conserving their products through the winter.
With the change in the consumption patterns, the locals stopped taking care of their gardens and became dependent from others, “good modern” consumers that follow the linear economy: take, make, dispose.
The global awareness of environmental issues as well as the consumption habits put on hold during the pandemic, give us a unique opportunity to make a shift in our way of thinking, fostering a more efficient use of local resources to cover our socio-economic and environmental needs.
SEEDs is a local pact where 3 generations will share responsibility on a common project for the benefit of the community. Children, parents and grand-parents will join forces to rediscover traditions, experiment concrete solutions and with the help of today’s scientific knowledge make the best use of the local resources. From decision making to the implementation of the project, the community of Metsovo, as a whole, will take charge of its future.
This is an exercise in democracy on a very small scale but proved successful it can be an example to be reproduced on a larger scale.
Reinforcing intergenerational exchange, developing sense of solidarity, increasing awareness about a way of life more respectful to the place where we live are some of the challenges of our project.
The 3500 inhabitants, the entire community of Metsovo, are the SEEDs of our project. The elderly are the SEEDs of the knowledge, the children the SEEDs of our tomorrow and the parents the volunteers who will ensure the transmission of knowledge and help materialize the initiatives to be conducted.
With more than 50 children and 70 seniors registered in our partner organizations, these 3 generations will be involved in a wide range of activities from the inventory/recording of traditions, cultivation of community vegetable gardens to the “re-use re-make” workshops, nutrition and health. In addition to these primary target groups, the project seeks the involvement of local businesses that will be engaged in activities concretely promoting the local resources.
4 main steps:
1-Recording of the traditions around the use of local resources by the children and the volunteers –Nov 2020 to Feb 2021
2-Creation of vegetable gardens by the children and their families with local plants and herbs –Nov 2020 to Dec 2021
3-Organization of 8 workshops to experiment the different ways to use and re-use our local resources. Topics such as the importance of food for health, natural ways of products conservation, use of wild mountains plants, creation of arts and crafts from waste. These workshops will combine presentation of good practices and ateliers -Mar 2020 to Dec 2021
4-Campaigns aligned with the European Biodiversity and Farm to Fork Strategies to support the development of a local sustainable healthy food chain - Mar 2020 to Dec 2021
-Inventory of the traditions related to the use of local resources
-Vegetable gardens with local plants and herbs free of pesticides (seeds of onion, carrots, beans, mountain tea, parsley ...)
-Increased awareness of the local community and actors on healthy food, seasonal products through Campaigns (Healthy Food, Tradition on your Plate, Waste-Less is More, etc) and workshops
-Old and new recipes based on local products reintroduced in the local restaurants and schools
On the long term:
-Environmentally responsible behaviour: re-use and recycling initiatives, composting and correct use of manure and water, and waste prevention
-Enhanced organic farming and other biodiversity-friendly farming practices
-Reduction of the environmental footprint of the local food system
We see the SEEDs project as a pilot project that will demonstrate that a local pact on the best use of natural and cultural resources stemming from the old generation and the youths, can support environmentally responsible behaviors that regenerate an entire community and pave the way to true sustainability, with benefits for all.
Putting the children at the heart of the project, SEEDs will contribute to turn them into “small-but-powerful” responsible citizens, shaping the next generation of healthier and environmentally-conscious citizens.
Starting as an integrated territorial project, it is likely to affect the whole region positively, supporting the kind of behaviour change needed to enhance concrete approaches to the circular economy and sustainable healthy food chain.
In the past Metsovo has been an example of how a rural community can leverage upon its tangible and intangible cultural heritage in order to achieve integrated sustainable development, social cohesion and economic prosperity. There is a need today for Metsovo to rediscover its bonds with the local traditions while looking to its sustainable future.
All participants involved in the project have chosen to stay in Metsovo and are struggling to give back to the area its aura. SEEDs is therefore seen as the seeds for regenerating the territory fostering efficient use of natural resources, for regenerating the community enhancing its potential of social capital and inventiveness and at the long term, for regenerating resources enhancing circular economies for the benefit of all.
Funding requested from Civic Europe
• Rent of land for the pilot community garden: 1,000
• Equipment, raw material : 8,000
• Staff costs: 12,000
• Promotion and public relations: 5,000
• Scientific expertise: 7,000
• 8 workshops = 10,000
Exchange on project ideas is the key in progressing. All ideas on how to improve this project are most welcome!